After cruising through a quiet industrial estate on a glorious Sunday afternoon. I caught up with the Slide Motorsport team as they were making some final tweaks to the cars, ahead of testing at Teesside before round 2 of the British Drifting Championship.
When I arrived Jason Clark was making a few final adjustments to Adam Simmons R33 Skyline turbo set up. Hopefully these changes will see Adams skyline running sweet as nut on the day.
Since owning the car the only thing Adam hasn’t done, is a full engine rebuild. Dispite issues with the car, when you hear Adam talk, you can really see his passion for the sport. And how he just wants to get out there and drift. And as he put it;
“It’s got a 12 point roll cage and I have flame proof suit, what could possible go wrong”
With round one of the British Drifting Championship seeing Jason Clark go out to a bent track rod in the battle stages of the last 16. This is what he had to say ahead of round two.
Did off season training goes as planned?
Luckily last year we focused on building the cars to be mega reliable, so we had less issues. Which meant in the off season, rather spending our time rebuilding the cars. We could get to as many track days as possible. We went to Teesside the most as it’s an hour and 20 minutes away. Everyone is mega friendly there, plus you can turn up and do just half a day, so you don’t use as many tires. But generally I went to as many as I could get too.
Have you made any changes to the car ahead of round two?
No, all I have done is repair the bent track rod and I’m going to rely on the car after this interview.
Any changes to your tactics?
After the incident in round one where I went in too hot behind someone, I’m going to try give them a little more breathing space on the entries and then push up to them after. Rather than going whole hog straight away.
What do are your thoughts on the new rules in BDC?
There has been a few main differences, one of them is it is now OK to make contact. Before it wasn’t, now if you are behind and you nudge someone and it doesn’t effect their line, that’s fine. Where as before you would get penalised for that.
So what they are trying to do is encourage people to chase hard. And we do, because we aren’t worried about touching them and loosing points. Which has made it more straight forward when your chasing.
They also have looked at how they can make the championship shorter for tv. Which has made everything run like a well oiled machine, so everything is to certain times and there is no messing about. You have to be organised, in the right spot, at the right time, ready to go and it’s made the day easier. Rather than finishing at half six, seven o’clock and then you’ve got 4 gazebos, all the cars to pack up and all your stuff, then getting home at 2 in the morning next day. Now, you are finished for half 5 and can be on your way home by half 6.
Not only that it’s made it a lot easier for the viewers to follow which is always good.
Brief overview of the cars set up;
93 RX7 import
full 12 point roll cage
Yellow Speed coilovers
Yellow Speed harness
LS1 engine (bored out to 5.8L)
Why drift the RX7?
RX7s are hard cars to drift, they are a bit shorter wheel base than say s14s and are quite snappy. I originally bought it 11 years because I loved the shape of it. Using that in competition stands out because no one else is using them. A few people have tried building RX7s and quickly given up because they are not straight forward. Getting them to drift in the same way a s14 does is quite trial and error and it’s took me a long time. Now I’m at a point I’m happy with it, I’m going to stick with it.
What’s your favourite track?
My favourite track to drive, is Mallory Park. Unfortunately they don’t allow drifting there any more, due to a noise issue. Because drifting is quite noisy, they had to ban it to keep the permission to use the track. So it is only used for conventional racing now, which is unfortunate.
Best modification to the RX7?
So far the most noticeable change, was going from a turbo engine to a V8 because it change the entire feel of the car, which was brilliant. Fitting the V8 wasn’t too bad, the engines in the RX7 are quiet small so you would think it was going to be hard. But there is plenty of people that have done it already. So there is a lot of information, making it pretty straight forward, I think it took me two evenings to fit.
What would your dream drift car be?
It would probably be the same car I’ve got, the only difference would be putting in an LSX 7.4l engine in, that pushes out 550 bhp as standard. So you have a lot of power from something that is designed to give you that power. What you’ll find is a lot of people get a 250 bhp engine and make it 500 bhp but it’s like driving a time bomb. So rather than build all singing, all dancing, mega power set ups, that need engine rebuilds every two years. We are more focused on building cars that will run the power set up indefinitely. So it really reduces that risk of when your on the limiter down the straight and your car blows up.
Describe Slide Motorsport in 3 words
Dedicated, Professional and Friendly
The good thing about Slide as drift team is that we are all friends and have been for a long time. When Matt opened the garage probably 5/6 years ago, we were already drifting then. So we thought we’d promote the garage and put stickers on the cars, so if you look back on the drivers history you’ll see us in cheap BMW’s with cheap stickers. But as the garage has grown we’ve taken a more professional approach to drifting. And ultimately we are all still friends.
Any advice for those looking to get in to drifting?
The best thing to do is to try and buy a car that’s already done to a reasonable spec. And what I mean by that isn’t go and buy a BDC car. Because a lot of people I’ve seen do this spend £10/15k on a BDC car they can’t drive. Believe it or not the BDC cars are harder to drive then the box standard drift cars. Because they have some much grip dialled in to them, that it’s a struggle to over come it to drift. You have to be flat out all the time to keep the drift going. They are set up like that so you can keep up with other people when your drifting, the grip lets you drift faster.
Now the BMW 325 and 320s are perfect for drifting to begin with, because you want to learn how to control the car. And how your over steer is affected by the throttle, because you steer with the throttle rather than the steering wheel. The wheel is there to make corrections or to change the direction. So you want to be aiming for a 325 with a bucket seat, some lock mods and a hydro.
Then go to Santa Pod, because it has a series of different courses. The donut pen when you can get used to the tail being out. Then you can move on to the figure of eight track so you get used to changing from one lock to the other. And then you can go on to the kidney bean track, it’s got a long corner where you can practice transitions. And finally you can move on to the big track, which is quite is a fast one. You can get up to third gear. And the best bit is, it is all cones. No matter how good you are, when we were learning, we all crashed.
If you are wanting to dip your toes and see if you like drifting, experience days are worth while if your trying to decide if you like it or not but you won’t learn much. If your trying to learn how to drift, they aren’t a cost effective.
It was an absolute pleasure meeting the Slide Motorsport drivers and catching up with Jason Clark. I wish him and the rest of the team best of luck at Teesside.
If you can’t make it over don’t forget you can watch the live stream on the British Drifting Championships Facebook page.
Slide Motor Sport;
British Drifting Championships