Interview>> Stephen ‘stiggy’ Evans.

Interview month… When Rod announced this would be Septembers theme I did quake a little in my boots. I have not done any formal interviews before so I'm a little unsure where to start. So for the first of my planned interviews I thought I would start with a larger than life presence with in UK drifting that likes to talk … Steve (Stiggy) Evans.

Famed for piloting 'the mighty starlet' Steve is a crowd favorite at every event he competes at. I met up with him at his workshop as he was investigating his engine failure from the JDM Allstars Final, the following is a transcript of the Interview.

I arrive to find Steve manhandling the Starlet into the workshop..

RIA: Hi Steve, you ready for your interview?

SE: (laughs) Your early..I'd offer you a cup of tea but we've got no milk.

RIA: That's ok, I don't drink tea. Do you want a hand?

Steve declines my offer and recalls a conversation with a young lad at Silverstone who thought the Starlet was front wheel drive … Although very funny, it's not really printable on a respectable website.

Bonnet off the Starlet and Steve starts stripping the engine..

RIA: Well we have to start somewhere.. Drifting. How did you get into it?

SE: The final of the UKD1 Championship 2004 was my first competition. I had heard about drifting through a friend, I was into a little bit of illegal street racing and they were like "you gotta come have a look at this drifting stuff"  I didnt have a clue what it was so went along, I thought "s*** man, we do that on the streets. I'll have some of that" and entered the next round.

RIA: You were into Drag racing as well. Is this what the Starlet was originally intended for?

SE: It was indeed, I built the Starlet specifically for drag racing and it won two four cylinder championships and only this year has it been changed from its drag racing suspension set up


SE: (laughs) Yep.

RIA: So you have been competing for what … 6 years on a drag set up?

SE: Yep. In 2007 I drove the skyline for Autoglym, so that was the only year the car had a sabbatical. Autoglym wanted the car back with a vengeance (the starlet) So they helped with getting it back on track with a new 2.4 pinto as it had gone from a 2.2, and that's all we did, we left every thing the same. So up until this year it was all on drag set up.

RIA: How did you get on with driving the Autoglym Skyline compared to the your own Starlet?

SE: It was a very different car, it was nice and drivable. But being if you like a works driver there was not a lot within my control. It was a case of turn up and drive then give feedback and hope for the next round something would be changed. But of course not being the same venue my input didn't always work as well as I would have wanted.

A huge clap of thunder sounds outside and the workshop is battered with heavy rain..

SE: (putting down spanner and looking toward the open door) Hey if I go and stand out in the rain would that make a cool photo?

RIA: Errrr possibly … But I'm not going to ask you to do it.

By the time I've finished faffing around changing a lens Steve is standing out in the pouring rain.

RIA: (laughing) Errrr you don't expect me to come out there?

Steve comes back in and resumes the removal of the exhaust manifold..

RIA: How come you have started off with the starlet in the first place?

SE: I used to be heavily into MK I & II Escorts having 22 of them. But both my brothers used to be into national hotrods and the Starlet was the car to have and I just always wanted one as a road car. I got the chance to have one and ended up with 6, this is the second incarnation and its just evolved into what you see now.

RIA: I can see the Lexus sitting in the corner, are we ever going to see it out in competition?

SE: (with a mischievous grin) Possibly … Possibly. Ray from RMS Jap works, one of my new sponsors, has done what everybody else said they would do and never did. Actually got it running within 10 minutes of turning up. So now it actually runs we are just looking at a new color scheme for next year so yeah I'm sure it will make an appearance somewhere next year.

RIA: I put a post on Facebook and Twitter this morning asking if anyone had any questions they wanted me to ask you.

SE: (laughing)Oh God did you … did you get any sensible ones?

RIA:  A couple… Do ya wanna hear them?

SE: Go on then

RIA: First one is from Dan Chapman.. "How do you stay so youthful and energetic? Your my hero"

SE: (Now killing himself laughing) EP80!

RIALaura Hinks asks " what color hair dye do you use"

SE: (long pause) Jerome Russell, peroxide blond

RIA: Oooh a sensible one.. Bryn Musselwhite… "Do you miss drag racing and how come you have stuck with pinto power all these years?"

SE: I do miss the drag racing but I don't miss the queuing.. an hour for an 11 second run. And the pinto power.. (now with a huge grin) Just to prove a point really.

By now in a blur of spanners the stricken pinto is out of the car and the ancillary's are in the process of being removed..

RIA: Dave Fanning. "Why are you not on facebook?"

SE: OH that would mean using a modern machine called a computer.

RIA: Dan Joyce. "Whats with the camo pants"

SE: Its become a trademark, so watch for some interesting paint jobs next year.

RIA: Matt (mitto)Steele. "How much to flock a R32 dashboard?"

SE: (laughter now fills the workshop from every corner) Oh for my hero Mitto Matto, he can have one for nothing.

RIA: James Harland. "Will we see you at knockhill at the end of the year?"

SE: Probably not .

RIA: Last one.. James McAllister. "Are you the real Stig and did Top Gear copy you?"

SE: I am the real Stig!

RIA: Where did the name come from?

SE: Don't know really its just a name that stuck from a lot of years ago. I was also known as 'Gwyndaff' after Gwyndaff Evans, In my early street years we used to crash as much as each other..hence the Daffy Duck on the back of the car.

SE: (Now digging around in the sump of the wreaked pinto) Oooh found the culprit. (holds up a sheared con-rod bolt)

RIA: Bloody hell that did a lot of damage. what do ya recon caused that to snap?

SE: The rev limiter is set to 8400rpm and for some reason it didn't catch it. I hit tell-tell tale when I got back to the pits and it showed the engine blew at 9200rpm.

RIA: So it was a case of 'she cannee take any more captain?'

SE: Yeah pretty much (now looking a little bemused at the amount of holes in the block)

RIA: Well I think that's whats called a catastrophic engine failure. It doesn't look repairable what are your plans for next year now?

SE: (Long Pause as Steve stares at the many bits of engine lying on the bench) Thats f***** isnt it?

RIA: Yep looks it to me

SE:(Laughs) Yeah proper f*****. Well we have an N/A Cosworth YB ready to go in courtesy of Burton tuning that we will slot in today. We will get that up to the dyno and see how good that is and hopefully Burton being the good chaps they are will donate some parts for this one, so we can have a spare engine for next year so we can make a full assault next season and try to win everything.

RIA: Well I think I'll leave you to it as you have your hands full. Just one more question just for my own curiosity really. who are your favorite drift drivers?

SE: Ooooh well, favorite Japanese driver has to be Nob Tanaguchi. Favorite UK driver Brett Castle just for his pure consistency and favorite Irish Driver Julian Smith.

RIA: Thanks Steve and good luck with the new engine.

Less than a hour after leaving Steve's workshop I received a text message saying that the new engine was fitted and they were loading the car on the trailer to take it to the dyno.




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In my country we call this car "Starlet Kambing" meaning "Starlet Goat"


Stiggy is awesome, his commentary at BDC Round #4 Donington was legendary, even had little stiglet with him!




I Love Stiggy!!! Probably the most genuine, honest and decent people Ive met in the drifting scene

Nice job Ross, you are quite good at the writing too


that wont buff out


great intervieuw! i like the style!


holy cow! its a single ovehead cam motor in there? what is that the 22r?



Rad. He seems to be "the real deal" that's for sure!


cool write up Ross


who ever asked if it was FWD must be a proper douche bag!!


nice one stiggy, good to see your face on the


lol what an awesome guy i get called stiglet/stiggy by my dad. odd never thought id see any one else with the nickname stiggy


@ Weasel

That single overhead cam engine is a Ford - originally from possibly either a Ford Sierra or Cortina