What drives you to solve a problem? For some, the answer is as simple as ‘dad, can I get that?’ from your own children. But what happens when it’s a race track that is trying to increase participation, or perhaps event organizers trying to reach out to new drivers? What is the difference between the two situations?
Passion… and a really rad BMW E30.
Meet Dan and Doug Jakiela, AKA ‘The Brothers of 50 States of Drift’, which was born out of a dream to drift at tracks in all 50 American states. But the problem with drifting in all 50 states is something that the brothers found early on, even in their once local area of Ithaca, New York: Getting in touch with organizers and finding events.
Everything was passed on by word of mouth, and if you weren’t in a certain circle of friends, there would be no way to know about tracks and events in some areas. From the beginning this was the big problem that stood in Dan and Doug’s way, and surely in the way of many other drivers trying to find events and racetracks to drive at.
What is a guy supposed to do?
This is how the 50 States of Drift website was born. The goal? Provide a way for drivers in any area of the United States to get connected with event organizers, race tracks, and other drivers across the country. By providing a way to get more drivers to events, the second problem begins to solve itself, which I will explain in detail very soon.
So what’s this about a really rad BMW E30? Well, I will tell you it’s rad alright. Dan is the builder and driver of the E30, while Doug handles the marketing, social media, and connecting promoters and drivers. Built over a six-year period to the current version you see here, Dan has put together and fabricated everything on this car, and it’s rowdy.
Currently sitting up front is an Nissan RB25DET NEO engine making around 500 horsepower. Yes, you read that correctly, an R34 engine resides in this beast. With suspension parts from SLR, cooling bits from Mishimoto, and an ODP wide-body kit, it’s one heck of a company car.
Let us fast forward to now. I had initially and informally met Dan at Club Loose the first time I had ever shot at a race track, but when I later went out to Detroit to meet up with him for a drift event hosted by Drift Indy, I was excited to see what it would be like.
Remember that second problem that I mentioned earlier? Well, that problem is funding the race tracks that hold these events and making the income sustainable.
At some of the places I am more familiar with, there is always an abundance of drivers filling all of the run groups. But here it was the complete opposite; this event had roughly 12 drivers, total.
It showed how important the 50 States of Drift website is. While at the event, several drivers had mentioned using the website to find events in the local area.
By connecting the smaller tracks with organizers and drivers, the Dan and Doug are able to help keep these sort of facilities alive in a time when many of them are closing due to a lack of driver support and funding.
What does this all show? It shows that the passion two brothers have for grassroots drifting and making sure that everyone has the opportunity to keep these small tracks and events open and going.
So what’s next for the brothers? Well, an E46 M3 is going under the knife during the off-season and being built up into Dan’s competition car for next year. From what I hear, it will be just as crazy as the E30.
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