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Weekend Warrior: Dom Griffin’s ’99 Nissan Silvia Spec S (S15)

30 March 2020



Name: Dominic Griffin // Age: 24 // Location: Tauranga // Occupation: Electrician

NZ Performance Car: Hi, Dom. Can you recall when you first discovered drifting?
Dom: Hey, NZPC. Yeah, I used to go along with mates to a few of those old gymkhana days at Hampton Downs. That would have been the first time I saw drifting in person.

What was the drifting scene like at that time?
It was much of a muchness as it is now. Pretty casual and easy to get along with everyone, other drifters were and are always really good with helping each other out, which makes it a cool scene to be apart of. The only real thing that’s changed is the power of the drift cars that are around these days. 

How did you get into driving yourself?
I basically got FOMO [fear of missing out], which made me start looking for a car to get into drifting myself. I bought an S14 pre-facelift and put together a pretty basic setup: factory SR20DET with Power FC, some cams, modded knuckles, Parts Shop Max suspension and a body kit. I ended up taking it out to a bunch of casual Hampton Downs skid pad events and Meremere Dragway drift days. From there I progressed to the likes of Zeroclass Matsuris and Jamborees. 

And when did you get your hands on this S15?
I bought it back in 2016 as a written-off shell, stripped it back and built it up from there. It was meant to just be another car to take along to the grassroots days and maybe later have a crack at [D1NZ] Pro-Sport in, but like all project cars, it got a bit out of control and now here I am. The first set up was still pretty basic like the S14, with the same engine transplanted and the addition of a Link ECU and Garrett GT2871 instead of the old T28. I also did a GTS-25T big box upgrade and six-point roll cage at the same time. Since then I’ve gone to the full Part Shop Max steering set up, a bigger hot side, forged the engine, beefed up the fuel system and switched to E85, and replaced the gearbox with a Jerico dog box — all for more reliability and grunt. 

Do you get to drive it often?
I try to get out onto the track as much as I can, apart from most of last year when I had to take a break [because of a] neck injury. It’s usually about once or twice a month when I haven’t got the car pulled apart. The Mad Mike Driftforce days and whatever Taupo events are on are usually the go-to days that I aim for at the moment.

Where do you want to see drifting in NZ go to from here?
Seeing some more grassroots-based competitions around would be awesome. Something where you can still compete against mates but it doesn’t cost you megabucks to do so, and in a more relaxed environment. 

What are your plans for the future with the car?
Hopefully just drive it! I’ve done pretty much everything that I’ve wanted to do on it now. Some rounds of D1NZ are also on the cards, so we will see what happens. But the main plan for the future is just as much seat time as possible.

You’ve done the mahi, now get the treats.


1999 Nissan Silvia Spec S (S15)
Nissan SR20DET, 2000cc, four-cylinder;  JE forged pistons, Eagle forged rods, Tomei Poncams camshafts, Tomei adjustable cam gears, Apex 1.2mm head gasket, ARP fasteners, 1450cc injectors, Aeroflow twin-feed fuel rail, twin DeustchWerks DW300 fuel pumps, NDT Developments turbo manifold, Holset HRC35/2 turbo, Turbosmart 45mm wastegate, Turbosmart fuel-pressure regulator, Hi-Power Performance four-inch dump pipe, Hi-Power Performance four-inch exhaust
Driveline: Jerico four-speed dog box, Xtreme  Rigid twin-plate clutch, one-piece driveshaft, locked R200 diff, Nissan four-pot calipers, Part Shop Max hydraulic handbrake
Interior: Six-point roll cage, OMP First R seats, Schroth harness, Nardi steering wheel
Exterior: Origin Labo. widebody front guards, Origin Labo. rear over fenders, M-Sport front bumper, M-Sport side skirts
Wheels/tyres: (F) 17×9-inch (+15) Varrstoen ES2, 235/40R17 Falkens, (R) 18×9.5-inch (+12) Varrstoen ES2, 235/40R18 HiFlys 
Suspension: Parts Shop Max coilovers, Parts Shop Max steering knuckles, Parts Shop Max adjustable arms
Power: 366kW 
Fuel type: E85
Tuner: NDT Developments