Pick Your Weapon: The Engine Bays Of Formula Drift
More Power

There is no other professional motorsport series in the world that is as diverse as Formula Drift. The critics out there may think that the field of competitors are just a bunch of 20-year-old cars with Chevy LS engine swaps, but that’s far from the truth.

In my last article about the ‘Horsepower Wars‘ going on in Formula Drift, I asked the drivers for their personal opinion on the matter; some giving serious answers and others joking around. At Formula Drift Atlanta I caught up with a variety of teams out of the 50-plus car field just to showcase a bit of what the sport has to offer. Some teams disclosed more information than others – but all of them gave up the basic specs of what they’re running under the hood.


Daijiro Yoshihara took home the championship back in 2011 in an LS-powered two-decade-old Japanese car, but the sport has evolved and so has Daijiro and the rest of the Falken Tire/SPD Metal Works team. They are now running a Subaru BRZ platform with a single turbo-equipped LS motor. The overall build is still being developed since it only debuted back in Long Beach, as with any new platform, it takes time to figure out a winning formula.


Engine: 477ci Racing Head Service block based on Chevy LS
Pistons: JE forged 10:1
Cylinder Heads: All Pro
Camshaft: Brian Crower
Induction: Garrett GTX5008R turbo
Engine Management: MoTeC M880
Horsepower: 950whp (estimated)


Darren McNamara claimed on social media that this S14 is the most powerful drift car in the world. Basically they maxed out the dyno, so there is no real way to know how much power they are putting down.


Engine: 410ci Dart Machinery alloy block based on Chevy small block
Pistons: JE forged 10:1
Cylinder Heads: All Pro
Camshaft: Brian Crower
Induction: 2x Garrett GTX3576R turbos, Kinsler ITBs
Engine Management: MoTeC M880
Horsepower: 1200whp (estimated)


Dmac said himself that this is without a doubt the most powerful machine he has ever driven, and it’s not to understand why…

Not Just Eight Cylinders

Micheal Essa figured out a winning combination very early in the season last year and it took him all the way to the championship win.


This time I had a chance to watch him build the car from the ground up in less than 30 days.


Engine: BMW S54 3.2L
Pistons: CP forged
Rods: Carrillo
Induction: Garrett GTX3582R turbo at 20psi, DOC Race intake manifold
Engine Management: Pectel SQ6
Horsepower: 750whp


I’ve always said that Forest Wang has the cleanest engine bays, and he really outdid himself this time with this 2JZ-powered S14. You can check out the full feature here.


Engine: Insane Speed 3.4L Toyota 2JZ
Crankshaft: Brian Crower stroker kit
Pistons: CP forged
Rods: Brian Crower
Cylinder Head: Ported and polished OEM
Camshafts: GSC 274-degree in/ex
Induction: Garrett GTX4088R turbo
Engine Management: AEM
Horsepower: 800hp


This, of course, is the car that started it all. It’s amazing because if you look at the motor from the outside it does not look like it could even run. It’s very minimal and simple – which is just the way Daigo Saito likes it.


Engine: 3.4L Toyota 2JZ
Crankshaft: Brian Crower stroker
Pistons: JE forged
Cylinder Head: Mission Critical Performance CNC-ported
Camshafts: Brian Crower
Induction: Garrett GTX4294R turbo, Nitrous Express direct port kit
Engine Management: HKS F-CON V Pro
Horsepower: 1200hp (estimated)


Kyle Mohan has always drifted Mazdas, and even though it’s getting more and more rare in professional drifting to find these cars with rotary engines still under their hoods, he keeps it real.


Engine: Mazdatrix/KMR Mazda 20B 3-rotor, large street port by KMR
Induction: CXRacing manifold, Turbonetics billet 72mm ball bearing turbocharger with 75mm turbine
wheel, and .96a/r turbine housing
Engine Management: Haltech
Horsepower: 800hp+


This year he finally retired the twin-rotor 13B turbo and went with a 3-rotor setup which gives him massive amounts of power without having to push the limits of the motor.


In terms of unique motors though, there is nothing more off-the-wall than Fredric Aasbø’s Scion tC which is powered by a motor originally designed for minivan usage.


Engine: 2.7L Toyota 2AR-FE
Crankshaft: OEM
Camshafts: OEM
Induction: BorgWarner EFR turbo
Engine Management: AEM Infinity
Horsepower: 800hp+


The mad scientist behind this, is of course Stephan Papadakis. Out of all the drift cars that I have been a passenger in, I have to say that Fredric’s tC is the loudest. It has a very sharp mechanical sound that just pierces your eardrums.


Dave Briggs actually build a Nissan 350Z powered by a V8, but the team could never get it dialed in right. In the end Dave decided to go back to his inline four turbo roots.


Engine: Mazworx SR24VET (SR20 bored and stroked to 2.4L with VVL head)
Induction: Garrett GTX3582R turbo, Mazworx intake manifold
Horsepower: 800hp


It seems to be working for him, despite having one of the smallest displacement engines in the field.


It’s been almost a decade since an S2000 has graced the Formula Drift paddock; largely because it was seen as a vehicle that was not suited to the sport. Chris Jeanneret took that challenge and built the ultimate Honda drift car. Unfortunately, Chris did not make it to qualifying yesterday as the team was running into some issues.


Engine: 2.5L Honda K24A1
Crankshaft: OEM
Pistons: Wiseco forged
Camshafts: Skunk2 Tuner 2
Cylinder Head: OEM CRV K24A1
Valves: Skunk2 Pro Series
Induction: Garrett GTX4088R turbocharger, Skunk2 Ultra Series intake manifold
Horsepower: 940hp


Road Atlanta was the debut of this brand new build, so growing pains are expected. It will probably take a few more events before all the bugs are ironed out.


For as long as I have known Taka, he has always run a 4A-G block in his AE86 drift car. He was under quite a bit of pressure to switch to a higher displacement and more modern engine, so when he did, he choose to keep it in the family.


Engine: Toyota 2A-ZFE 2.6L
Crankshaft: Brian Crower stroker
Pistons: CP forged
Camshaft: Brian Crower 272-degree (ex)
Cylinder Head: Port Flow Design machine work, Brian Crower valves/springs
Induction: Garrett GTX3576R turbocharger
Engine Management: MoTeC M800
Horsepower: 700hp (estimated)


In terms of power to weight, Taka’s car is now up there with the best of them.

More Displacement Please

One of the most unique chassis and motor setups belongs to Dean Kearney and his supercharged V10 SRT.


Engine: Dodge SRT V10 8.0L destroked
Pistons: JE forged
Rods: Eagle
Induction: Paxton NOVI 2500 supercharger, NX nitrous oxide system
Engine Management: AEM
Horsepower: 1000hp


It’s amazing to me still that this 8.0-liter monster competes in the same series as Dave Briggs’ 2.4-liter turbo motor. That’s what I love about drifting.


Speedhunters driver Charles Ng wanted to build a unique car that no one has ever drifted in Formula Drift competition. But he also wanted a super-reliable motor that can put down power with ease.


Engine: Chevrolet LS1
Pistons: CP forged
Rods: Carillo
Cylinder Heads: Trick Flow
Camshaft: Crane Cams
Induction: CX Racing Vortech YSi supercharger kit
Horsepower: 800hp


To get that extra edge it seems like most of the field is running forced induction.


Rookie drive Matt Coffman brought out the big guns with a fully built Roush Yates motor. One look under the hood and you know that the team is out for blood in their first Pro year.


Engine: Roush Yates 410ci Ford V8
Cylinder Heads: Ford D3 heads
Induction: Kinsler ITBs with Coffman Racing/K&N air filter
Engine Management: MoTeC M1
Horsepower: 850hp


With all these turbo cars in the field I forget that there are still some guys running naturally aspirated setups – like our own Vaughn Gittin Jr.


It just goes to show that no matter what sort of power you have, you need to be able to put it down to the ground for it be effective.


Engine: 410ci Dart Machinery small block Ford
Crankshaft: Bryant
Pistons: Roush Yates/JE forged
Camshaft: Roush Yates/Comp Cams
Cylinder Heads: Roush Yates/Ford Racing
Induction: Roush Yates intake manifold
Engine Management: MoTeC
Horsepower: 840hp+


It really is a thing of beauty, and outside of Forest Wang’s stroked 2JZ I think Vaughn has one of the cleanest engine bays in Formula Drift.


Last but certainly not least, there’s Chris Forsberg with a very unique engine that originally came out of a Nissan pickup truck.


Engine: Nissan VK56
Pistons: JE forged
Crankshaft: Bryant Racing
Induction: Custom ITBs, AEM filtration, NOS nitrous system
Engine Management: MoTec
Horsepower: 1000hp (estimated)


Well there you have it – that was just a sample of the massive variety of power plants that you can find in the Formula Drift paddock. It makes my job easier, because if I’m waiting around a blind corner I can actually tell which car is coming up next. What motor would you Speedhunters out there use if you were building a pro-spec drift car?

Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto



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I must be the only one who wants to run a HEMI powered drift car :P :D


Back to bed Zzzzzzz


If I were to build a Formula Drift competition car, it's be a Toyota 86 with a twin turbo 2GR-FE swap.


If they weren't so unreliable i'd use an RB26. Nico Reid's S15 (D1NZ) is one of the best sounding drift cars period imo. 
Case in point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMrUP7pzV0w


Oh god I hate american drift because of that shit. Muricah V8 swap everywhere. "Hell no I don't have skills, but hey I got 700hp!" Parallel drag racing, that's all. 





Max_Ryde  That's like the most idiotic thing you can say.


I really wish someone would build an RB26 powered car, it bugs the hell outta me that so many people are running Nissan chassis but go and swap a V8 in. As Taka Aono said in his documentary, that doesn't show any respect to the manufacturer! An RB26 would allow these guys to make enough power to compete with the 2JZ crowd and the V8 crowd. I'm so sick of the sound of V8 engines in this series.


AWA302 Then you don't know what is drifting. 
Sure they have some skills, but when you have all that amount of torque and power, then you just have to push on the right pedal, power over is sufficient for everything, you don't have to know all the other (more hardcore) drifting techniques. Try to drift a stock S14 and a LS1 powered shit, you'll understand what I'm talking about.


Its more about skill exactly just put garret turbo on sr20det
And done


Are RB engines really that bad?
Are JZ engines more reliable? I see people using JZ engines all the time.


Max_Ryde I'm going to have to go with AWA302 on this one.  Professionals in every walk of life use higher performing equipment to achieve better more consistent results.  You don't see Tour de France racers showing up on Huffys or, on a more similar plane, F1 drivers in '96 Hyundai Accents.  I assure you that any ranking formula D driver could throw around a stock S14 with relative ease.


Tinj Max_Ryde AWA302  I don't remember every D1 GP drivers swap their SR20, RB25, 4AGE for any V8 (when D1GP was still interesting). And if american swap it's mostly because they are bad at modifying engines.

Anyway watching 20 guys drifting in V8s is absolutely boring, because of this they all have really similar style.


Id like to see a formula drift time attack event. My understanding of current formula drift cars is that they actually have alot of grip with the amount of power and adjustments these things have now I think it would be pretty interesting.


Not here to offend, but I think the American's took drifting and made it "hollywood": bigger, badder, brighter, glitzy.... More smoke and explosions!!!  

and in all cases like Hollywood, the tackiness is evident and and interpretation of the original script is shockingly inaccurate.


Max_Ryde AWA302  Its a show. The average person probably cant see technique as easily as some of us. SO, with that show you need something to draw people in, I know, how about cars as powerful or more than nascar, formula 1, super gt, v8 supercars. Sure at a grassroots level v8s are an epidemic because there cheap, easy and relatively reliable for the power you can get to but I always root for the people that at least stick with the engines from the original manufacture.


nice rx8


As I am currently putting the final touches on my own build it is very cool to see the bays of these cars.  It's giving me some ideas on my own build... nothing major but small nuances that caught my eye.  Good stuff :)


Max_Ryde Tinj AWA302  You are moaning about something completely pointless here. Yes, the LS with S-chassis combo is too common, and I myself don't prefer that setup. But its the best combo for reliability and budget. The drivers here do not want a car that won't start after two runs or get outrun by their more well-off opponents. Plus that's how FD works, if it bothers you, the world has much to offer and much to do rather than complaining here. Even at the end these drivers won't even care what you think about their LS powered Nissans. Its gonna go on whether you like it or not.


Nice builds , all of those cars except the LS powered ones.


This is why F1 seems so boring...personally


SidewaysIsMyWay  rather hard to get a RB26 in the U.S I guess (but then so its the same with 20Bs)


AWA302  I want a big AMG sedan drift car


Woah! With those HP #'s I'd crap myself just going in a straight line haha! LS this LS that, I think it's awesome the sound of the v8 is like an orchestra to my ears. But wouldn't mind some older rock and roll once in a while 4age, sr20det, rb25, 26.


Acc SidewaysIsMyWay  From what i know the reason why they dont use an rb26 is simply because the 2jz and v8 is cheaper in the long run and you can goto almost any parts store and find a part for a v8 motor if need be.


XTREMESP33D  yes and also in the us its a lot cheaper to get parts for a 2jz than an rb


apieceobacon XTREMESP33D  Not to mention 2JZ has 400 cc extra over RB26.


Max_Ryde Tinj AWA302  The thing about V8 swap, is that it's easy to get torque, it's lightweight, cheap to run and maintain and at the same time, reliable.
Doing away with forced induction means lesser weight from the absence of the turbo, intercooler, extra pipings, etc. and better relibility due to less stress from boosting.
I am never a fan of V8 swaps either, but sometimes it's for the sake of keeping costs down that they run them.


jay8393 apieceobacon XTREMESP33D  I thought its because 2JZs have more parts available than RB engines in the US markets. You can have a solid build with an RB engine (I think the guy from Cops vs Motorcycles runs a RB28 in FD) but its really costly.


Acc AWA302  Imagine a W123 wagon running a 6.3 AMG V8 in it *_* I shall be a happy man because of that


Damn you Chevrolet and your boring, powerful, super efficient, cheap, light weight, narrow, easy to tune, easy to modify.... LS engines. LS is ruining this sport because it's too good and a obvious choice for powerplant. Stop the madness!!!


Lol armchair racers crying about V8 swaps in drift cars. Love it


I'm surprised that the K24 in the S2000 is still using the K24 CRV head; most people go frankenstein K24 block/K20 head.


AWA302 Hemi was run by Hubinette, full factory Dodge, both the Challenger and the Charger. That Challenger was N/A 800+hp, and easily the best tuned and sounding engine in all of FD. It was GLORIOUS.


D1RGE AWA302  I know *_* I love that beast sound from HEMIs! Even my friend's Durango (5.7L) roars like a monster!


leitev8 Totally. Because there's something I miss in drifting. It's the non-competitiveness of the 2007 season. The 250hp cars vs 600hp cars. The cars that made it through tech with band-aids and hope, breaking down on their first run. Dammit, I can't handle it when a sport actually takes on the concerns of being truly professional!!!!!


AWA302 D1RGEit wasn't just the Hemi, I've heard WOT all my life in many engines. Whoever built that motor is GOOD. Theres just a certain sound to a properly tuned engine, its like a sound system resonating a room. It just sounds like mechanical heaven screaming. You could hear that car over everyone else's, like a lions roar.


D1RGE sir, I like what you did there.


D1RGE AWA302  I know how you feel. Something about that working engine is art in its own right.

turbo BEAMS ae86

Wow nice artickle men..mi favs is the k24 s2000...the NA nissan V8..and the 3 rotor of course..

turbo BEAMS ae86

Carlson much as i love 4age i dont think it can compete any more..


apieceobacon Acc SidewaysIsMyWay  doesn't officer dan run a rb28??


Long gone are the days of 400hp SR20's losing to 160 hp AE86 Corollas, RB26 powered Silvias and 2JZ swapped Soarers. May as well be straight out drag racing for 1/4 mile times with all these 1000 hp motors.


I can't believe I"m saying this, but its refreshing to see a bunch of non-v8s in these cars. The opening statement says that its not all 20 year old cars with ls swaps, but he wouldn't have typed that in if there weren't a somewhat annoyingly large amount of them out there. Its just cooler to see someone make due with what they've got instead of just putting 8 cylinders under the hood and call it a day. 

Very cool post. Diverse.


leitev8  on the other hand though, if people wanted to see a bunch of the same cars doing the same thing around the track we'd all just watch nascar. I'll take diversity over these dudes making well thought out engine choices any day lol ;)


Max_Ryde AWA302  agreed. the diversity is just more fun for us in every way.

Seeking Perfection

Turbocharged V8s are the bomb. I love Dai's BRZ and I am sure that Kojima and the rest of his engineers are at the top of their game. BTW Dai's turbo is capable of 1400hp. I cannot even imagine myself driving with this amount of power in a straight line without crashing.


Max_Ryde   I agree with you on this one. I hate the fact that every new driver in this series is most likely going to show up in a S-Chassis with a dumb pointless LS swap to compensate on their shitty skills. Look at D1 GP , they still run SR's and some even go for the RB's and so on and don't have as much power as the ones in FD US. You see them run 2JZ vs SR's and still the driver using an SR is still keeping up with the other one with the high change of even beating him. 
LS here , LS there , still thee's been an awful lot of time since an LS powered car has won the Championship in FD.....


I would use a naturally aspirated 4-rotor like our friend Mad Mike, that thing screams.


D1RGE AWA302   liked the car also , but I wouldn't agree on the best sounding car , you probably forgot about Michael Essa's V10 Powered BMW E92.


Porsche 928 chassis, with an aspirated RB25 built to spin past 10,000 rpm


There still is diversity there tho, a rotor, Nissans, several 2Js, the Roush =P


InnerToxicity  Not sure if you're being entirely serious or not sir, but either way… i like it :)

All this talk about engine diversity, let's not forget about chassis diversity.


The difference is that in Nascar they have to run the same setup, all teams run the "same" engine. With drift, the teams choose the poweplants, and they want to stay competitive. This is a big boy sport, with big money in it, so they choose the engine that gives you the most for less. Why dump money on a complicated unreliable setup? Downgrading for the sake of diversity seems wrong to me, it's like saying you won't go out with Scarlett Johansen because there is too many blonds in the neighborhood. And just to be clear, I like all kinds of engines.


Exactly, I was super excited when I saw pics of daigo building a ferrari drift car, but I haven't heard anything further =


Love hearing these kids complain about V8's but love hearing the roar of a V8 even more. 
Grew up around Ford, Chevy, Dodge/Mopar engines from a young life and nothing compares. Not knocking the others, I'm still shocked over rotary engines and their insane numbers. Love these post, keep em coming.


Ha, how about that gas monkey copo camaro with the lsx twin turbo? Its already got 1200hp out the box. Someone should grab one of those motors and throw it in something worth drifting.


Noah_Lines apieceobacon Acc SidewaysIsMyWay  Yes he does


prazzi That camaro will NEVER see the actual use these cars are put through.


CarlLawhon  that car is amzing, i would run it as well. albeit probably with a turbo, just for the extra power


Fiero/Countach replica with a turbo'd Cosworth KF.


Novac Darius Really bro? Let's see...
2004: Samuel Hubinette - Dodge Viper (original V10)
2005: Rhys Millen - Pontiac GTO (original LS1)
2006: Samuel Hubinette - Dodge Viper (original V10)
2007: Tanner Foust - Nissan 350Z (original VQ35)
2008: Tanner Foust - Nissan 350Z (original VQ35)
2009: Chris Forsberg - Nissan 350Z (swapped to Nissan VK56)
2010: Vaughn Gittin Jr - Ford Mustang (original V8)
2011: Daijiro Yoshihara - Nissan S13 (swapped to LS7)
2012: Daigo Saito - Lexus SC430 (swapped to 2JZ)
2013: Mike Essa - BMW E46 (original S54)
Since it's inception in 2004, only two LS-powered cars have won the championship. And you were saying...?


jay8393 Novac Darius   yeah , ONLY 2 , that should say something about how good the setup really is.


JoshuaWhitcombe Noah_Lines apieceobacon Acc SidewaysIsMyWay  I understand that it is a lot less complicated to run a V8 setup or a 2J setup, and I have nothing against the teams that do run V8s its just that I think that its not what the original drifters would have wanted. It's like if you saw a Lamborghini entering WRC: I'm sure that it could work but it's just weird to see. I guess the casual American audience is where Formula D makes a lot of money and as a result they need to cater to that audience with big smokey V8s and less of an emphasis on throwing the car in as hard as possible with as much proximity as possible


AWA302 That's part of the reason as well. :)


Novac Darius jay8393 But you said:
"thee's been an awful lot of time since an LS powered car has won the Championship in FD....."
Unless I have misinterpreted what you actually meant, then my bad.

Pete the perfect pilot

Rotor power only.... All the way.


In my opinion, people need to quit complaining about all of the v8s in Formula drift because if you dont like it wait a few years. Engine technology is always changing. the sport is still young and everyone is still trying to figure everything out.


I think Aasbo's Taka's car are perhaps the most mind blowing because they're using non performance oriented engines that are pushing insane amounts of power without breaking.


i really like the 5.6 titan swap into the 370z but im on the fence with that and fredric's TC. the last time i saw the titan engine used was in the s15 that vanished off the grid. i've spent alot of time around south america and the 4 cylinder engines used in their 8+ passenger vehicles and trucks are have loads of torque. sure you hear the engine struggling but you have to think of the reason why they used that engine in the first place. its light weight, reliable and torque. heck, im surprised they didn't make it a diesel and source the engine from a hilux.


i'd like to see them use a diesel engine.


loving what taka did with the 86. sticking to a 4 banger. and a 700hp on an ae86. it's just wow.


Here's an idea, how about we cram a few turns in a 1/4-mile stretch and see how fast these cars get there, because that's what essentially became of the sport.


Max_Ryde"Parallel drag racing, that's all."
You're on to something...


that sounds good!  maybe let's launch a signature campaign to get mad mike and frederic to promote this idea to the officials?  :)


wheatgod  what do you have against chevy engines


wheatgod apieceobaconRedneck? Kids today, smh...


nugundam93 been wondering that myself, often question the weight of those engines though.


The drag race to the front corner is getting ridiculous.
Please pass it on to the Formula Drift Big wigs.
Move Drift Atlanta away from Mother's Day Weekend!!!!!  I am in the dog house every year.


kphillips9936 nugundam93  a 4bt cummins engine wouldnt be outrageously heavy and can easily make tons of power also the black smoke on top of white would look awesome


Because they get points for how close they can run to the car in front, how well they can shadow him. And if they're te lead car they get points if they can leave the other guy behind.


Does anyone know the reason why the s2k has 2 filters on it's turbo? Is it better than 1 filter? I've seen some s2k's running that kind of setup. They also have the same placement (On top of the IC).


Not an expert engine guy, but i was surprised whith such a variety of engines turbos and nitros a natural aspired engine wins Atlanta


wheatgod kphillips9936apieceobaconI'm sorry, I'm a black guy raised in the projects, south Louisiana and grew up around V8's all my life. Nothing redneck here lol.


CarlLawhon I'm overly impressed with that car and power. Never messed with rotaries but willing to give it a go one day.


wheatgod kphillips9936apieceobaconFor the record, I love Nascar(as well as any other form of auto racing) and have over 26 hours seat time so far. I love power and the sound it produces, to say the "rednecks" love V8's is just stupid. American muscle does have it's drawbacks, I'll admit. 
But please don't go pooling V8's with rednecks.


wheatgod kphillips9936apieceobaconWow, ok then. I just love what i love and if there are more rednecks at said events so what, we're there for the same reason. As I stated I love all forms of motorsports, but V8 power will always sing to me. 
Your problem, not mine lol. Kids today, smh.


wheatgod kphillips9936apieceobaconLong live the black #3 and you thin tossing the Confederate flag up there is supposed to make a point?!?! Your sad.


wheatgod kphillips9936apieceobaconOh i know what it is, I just don't let it get to me lol. So many things I can worry about as opposed to who waves whatever piece of cloth at an event. Grow up and stop living in the past. 
I can go into the reasons why but this is a auto sport post not CNN. Good night child.


if only there was a write up on Kado's carburated Dodge motor. talk about breaking the mold there!


Just have to said that the new Vibrant S2000 looks and sound amazing (Video),wish they do bether in the next one.


apex_DNA Max_Ryde  Parallel drag racing? As in normal drag racing?


wheatgod kphillips9936apieceobaconLOL, you're funny and V8's will always rule.


I wonder how this sport would work out if they had a restrictor based on aspiration and minimum weight, then maybe we'd see a revival of engine characters that aren't just hidden under a turbo that's as big as they can buy.
Horsepower is great and all, but in a sport which is basically a performing art, it'd be good to see more even competition, with the driver with the most technical driving talent being the one to get the trophy :)


This is why I hate Amercanised drift(assuming this is all American which I'm sure it it, but can't be bothered reading). Too much sponsor based crap with humungous, unrealistic build budgets and way over the top HP for a sport that doesn't REALLY require it.


wheatgod You always manage to one up your previous ignorance levels with each post.  Congratulations on such a lofty goal achieved


I think what he meant to say was how professional drifting in US has become like drag event with two cars side by side trying to clock the fastest 1/4-mile pass only this time there are a few turns put in to make it interesting. I could be wrong.


So by your logic and correct me if I'm wrong but you're saying that the Chevy volt, ford fiesta, and dodge dart are redneck. I also have a question. Why did you bring american cars in this at all, I thought that the article and your original comment was about an engine, but you had to try to "one up" everyone and now you just come off as an idiot who doesnt have a clue what he's talking about.


wheatgod What kind of engine is in your car? Oh, that's right, you don't even own one.


ahh - so cool!  sure formula d may have watered down the "japanese" way of drifting...  but really, it would've been lame if they had stuck with it.  for me, probably the most exciting part of american drifting is seeing the diversity of the builds that the teams come up with (and their amazing execution) and watching them duke it out for style points.  

I've mentioned this elsewhere a few times, but I really do strongly believe that it's the big/wide potato shaped tracks that we have here in the states that influenced the approach that the teams have in making their drift cars.  In Japan, most of the courses that the old D1/Ikaten events that most nostalgic drift otakus adore took place on tight/low speed sections (some even on re-purposed motorcycle/go kart tracks!).  Having a bajillion hp isn't the business when you're only banging through 2nd/3rd gear corners...  Whereas here in the states, it's a different situation.  The courses FD sets up allow a lot more breathing room for the big hp cars.


kphillips9936 wheatgod apieceobacon  "Oh i know what it is, I just don't let it get to me lol. So many things I can worry about as opposed to who waves whatever piece of cloth at an event. Grow up and stop living in the past. "


wheatgod Weird...complain about V8's but doesn't understand the rules/concept, GTFO!


kphillips9936 wheatgod apieceobacon  So by that logic I am also a redneck as I am a Bangladeshi guy from PA who drives a Yukon. Interesting.......


wheatgod kphillips9936 apieceobacon  

Who cares if its the redneck car of choice? A good car still a good car even if people that like em are a "weird bunch". It's the same as saying, german cars are for nazis and skinheads. And don't forget that Corvette racing is one of the most successful racing teams ever to run on ALMS, Do you think that that team is run by a bunch of rednecks with a crappy V8? If Ls engines are good for 24h of Lemans its good enough for drift.


wheatgod kphillips9936Says the one who doesn't understand the sport of the article he's bitching about. Lol.


You can have all the hp in the world but if you can't drift then it's meaningless, seen people like 'Stewy Bryant' and 'Naoki Nakamura' that drift better and without the need of ridiculous hp.


Spaghetti Not necessarily true. Forrest Wang's car is built mostly with hard work and his own fabrication experience. If you look at what it takes to build a 2J like his it doesn't cost a whole lot compared to what some of these guys have spent on crate motors. He actually for the most part "sponsors" himself. 
This is why I like formula drift. there are big budget teams, and then there are privateers like Danny George, Taka Ono, and Forrest Wang who are self funded and give the big budget teams more than a run for their money.  you should re-think your outlook on the sport. and if you still don't like it, then there are always the grassroots events with cars that aren't worth the scrap metal they are made out of ;)


@The Saint No kidding, this is a real PITA. lol


wheatgod apieceobaconSays the guy sitting on the hood of a Firebird....


@The Saint  This is why I'm a United Sportscar Championship fan... they wouldn't think of running on Mothers Day! Fathers day though, that is a requirement.


MikeYee  You bring up some good points. This is exactly why I like FD.


nickmmele Spaghetti  Forest Wang built his car himself and qualified first this past weekend. He has even earned a spot on the podium last year at Irwindale with his privateer car, which is just crazy.


Floz  They still restrict the tire size based on weight. That way you can only have so much traction no matter how much power you are making.


PauloValentim  It sucks, they broke during practice.


CaseyCulberson  The car was not available for me to shoot while I was doing this story. I would have loved to do something on that car.


PauloValentim  It seems to change from event to event. The podium was an NA V8, turbo 4 and V8 w/ nitrous.


@shole kphillips9936 nugundam93  There is a Merc wagon that drifts at Gatebil every year.


Personally id have an engine alot like what dave briggs has similar power maybe a tad less and i put it into an Ae86 Trueno notchback.


wheatgod bmxatv10 apieceobacon  How is it redneck though? All you have been saying is that american cars are redneck and that chevrolet engines make you barf, but you have not provided any factual evidence or made any attempt to persuade us otherwise. Now without you being stereotypical and varying from topic. What do you Have against chevy engines


Larry Chen kphillips9936 nugundam93  It's the BlackSmokeRacing Mercedes!


Larry Chen kphillips9936 nugundam93  That orange wagon Merc got a quite unique gearbox setup!


I wish there were more Ford motors used in Formula D. Besides the V8 there's the V6 twin turbo from the Taurus and from other parts of the world there's the 5cyl turbo from the Focus RS and the 4cyl turbo from the Focus ST, the cosworth turbo from the Sierra and the 4.0 inline 6 turbo from Australia. All capable motors and, besides the V8, none used for drifting except for a few Sierras and a RWD focus.


TatsuoShidayo I'm sure Nakamura and Bryant wouldn't keep up with the speed and angle the Formula D guys are running. It's a whole different culture you're comparing with. One is professional drift competition, the other is a lifestyle, based purely on fun and good times. It's like comparing sushi with rice.
But I have to agree, the power output isn't that important, as how well you could put that power down to the asphalt.


That and he's competed in drifting for years. I recognized him on a drift tengoku dvd years ago. Wanna say 10-13. Still camera shy all these years haha.


wheatgod apieceobacon bmxatv10  Now you are just talking out of your ass. Grow up, get a brain. And that's coming from a guy who is presumably much younger than you.


wheatgod bmxatv10apieceobaconHey man, your the one who chose that picture to represent your name...not my fault. It's your bedtime now, get off of mommy and daddy's computer and hit the sack. You pollute up the comments on every article.


Good article Larry Chen. Also, I do agree with MikeYee about the tracks being different in Japan and in the US.
However, what I do not agree on is having engines with big HP. I mean yes, you need to be able to control the car but don't you think having big HP in a small light weight chassis make the car much easier to drift? I mean wasn't drifting about the skills of a driver and how the driver can control the car and not about how much HP you can bring to the table. That's just my opinion.


demzo_BRG  The thing is in Formula D that the tires are actually made for grip rather than sliding around. So that's when the big HP comes to play. Plus driver's skills and car control is a main factor. Believe it or not but these cars are actually  REALLY REALLY difficult to drive!


Time to fap


chrisforsberg64 true dat!! #freedom&ingenuity


Awesome article. Should have shown Danny George's Miata NB. Crazy Power plant!


AlexandreBoyer Larry Chenkphillips9936nugundam93Oooo, gonna look that up. Thank you.


wheatgod kphillips9936Nope. I just rev my LS3 just to piss you off LOL!


bmxatv10 wheatgodapieceobaconHe sounds like a hippie that rather drive his Prius/Yaris/Leaf. 
Or some trolling child on their parents PC.


kphillips9936 bmxatv10 wheatgod apieceobacon  His parents should take away his computer privileges.
And the Leaf is a surprisingly a good car in my opinion. Though I only sat inside one in a showroom. :P Comfy lil car that.


kphillips9936 bmxatv10wheatgodapieceobaconBahahahahaha!


wheatgod Congratulations, you know the origins of stock car racing but also you seem to have forgotten that Formula Drift does not have a redneck population which is surprising since that is what the article is about. You can also add indy car, Indy lights, SCCA, Continental tire sports car challenge, rolex sports car series, Lonestar drift, Streetwise Drift, Vegas Drift, Evergreen Drift, Midwest Drift Union, etc.


AWA302 demzo_BRG  Also Formula drift isn't the only drift championship with 1000hp cars! im pretty sure that d1gp has a couple of 1000hp machines, Its not just the americans! And personally i like the whole big horsepower thing.. i could imagine it being difficult to tame these beasts!


Noah_Lines AWA302 demzo_BRG  right, and when the big hp machines started hitting the grid at D1 was when the series started getting more fixated on the higher speed stuff and did away with the go-kart track courses.


TroyWilliams1  theres a reason there not using ford motors.


AWA302 demzo_BRG  yep.  matt field explains it here on why a ton of power was necessary for him to be more competitive at the higher level.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glLYvb9vgEo


MikeYee AWA302 demzo_BRG  And also none of the cars can not be driven without experience.



hmmm... im a 33 yr old black dude raised in the hood by a traditionaly black family.. few points... I hate nascar spec series with spec frames still running carbs and live axels.. lame drag racing is equally boring... on the other hand love time attack/rally/old D1/passing intrest in Formula D... do i like everyone running a LS motor no do i acknowldge the benefits of doing so yes..Formula D fails in one area aloe for me and thats because unless you are running 700+ hp you dont have a chance....put every one on the same playing level and see what happens... i have seen FD described is competitive power sliding...im inclined to agree.... IMO fuck the tire rules reign classes in on weight period lightweights max 300-350 middle 350-500 heavy 500-700 hp problem solved of course the more weight the more power you have to play with... also divisions from amature to pro... following the same rules..
just my 2 cents... yo
u may hate now


The cossie turbo has been extensivly used in the norwegian scene, and it seems that at those power levels, it just would not  keep together.
The 5 cyl from the RS is actually a Volvo engine, and quite capable, but the high hp of this enviroment would kill that too.
One thing is making the power, but to stay in one piece, is another entirely, and drifting is insanly hard on the engines.


Why 800hp is only drift car even Takumi only need 240HP to be a king of drift..


Why 800hp is only drift car even Takumi only need 240hp to be a Drift King