Back in October this year at the 2014 World Time Attack Challenge and the Australian leg of Formula Drift Asia, I had the absolute pleasure in spending some time with the Drift Kid himself, Nick Coulson and his awesome team. If you haven’t heard of this kid yet, welcome to earth, enjoy your stay and revel in his mental drifting awesomeness!
Paul: You’re known as the Drift Kid, how does it a) feel to be a kid racing against these big names in drifting, and b) to be beating them too?
Nick: The Drift Kid name has just stuck from a few years ago. I used to get so nervous going up against the big names in drifting because I watched them all as a spectator & now I was racing against them. Getting the win against the bigger names was cool & just made me push even harder each time I raced. Now days I don’t get so nervous as I’ve raced with these guys for years.
Paul: Most kids grow up wanting to be Policeman, Fireman, or a Race car driver, you obviously chose the latter, but why drifting?
Nick: Every kid plays computer games & mine was drifting in LFS online. One Sunday afternoon me & dad went to our local go-kart track (Archerfield Drift) & we saw there was a Drift comp on. It was the first drifting in person I had ever seen & that was it I was hooked. I asked my dad if I could get into the sport & some time later I got the chance at a training day.
Paul: What was the first car you learnt to drift in?
Nick: My first car was a standard R32 Skyline manual with a RB20 & LSD diff. The car saw some big changes over the time I used it as it was just a fun car at first for practice days & then I got to do my first comp & managed 3rd place for my first ever series. We still have to old girl, and it’s for sale if anyone wants a proven track car.
Paul: With the sport of Drifting originating in Japan and the cars being predominately Japanese, you’ve decided to do it in a VE Ute. Why? What’s so special about this chassis and how do you tame the beast?
Nick: We actually bought the VE Ute for the engine and gearbox for the 32 (after we blew then engine at Wakefield park). When the Ute arrived, we noticed it was still in good shape, and with a bit of TLC and some maintenance, we decided to have a crack at drifting it! After a night out at the local track Archerfield, we came to the conclusion to build this Ute into a full on drift car. Luckily with some great sponsors that came on board, like Fulcrum Suspension, we got to set the Ute up to how we wanted it.
Paul: Earlier this year you had a fairly decent accident that put your car off the road for a while. What happened?
Nick: The Figure 8 drift track is what happened. It happened at Sydney Motorsport Park, on the peanut drift track called ‘Figure 8’. After getting all the way through to the finals against James Abbott, a tyre popped off the bead at full noise heading towards the first corner. There was nothing I could do but enjoy the ride, and the car ended up on the bank just after the first corner. Bent pretty much every arm the car had, and a fair bit of cosmetic damage too.
Paul: We’re starting to see a lot of people doing LS conversions into all types of chassis’, you’ve already got that. What have you done to yours and what plans have you got for it?
Nick: Well thanks to Hi-Torque Performance, the car now has a pretty basic setup, but more importantly the power we want and reliability. It’s just a basic 6.0L that comes standard in the VE SS with Hi-Torque doing valve springs, lifters, timing chain, oil pump. And Harrop Engineering with the FDFI2300 Harrop Supercharger. Keeping it simple means it’s reliable and cost efficient.
Paul: As for you, what’s next? Asia, America, Europe or World Domination?
Nick: I’d love to compete over in the states at a Formula Drift event. Doing a whole season of Formula Drift Asia would be good too!
Paul: Now your team, we know your parents are obviously big supporters, but I hear that probably the biggest one of them all is your grandma who’s been to all your races. How does it feel to have such amazing family support?
My team are great. My Grandma is definitely the loudest supporter, screaming all the way from the grandstands haha. But everyone on my team; my dad, mum, uncle, 2 close friends and my girlfriend are for sure my dream team. They each have a part to play in the team, and we all work well together!
Paul: And of course your sponsors, who have you got on board?
Nick: We are lucky enough to have some amazing sponsors on board.
Achilles Radial are the best tyre in drift & the support we get from them is fantastic.
XForce Performance Exhaust is a well know Exhaust company in Australia & the support they give us by show casing their exhaust system is great.
Fulcrum Suspension have done all the R&D on our Ute to help us win events, Their SuperPro package along with Tein have been a big reason for our success.
Hi-Torque Performance are one of Queensland’s leading tuning shops & have defiantly given us the edge when it comes to power.
Harrop Engineering have completed our engine combo with their latest technology in Supercharging.
NPC Clutches are the best in the clutch business & we have never had a clutch issue in the 5 years they have supported me.
Aesthetic Signs in Brisbane have done an amazing job from the original render we wanted to then applying it to the VE for exactly what we wanted.
Nick thanks so much for your time and all the best for the future.
Words: Paul Jakubicki, Nick Coulson & Martin Coulson
Photos: Speed Nation – Paul Jakubicki, Matthew Everingham, Rhys Vandersyde & Nick Coulson