In my previous post on an AE86 Trueno that I discovered down a side street in Yokohama last week, I said that it was a breath of fresh air finding something that didn’t have over-the-top exterior mods and a gazillion horsepower under the hood.
As refreshing as it was, I’m all for the opposite too, hence why after finishing up grabbing a few shots of the Hachiroku, I ran back around the corner to where Dino was shooting. and pointed my camera at Nichiei Racing’s wide and powerful D1-spec Silvia.
After recent battles at Tsukuba Circuit during the third round of the 2017 D1 Grand Prix Series, the Nissan S15 had undergone extensive surgery in preparation for round four. The Nichiei Racing team had finished putting the car back together the day before we arrived, so it was the perfect opportunity to take a few photos for a quick spotlight feature.
The Rocket Bunny wide-body kit might disrupt the original lines of the Silvia, but in this car the over-fenders serve real purpose, allowing wide wheels and tires to be fitted.
Besides being aesthetically pleasing, the ducktail spoiler adds a bit of extra down force which helps the car move forward while it turns rubber to smoke.
Speaking of tires, they’re wrapped around 18-inch RAYS Gram Lights 57FXX wheels, which provide a strong and light solution required for the team, while opening up the room to fit massive Endless calipers and rotors.
The SR20DET is a bit of a rarity in pro drift circles these days, so it’s cool to see Nissan’s four-cylinder retained under the S15’s hood. Of course, some serious work was required in order to generate the sort of power levels needed to be competitive at the top tier of Japanese drifting, hence the SR being fully built and fitted with a large JP Turbo turbocharger. However, the setup may not stay in the car too much longer; there’s talk of a different combo altogether for the 2018 D1GP series.
The interior is exactly as one would expect in a car prepped for D1 – completely gutted and fitted with a custom roll cage. The carbon fiber dash is a cool touch, and in true Japanese fashion there’s a bunch of individual gauges, but also a Racepak IQ3 digital display.
While shooting the S15, I couldn’t help but think about professional drifting and wonder how, now that it’s entered the realm of the FIA, things will change. On that subject, which type of drifting does everyone prefer? The one that’s all about high power and smoke, or the more humble, grass-roots approach?