words Carlos Cano Estrella | photo Debbie Meda
This Lithuanian may appear as extremely laid back; but get him behind the wheel of the FEAL Suspension S14 and it all goes from mild to wild. We ran into Formula DRIFT Pro Driver Odi Bakchis during his very busy week at SEMA and this is what he shared with us.
E-Drift: Alright, stock vehicle, weekend warrior, what would be your first five mods?
Odi Bakchis: Alright, the first thing I’d modify is the suspension. Put some FEAL coilovers on that bad boy. Steering angle. And a little bit more power. And really good tires, like some NITTO NT-05s. Did I miss one?
ED: You got four.
OB: You know lastly, if everything’s working, if the car is handling good after those four things; I’d probably spend some time on the aesthetics. Like actually make that thing look good with a duraflex body kit and some good paint.
ED: What was the first car you ever drifted?
OB: I’d say the first car I’ve ever really drifted, not only did sideways burnouts, but really actually went to the track and drifted was an S13, which I still own. It happens to be my demo car.
ED: So you wouldn’t consider your rally cars your first drift cars?
OB: No, you know, driving sideways in a rally car is very different than modern day drifting on pavement. So I do tend to separate those.
ED: Because of the counter steer, right?
OB: Yeah. If it’s an all wheel drive car you’re not really counter steering much.
OB: And then a lot of people do rally front-wheel drive cars. Technically they’re going sideways but it’s a just like a whole different driving technique.
ED: Like how the car pivots?
OB: Yeah, you try and minimize that angle. It’s very different.
Words Carlos Cano Estrella | Photos Debbie Meda
E-Drift staff caught up with the driver of the Radbul Miata, New Zealand’s own “Mad” Mike Whiddett. The Red Bull team driver for Formula DRIFT had this to say:
EverythingDrift: Stock vehicle, weekend warrior, what would be your first 5 mods?
Mad Mike: Straight away a rotary conversion, it has to have a rotary, that is a compulsory. From there I’d say suspension and wheels because looks are everything. And then of course once you have the rotary you’re going to need a stronger drivetrain so gearbox and a locked diff so I can actually go out and do some drifting.
ED: And your first car, was it an RX-3?
MM: So for my first car I had a 1978 Mazda 323 , it was rear-wheel drive, and we did a rotary conversion on it when I was like 13. Me and my buddies…it all started from there and here we are now with this crazy rotary Miata.
ED: Your car is already really fast, but how do you intend to make it a little more competitive for FD 2016?
MM: This year was a real development year for Project Radbul III and we built it to be as fast as possible, with as much grip, and as much power. So we tested a lot with the suspension, and tire pressures, and alignments, and getting some good data out on the tracks for next season. Not much will change. I think we have a real solid platform. We’re still on the same motor and it’s been reliable since we’re on fairly low boost. Only 19 pounds and we’re making 1,200 horse power at the tires. So power wise I don’t think much is going to change and drivetrain wise we’ve had basically no issues. Cosmetically, I get sick of it very quickly, so cosmetically it’s going to look totally different and I’m looking forward to the new season.
JWood Media absolutely slayed this episode of the WG chronicles for our final event of 2015, Irwindale. As my previous 2 seasons have been, its a fitting finale to the season that was indeed a series of unfortunate events. Watch as I do a few slides, perform national geographic esque photo shots with Larry Chen, ask Aasbo why he wants to die, and drink from Chris Forsbergs giant cup.
The Formula DRIFT 2015 season has been a very exciting one after what seemed like it was going to be a slow start. Ken Gushi ran into some issues during Round 1 at Long Beach, but was able to bounce back with consecutive podium wins including a never-ending One More Time battle at Atlanta. Watch the highlights of Ken Gushi in the 2015 Formula DRIFT season and see how he took 2nd place overall in the cup.