Time Always Wins: Building The Worthouse S15s
Everything

There’s seemingly an infinite amount of inspiring quotes online about time. The simple fact is that you can’t slow it down and it can never be beaten or overcome.

The last time I checked in with James Deane and his family at Deane MSport, there was a certain amount of frustration in the air as they awaited vital part deliveries. This second – or maybe third, I can’t quite remember – visit was very different in tone.

2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-4

Just to catch you up, I’ll give you the short version of what is already a significantly long story. For 2017, multiple Irish and European champion James Deane will contest his first full season in Formula Drift alongside his teammate, Piotr Więcek, himself a multiple time Polish champion, in two almost identical 2JZ powered Nissan Silvia S15s. They are both part of a new team to Formula D: Worthouse.

When you’re building a team for a championship that’s based practically on the other side of the world, logistics are arguably the biggest issue facing both drivers and their respective crews. There is so much added difficulty compared to a team that’s already based in the United States. Then there’s the fact that both Worthouse S15s are being built thousands of miles apart, James’ in Ireland and Piotr’s in Poland.

2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-5

Where previously James would meet me at my car when parking in front of his house, this time there was no sign of him. But I didn’t exactly need directions and the lack of welcoming party could only be considered a positive in my eyes. It was a sign that things were progressing. And fast.

2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-17

Immense progress had been made. It had only been around two weeks since I had last visited Castletownroche, James’ and his family’s home, and maybe a month in total since my first visit to document the build of this S15. When I last left, it was just a painted shell, still on a spit. Now, it was on all four wheels with a flurry of activity surrounding it.

2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-25
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-12

At this point, the crew were deep into their third full day installing and wiring the fuel system for the car. 8:00am starts with 10:00pm finishes, seven days a week, had become the norm at this stage. Despite the urgency of the situation, there was still a very considered approach being taken, and it was a joy to watch. In spite of the long days, there was a good atmosphere too. Sh*t was getting done.

2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-27
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-30

Before breaking for a short lunch, the guys moved the car outside for the first time. A quick look of appreciation was had, before it was immediately rolled back inside and onto a lift so James could better talk me through the progress they had made while the rest broke away for a brief respite.

2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-41

Maybe the most interesting thing about the car at this stage, is just how short it is without the bodywork and replaceable crash bars. It wasn’t at the desired ride height for these photos, that would come much later. It’s a sight that we typically don’t ever see of a fully blown competition drift car, unless involved in a build.

2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-38

On the subject of angles we don’t typically see, the underneath was looking in great shape at this point. Wisefab was installed, the Feal suspension in place and the Wilwood brakes were ready to be plumbed in. James borrowed some wheels form his S14 stash to get it rolling, but the car will wear the same 7Twenty wheels, just in a different colour.

2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-8

It’s also an illustration of how much the Wisefab setup relocates the strut top.

2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-31

There was a palpable sense of relief in the air around James. Although there was still lots to do, at least it was in the process of being done. In fact, at this stage, the car was spending its last 24 hours at Deane Msport before it would be loaded onto a trailer and drove across Europe, before being finished at G Garage in Poland, right alongside its sister car. With his brothers, family and people who might as well be family at this point returning back to the car once again, James took the chance for a breather of his own.

2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-46
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-47

Unbeknownst to James, his family were having a little reminisce at the kitchen table with old photo albums making a rare appearance. I’m probably not alone in thinking maybe James regretted asking me in for a cup of tea at this point, but I wasn’t going to let the opportunity slide to grab some ammunition on him.

Talking with his family about his younger years, it became even more apparent about what this whole escapade must mean to him. For us, on the outside, he’s just going to be another driver on a grid this season. For him, it’s the culmination of everything he’s worked for and dreamed of since he was a kid. It is everything.

James-Deane-Worthouse-S15-Build-Speedhunters-GoPro-7

Just the next day, the S15 was loaded onto a trailer behind the Deane’s Mercedes Sprinter, the same van that’s hauled James’ S14 around Europe and to various championships. It’s also a van with some unique, um… curiosities, curiosities that can only be accrued by driving countless journeys across a continent, each one with its own story.

With his brother, Mike and his mechanic, Trevor, the three set off on a two day non-stop drive from the quiet, isolated roads of Cork to eastern Poland, which must have felt a world away. They wouldn’t return home until the car was finished, running, tested, dressed and loaded onto a cargo plane destined for the United States, literally just a couple of days ago.

I haven’t seen James or the car since that day. The next time that we will see both together, along with Piotr, will be on the streets of Long Beach in just under three weeks time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t follow the finale of the build, but we plan on shooting the finished cars in Los Angeles before the season kicks off. It will be worth waiting for.

You can catch footage of their test on the Worthouse Drift Team Facebook page, or on James’ and Piotr’s respective social media pages, along with behind the scenes photos and a sneak peek of the finished cars, waiting to be shipped. Until then, I’ve got some flights of my own to book, because this story hasn’t really even begun yet.

It’s only getting started.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
Facebook: Paddy McGrath
paddy@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-50
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-6
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-7
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-48
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-37
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-36
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-33
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-32
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-22
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-21
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-20
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-19
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-18
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-16
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-15
2017 James Deane Worthouse S15 Build Speedhunters Part Two by Paddy McGrath-14
ADVERTISEMENT

Comments

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

24 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

It's a shame all that time, money and passion is spent on just a drift missile. oh well

2

"Drift Missile"???? You clearly have no understanding of drifting on the professional level.

Author3

There aren't enough roll eye emojis in the world for that comment.

4

Drifting is like doing burnouts right?

Author5

Pretty much, you can hardly tell the difference, really.

6

I think he means that it'll be *just another* drift car, nothing legendary like, say, Haruguchi's FC3S

7
Christian Clark

That car looked good sitting still lmao!!!! Everytime he did a run he left a trail of aero. Uuuuh...that makes it "memorable" not legendary.

Legendary would be Mine's R34, Nob's Red S15, Kumakubo's Impreza, Doriken's 86, Suenaga's FD, Nomuken's R34. Haraguchi was comical.

Author8

Ueo's AE86, Kei Office S15... Lots of legendary cars from that era.

Author9

To be honest, I'd be concerned if they were aiming to appease fans with the style of the car rather than building a car capable of winning. In saying that, they're going to be two good looking cars when they're finished.

10

Awesome write up as always Paddy! Can't wait to see how James and Piotr do this year! Looking forward to the coverage

Author11

I just can't wait to see the cars in action in Long Beach.

12

"Time is the ultimate champion, it's undefeated." -Rocky Balboa

Author13

"Dude, you can't quote yourself in the third person" - Paddy McGrath

14

Good article, cool car, and I especially like the nod to how huge this is in the life of the driver. I even liked the quick love given to the faithful tow vehicle. You could still use an editor though.

Author15

Unfortunately, no matter how much I try, I can't sub edit my own stories. You just become blind to even the most obvious mistakes.

16

I really like these "behind the scenes" shots. Really shows all the time and effort that went into making these cars. :D

Author17

Glad you're enjoying them, there's a lot more to come.

18

Uh.. Paddy?

decom_6ebb27918908163e4722de5343932ac4_58c8b51c63a92.pngdecom_6ebb27918908163e4722de5343932ac4_58c8b51c63a92.png
Author19

Son of a...

20
Christian Clark

Can't wait to see these guys fully armed and ready to go! Drove up and got my tickets this weekend (pssst - the good seats are now gone, get tix fast). I love looking at the track getting set up, drifting season is almost here!

Paddy, D1RGE.EXE here...hope to find you and finally be able to say hi :) You ARE coming still, right?

Author21

I have my visa sorted, just booking flights this week. I'll see you in Long Beach!

22

Can't wait to see how James gels with the S15. Saying that, I'm pretty sure you could chuck him in anything and he'd make it do seemingly impossible things.

Author23

Same, it's going to be a fascinating season. We know how good both James and Piotr are, but we've never seen either at 100% against the FD grid.

24

The big interest for me is the difference in driving styles. The circuits that James and Piotr are used to are very different to the layouts that FD uses, and the judges will be looking for their style of driving to fit in with the American way. A lot of FD tracks are slow-in and accelerating throughout, whereas in Europe we see a lot of fast-in and scrubbing speed. I remember Forsberg being surprised at how fast the initiation into Silverstone's Luffield complex was the first time he drove it.

OFFICIAL SPEEDHUNTERS SUPPLIERS