The Storm Chaser
Going sideways. Screeching tires. Making plumes of smoke. One word comes to mind. Drifting. For those unsure of what it’s about, drifting is when the driver intentionally oversteers thus causing the car to lose traction in the rear wheels the through corners, while maintaining vehicle control and exiting at high speeds. The drifting scene has been around for decades now with its origins tracing from Japan where it is done with high performance cars, sliding around the mountain roads of Japan. It is unsure as to who pioneered this unique technique of driving but petrolheads out there would know that it was put on the map by one Keiichi Tsuchiya otherwise known as “Dorikin” (Drift King) who also began practising his drifting skills on the mountain roads.
With the drifting scene gaining huge popularity and following all over the world, competitions such as the ever popular D1 Grand Prix has had drifters from all over the whole come together to parade their skills. This sport is so popular, it even has its own movies such as the “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” showcasing an array of heavily modified cars drifting around the streets of Japan. Such movies have made such an impact on the local youngsters it has encouraged them to break the bank to acquire or rather turn their standard models into drift-ready machines.
Drifting has also caught the Malaysian motorsport scene by storm with local boy racers picking up the particular sport and participating in competitions. The local drifting scene has also produced a line of capable drifters and some household names such as Tengku Djan who recently won the Malaysian Formula Drift and Leona Chin, one of only a few female drifters so drifting here shouldn’t be confused as a male-dominated sport. There are various rear-wheel drive models that one can opt to power up for drifting purposes mainly the Nissan Silvia models, Toyota AE86, Mazda RX-7, Nissan 350Z and also the Toyota Chaser to name a few.
The Toyota Chaser JZX100 model featured below was built in Japan and is driven by most high performance junkies. This particular model however was built according to the Japanese drifting specifications by ST Garage which is no stranger to the Japanese motoring scene. ST Garage is also famous for building some of the most fearsome fire-breathing machines to grace the D1 Grand Prix and Super GT scene. The lucky driver of this Chaser is Hong Kong drifter, Ian Yeung, a man who has over 12 years of drifting experience under his Nomex belt.
At first instance, one will notice all those stickers and vinyls of sponsors of that big blue and yellow machine. Its mean looking bodykit from Axcent just sends chills down your spine but they’re there for a purpose. Aerodynamics. Air channeled to the rear GT wing from ST Garage helps provide the car with more downforce at high speeds. The original rear doors are also replaced with custom made fiber ones to reduce weight at the rear to make it more tail happy. Also another addition on the exterior is a set of LED Version 3 tail lamps from ST Garage.
Completing the look of a race car is a gorgeous set of rims from Wedsport wrapped in the best tyres Goodyear can offer. Hiding not so discreetly behind those rims are an enormous set of brake calipers from a Ferrari F430 at the front and stock Supra calipers at the rear. At plain sight this Chaser is simply stunning, I suppose then with such a high performance braking system, bringing this car to halt is just as fun as driving it sideways.
To the more juicy bits of this article, the performance of this Chaser is jaw-dropping. First of, a huge spike in horsepower is achieved by a HKS 3040 turbo kit which replaces the original turbo unit as with a much bigger turbine, a huge increase in horsepower is easily achievable. A Blitz SBC ID3 boost controller unit is fitted to control boost levels and also prevent an overboost. A HPI air filter unit is fitted to feed clean air into the newly replaced turbine before reaching the combustion chambers. Engine power need not be off the charts, in fact if a car has too much power, it can be very hard to handle during the initiation of a drift. Each driver has their own preference, and drift cars can be found with figures of a 100hp to 1000hp.
This mighty Chaser produces a monumental 530hp at 1.4 bar of boost. Not only are the engines pushed very hard during drifting, creating lots of heat, but also being driven at a sideways angle that reduces the airflow through the radiator. For turbocharged engines, intercooler efficiency is similarly reduced. Therefore this mean machine is fitted with some of the best cooling systems money can buy. The original intercooler is replaced with a much bigger front mount unit from ARC to feel cold air into the engine so to speak. Also part of the cooling system is an oil cooler unit from HPI.
At such high boost, consistent fuel flow is essential therefore a SARD 550×6 fuel injector unit and a fuel pressure regulator also from SARD are put in place to consistently feed this fire-breathing engine with HKS Drag Fuel. To cope with engine stress at peak boost, a 256 degree camshaft with 8.7mm lift from HKS is fitted to do just that. Exhaust gases are emitted with an exhaust system from HKS followed by a muffler from G-Corporation Racing. Mention HKS F-Con V-Pro and immediately one will know that it is no stranger to the world of tuning high performance cars. This Chaser is not one to be left out. This ECU works as the brain of the car which helps control the operation of a car such as air/fuel mixture and such just like how the brain controls the body.
530hp is by no means an ordinary figure. Some of us can only dream of having so much power in our daily workhorses. To transfer so much power from the engine to the rear wheels, the original transmission will not cut it therefore a TRD 3.7 final drive unit is fitted and is now working alongside a twin plate clutch and a flywheel from HKS to provide a smoother power delivery.
Handling is essential when one is swerving around at such high speeds so a set of coilovers from KEI Office D1 Spec to give the driver more control of the car. The other lovely bits fitted to improve the stability and reduce the body roll of this car is a CUSCO strut bar, tie end rods, toe arms, lower arms and tension rods from Kazama. In the event of a crash, the safety of the driver is the utmost concern for all therefore an Okuyama 14-point roll cage is fitted into the car to reduce casualties. It’s probably also worth noting that this Chaser was built to the D1-SL specifications, meaning that this car is technically still street legal and even has its air conditioning system still intact!
When drifting at such unforgiving speeds, its is essential that the driver and in certain situations its passenger is kept in position. The interior of this car is stripped out but it can still leave a petrol head drooling with the accessories fitted in it such as the full and semi-bucket seats from Bride strapped with Teamtech’s 4-point 3”harness, a Nardi Steering, a TRD gearknob, a push start button plugged out from a S2000, a HKS EVC unit and as a safety measure a Firemaster fire extinguisher all for the sole purpose of drifting.
Drifting is by no means an easy feat, it requires a certain level of skill, know-how on cars and plain guts on the part of the driver. It is not to say that not any tom, dick and harry can drift, in fact any tom dick and harry can drift. It should be noted that one should be prepared to burn a huge whole in their wallets while their burning rubber on the tarmac. Most beginners may start off with a measly budget, preferring to opt for the infamous KE70, some may be fortunate enough to begin with top of the line parts with some having corporate sponsors showering them with “gifts” turning them into a thing beauty and of such brute force like this Chaser that so often stands out from the rest even at a standstill but one thing’s for sure, drift is drift. One will not be short of any thrills from going sideways. “Drift with cones, not through life…or prepared to be burnt like rubber on tarmac”.
Car: Toyota Chaser JZX 100
Engine Modifications: ARC intercooler, Blitz SBC ID3 boost controller, G-Corporation Racing muffler, HPI air filter, HPI oil cooler, HKS 3040 turbo kit, HKS exhaust system, HKS drag fuel, HKS 256 degree 8.7mm lift camshafts, SARD fuel pressure regulator, SARD 550 x6 injectors
Transmission: HKS twin plate clutch, HKS flywheel & TRD 3.7 final drive
Suspension/Chassis: KEI Office D1 Spec coilovers, CUSCO strut bar, KAZAMA tie rod ends, KAZAMA toe arms, KAZAMA lower arms, KAZAMA tension rods, Okuyama 14-point roll cage & TRD tower bar
Interior: Bride full & semi bucket seat, Firemaster fire extinguisher, HKS EVC, Nardi steering, S2000 push-start button, Teamtech 4pt 3”harness, TRD gear knob
Exterior: Axcent Full bodykit, customized plexi glass, customized fiber rear door, Carbing tow hook, ST Garage rear GT Wing & ST Garage LED Version 3 Tail lamps.
Electronics: HKS F-Con V-Pro
Brakes: Ferrari 430 calipers (front) & Supra stocks (rear)
Wheels & Tyres: Wedsports Rims & Goodyear tyres
Maximum Output: 530ps @ 1.4kg boost
Tuner: ST Garage, Ricardo