When you’re away from home competing in a motorsport like drifting, shit can (and does) go wrong on a regular basis. As prepared as you might think you are, there are also those times when you’re up shit creek without a paddle, especially when that competition is in a foreign country. It’s times like these that the camaraderie within drifting shines bright. I stopped by the home base of Team Jenkins Motorsport (TJM) the night before the Demon Energy D1NZ Drifting Championship final at Pukekohe Park Raceway (held on April 23–24) to find a pair of Australian drifters who were contesting the HiTec Oils Trans-Tasman Drifting Championship, and slaving away on their machines.
For Scott Schembri (white 180SX) and Matty Hill (Black S15) their trip to New Zealand had so far been disastrous, after both cars suffered huge mechanical failures at Christchurch — Scott blowing another PPG gear set and Matty grenading his 2JZ-GTE. But rather than throw in the towel, they got to work, as no one wanted to miss the opportunity to run the infamous sweeper at Pukekohe.
Sick of blowing gearboxes, Scott ordered a brand-new G-Force four-speed box from Australia. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, deciding to do a dogbox conversion in two days in a foreign country is a little crazy, but hey, when you have come this far … Fellow Aussie drifter Rob Arbolino (who took the win at Christchurch) is no stranger to the tools. Working on some of Australia’s fastest street cars by day, he was ripping in into the dogbox conversion, which required a rather large hole to be cut in the gearbox tunnel.
Rob was also put to work welding up a new diff for Troy Jenkins’ S15. No breaks around here, aye Rob.
Matty Hill, on the other hand, could afford to relax a little, as the night before Ben Jenkins had pieced together a brand-new 2JZ for Matt’s S15. The last engine had grenaded at Christchurch two weeks earlier.
His S15 has been a five-month ground-up build for Matty, who worked nearly around the clock during the last two months to get the S15 completed before the Trans-Tasman kicked off in Aussie.
The build was not one of half measures either. The S15 runs a full catalogue of Drift Works suspension components, a Grim Performance FD legal roll cage, and a full order of FRP body panels. Like most drift-spec Nissans that we see, the brakes are borrowed from a R32 GT-R, and the rear diff is also a GT-R item, this time from a R33 and with a NISMO two-way LSD centre.
The wheels are Cosmis Racing 18x10s wrapped in Goodride Sport rubber.
Matty’s workstation hosts a Velo seat, ASD handbrake, Haltech Racepak dash, Haltech PS2000 ECU, and Custom Cluster Development switch panel, and billet dash mount. The gearbox is a Jerico V4 dogbox backed by a Direct Clutch Services twin plate.
Before coming to New Zealand, Matty was running 490kW on a stock-block 2JZ on E85. Well, after that engine melted itself at Christchurch, Matty was lucky enough to wrangle a brand-new 2JZ bottom end from Daynom Templeman. The head is as per the last engine with Super Tech Valves, Kelford valve springs, and, interestingly, factory cams. The coil packs are Toyota Yaris and the intake is a GReddy item with billet throttle body. Cooling is all taken care of by Koyo products.
Sitting on a 6boost manifold is a Garrett 3582. The morning after we shot the car, it was loaded onto the E & H Motors dyno and pulled 425kW on a safe tune. But with Bosch 2400cc injectors and a decent-sized fuel system in the waiting, we’re sure it’s not long until the wick is turned back up, closer to the 500kW mark.
By the time I left the workshop the boys still had a long way to go, but they did make it to Pukekohe, and got to experience the world’s fastest drifting corner first-hand. You always hear drifters talking about the camaraderie that exists in their sport, and this is a first-hand account of that. The Jenkins opened their home to a bunch of Aussies, and let them loose in their workshop. There are not too many other sports where you would see this level of inter-team cooperation, but it’s gestures like this that connect the top level of the sport directly back to its grass roots.