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Cold snap: Winter Drift Matsuri 2019

17 September 2019



Scoping out the talent at the 2019 Winter Drift Matsuri

The weather may be turning to shit as the winter months roll in heavy this time of year, bringing the perils of rain with them, but for those of you who care to spend your weekend frying tyres, stacking angle, and putting the front end right up your mates’ doors, there’s a shining light in the middle of the cold snap: the annual Winter Drift Matsuri, hosted by the team at Zeroclass Drift, this year over 6–7 July. It’s one hell of a wild weekend that combines the crazy antics of a full-send drift day with the professionalism and organization that we’ve come to expect from the hosts, seeing everyone from D1NZ pros to first-timers hit the track at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park to carve out a piece of the fun. Winter Matsuri, much like its summer incarnation, is a rad balance of controlled chaos and good vibes that few grass-roots events are able to capture anymore. And with not one but two days of this madness, the track time this year was almost endless — if the tyre smoke ever cleared and there weren’t at least five cars making corners their bitch, we never saw it.

Better yet is the mixed bag of driver personalities and machinery that comes out of the woodwork, some going as far to sell all their worldly possessions — including the living-room couch — just to be there! We scoped out the talent on display to bring you a few of our favourites in up-close detail and to find out why they do it. Enjoy.


Jordan Richards | Nissan Silvia (S15)


Engine: Toyota 2JZ-GTE, 2997cc, straight-six; 2JZ-GTE block, forged rods, 2JZ-GE head, Garrett GT3582R, three-inch stainless-steel exhaust, custom intake manifold, 1000cc fuel injectors, AEM coils, Link G4+ Storm
Driveline: HGT five-speed sequential, R200 limited-slip diff (LSD), Wilwood pedal box, twin rear calipers
Exterior: Origin Labo bumpers, Origin Labo guards, Origin Labo side skirts, Luxury Sports bonnet, Rocket Bunny–style wing
Suspension: Wisefab lock kit
Power: 434kW on 18psi, 470kW on 21psi
Fuel type: Gull Force Pro (E85)

Why this chassis?
I liked the look. The S15 is something you’ve always seen with guys like Nico [Reid] and other D1 drivers that use them. They look good and I’ve found that [they’re] a good chassis to drive. They’ve built a reputation as the car of choice for drivers now — just another Silvia [laughs]. With the Wisefab, it does exactly what I want it to do when I want it to do it too. You can be a lot more aggressive, especially with the lock. Pretty cool stacking on heaps of angle and keeping foot planted, plucking gears.

And why this running gear?
Well, I had a 2JZ in my Cefiro, and the plan was to use everything from that and put it into this build. That sort of went out the window, as all that’s left from the Cefiro is the intake and exhaust manifolds, injectors, coils, and turbo housing. Everything else is new.

What are your intentions with the car?
Use it to get a bit more seat time, battle practice, etc. I was hoping to get some this weekend, but we had issues yesterday [day one] when all my boys were around [to battle with]. All goes well and we’ll have a whirl at D1 Pro Sport next season.


Matthew Brown | Nissan Silvia (S15)

Engine: Toyota 1UZ-FE, 3968cc, V8; forged pistons, forged rods, Kelford Cams camshafts, ported heads, twin Holset HX35
Driveline: G-Force four-speed dogbox, GT-R LSD, GT-R axles
Exterior: Rocket Bunny kit
Suspension: Wisefab lock kit, BC Gold coilovers
Power: 590kW
Fuel type: E85
Tuner: Brian at NDT Developments / Chris at Prestige Tuning and Motorsport

Why this chassis?
I’ve had a 180SX for a few years and wanted to try something different. The S15 has always been a shape I liked, and it seems to be quite a snappy chassis — you can throw whatever you want at it sort of thing. Hard to compare it to the 180, as it doesn’t quite have the same power from the engine set-up, but I definitely like this chassis.

And the running gear?
It started off with an RB26, which got blown to pieces, so decided that rather than keep chasing that, I’d switch to a 1UZ, as they’re reasonably cheap — it was like 1500 bucks, and, if you blow it up, you just throw another one in and keep going, rather than trying to find a $4K RB26. Put that in, didn’t blow it up, so we put a supercharger on it, and it still didn’t blow up, and we kept nudging it until we found the limit and backed off. In the meantime, I was building a forged motor for when it let go, but the first motor wouldn’t, and we couldn’t wait any longer so chucked it in with the turbo set-up.

What are your intentions with the car?
Well, I built it after putting the 180 into the wall at Puke during D1NZ, so I could make the last round in Manfeild. But we didn’t quite make it, so will see what happens with D1 this year — we might give it another nudge.


Chad McKenzie | Nissan Skyline (R32)

Engine: Toyota 2JZ-GTE, 2997cc, straight-six; CP forged pistons, Eagle rods, upgraded wrist pins, ported-and-polished head, Manley 1mm oversized valves, Kelford valve springs, Kelford titanium retainers, custom-specification Kelford Cams camshafts, PRS twin-scroll stainless turbo manifold, MSE Holset HX40, 1550cc Xpurt injectors, GReddy intake, Haltech Elite 2500, ARP fasteners
Driveline: G-Force four-speed dogboxExterior: Carbon-fibre bonnet, Do Luck aero
Wheels: 17×9.5-inch and 17×11-inch Lenso
Suspension: HSD coilovers, Hardrace adjustable arms, McKenzie Motorsport knuckles
Power: 700kW
Fuel type: E85
Tuner: Brian at NDT Developments

Why this chassis?
It’s just cool. S14s are dumb [laughs]. I’ve always liked the Skyline. The Silvias obviously handle a lot better, and I liked the way the S14 handled, but this car is quite cool, and it has sentimental value — I sold it and bought it back because I didn’t want the other guy to drive it, basically.

And the running gear?
Reliability. I’ve been using the 2JZ for years, and it makes big power.

What are your intentions with the car?
For me to get a bit of seat time before D1 Pro next year. We’re building another car that’s going to be really, really hectic — like real hectic, Carl Thompson sort of spec. We’ve got a good team around us that’s allowing that to happen. I’m very lucky with that.


Tramayne ‘Swager’ | Nissan Laurel (C33)

Engine: RB30DET, 3000cc, straight-six turbo; RB30E; 0.50 oversized pistons, resized and shot-peened OEM rods, Reimax billet oil-pump gears, extended and baffled sump, RB25DET head, GReddy-style front-facing plenum, custom four-inch to three-inch stainless-steel exhaust, Holset HX40 turbo, custom stainless-steel twin-scroll manifold, twin Turbosmart Ultra-Gate38, Bosch 1000cc injectors, twin-feed Aeroflow fuel rail, Walbro in-tank lift pump, 5.5-litre surge tank, twin Bosch 044 main pumps, Splitfire coils, Haltech Elite 750
Driveline: Rebuilt RB25DET five-speed, Xtreme Clutch twin-plate, GT-R 6×1 LSD (4.1:1), custom one-piece driveshaft, Nissan four-pot front calipers, twin Nissan two-pot rear calipers, Parts Shop Max hydraulic handbrake
Interior: Six-point roll cage
Exterior: Final Konnexion bodykit, custom low-mount boot spoiler, custom roof spoiler, custom clear corner and headlight lenses, chrome window tints, resprayed in Gutbier VIP Range Red Blue Flop by Blake Harpur and Mike Martin
Wheels: (F) 18×9.5-inch (+2) Work VS-KF, (R) 18×10.5-inch (+2) Work VS-KF
Suspension: BC Gold coilovers, Parts Shop Max drop knuckles, Parts Shop Max lower control arms, Parts Shop Max castor arm, Whiteline rear sway bar
Power: 396kW on 20psi
Fuel type: E85
Tuner: James at JT Performance

Why this chassis?
F**k, I don’t really know. I just liked it and wanted to keep a car long enough to make it cool. I’ve had this for about five years now, [which is] more or less ages for me.

And the running gear?
The RB has always been what I’ve ran, and I’ve finally got a good package that you can just go out to blow tyres and fuel without any problems. That reliability, I guess.

What are your intentions with the car?
Next up would be to do the head. I’ve sold all my skid rims, so I could get the head done by James at JT Performance. We’ll do some cams and stuff, and James will retune it.


Ben Fowler | Nissan Laurel (C34)

Engine: Nissan RB31DET, 3100cc, straight-six; RB30 block, 3.1-litre stroker kit, RB26 head, 1000cc injectors, KKK Super T70, twin TiAL 38mm wastegates, TiAL BOV, IMR 3.5-inch stainless exhaust, AEM coils, Aeroflow intercooler, Link G4
Driveline: RB20DET five-speed
Interior: Half-cage
Exterior: S1 Stagea side skirts, S1 Stagea end caps
Wheels: (F) 17×10-inch (+15) Riverside, (R) 17×9-inch (+15) Dotcom
Suspension: D2 coilovers (S13), GKTech arms
Power: 360kW on 18psi
Fuel type: 98 octane
Tuner: Justin Moss at TMS Racing

Why this chassis?
Because it’s the ugly duckling that no one likes.

And the running gear?
I had been wanting to build a proper RB30DET and the RB26 head came up for sale too cheap. I ditched the old motor and built this. It has heaps of torque, plenty of power, and is reliable. I had a bet with David Hunter for a box of Double Browns about the RB20DET gearbox lasting behind it. He said I’d blow third gear on the first day, so just to prove my point, I left it in third for all of Saturday and Sunday — I won that bet! My old RB20DET box lasted about six years behind my old RB30DET with 350kW. This is making 360kW currently, and, with an adjustable cam gear, the tuner reckons we can pull another 100kW out of it.

What are your intentions with the car?
Plenty more work to do with the car: steel widebody rear, full cage. I’m going to wrap it too. I’m just keen to do heaps of grass-roots days and meet chicks.


Troy Gorst | Nissan Skyline (R32)

Why this chassis?
Back in 2012 or 2013, I saw Darren Kelly drifting his R32 and fell in love with the chassis from there.

And the running gear?
The simple answer is easy power and fairly easy to work on. Our current motor has been really reliable.

What are your intentions with the car?
Well, after Matsuri, we have killed another gearbox, so we have a 350Z CD009 going in, accompanied by an OS Giken twin-plate clutch. We also have a BorgWarner S300SX, Sinco manifold, and Turbosmart 60mm wastegate ready once the gearbox is in to push the 400kW goal but trying to keep it fun without getting too silly.

Engine: Nissan RB25DET (S1), 2498cc, straight-six; T04E turbo, 850cc injectors, front-facing plenum, Link G4+
Driveline: RB20DET five-speed, Exedy heavy-duty clutch, 4.3:1 locked diff
Suspension: Keto knuckles, GKTech spacers, GKTech twin-caliper set-up
Power: 300kW on 16psi
Fuel type: E85


Dan Beeke | Mazda RX-7 (FC)

Why this chassis?
I’ve wanted an FC chassis for years and years but didn’t trust a rotary. This popped up for sale and seemed like a good idea with Toyota running gear in there.

And the running gear?
It came with the 1UZ and I could have put a 2JZ in there when the first motor blew up, but it’s certed for a 1UZ and road legal. I didn’t want a daily-come-drift car that was a rotary-type thing. The non-VVT-i was shit, and it’s way better with the VVT-i now.

What are your intentions with the car?
Just use it, enjoy it, keep it street legal. I want to do some hill climbs and street sprints too, not just drifting. An all-rounder, pretty much. Could supercharge it in the future but want to get on top of everything else first.

Engine: Toyota 1UZ-FE, 3968cc, V8
Driveline: Toyota W58 five-speed, custom flywheel, LS clutch, twin-caliper Villains handbrake set-up
Interior: Eight-point roll cage
Exterior: Luxury Sports catalogue
Wheels: 18×10-inch (+12) and 18×12-inch (-5) Weds Cerberus 2
Suspension: BC Gold coilovers, Villains lock kit
Fuel type: Pump 95
Tuner: Chris at Prestige Tuning and Motorsport