Last participating in Formula Drift Asia in 2010, Tengku Djan returns for the full 2012 Formula Drift Asia Series backed by new sponsors, a new car but with the same spunk and spirit we are familiar with. Just becoming a father recently, Malaysia’s Prince of Drift has been busy balancing his new fatherhood duties while building a spanking car for the season opener at Speed City, Kuala Lumpur later this month.
Q: Great to have you back in the Series Djan, what are you looking forward to?
A: Meeting old friends and the travelling!
Q: What have you been up to since we last saw you being crowned FD Asia champ at Dataran Merdeka in 2010?
A: I missed the FD Asia 2011 season as I had other commitments with new sponsors (then) which saw us channel our efforts to Thailand for 2011. I competed in the 6-round All Star Professional Drift Thailand Series 2011 and took the overall driver and team championship titles.
Q: Ah, so you have been actively competing and training up well! Anything else?
A: Actually last year was pretty hectic. I was in Qatar for one of the FD exhibition rounds, as well as in Belarus for the East European Drift Challenge. I achieved podium finishes in both countries and that was exciting as I was competing with some of the best from FD USA as well as East Europe.
The team was flying back and forth to Thailand throughout 2011 for the All Star Professional Drift Thailand series and back home, Speed City KL started its weekly Saturday Night “Drift Assault!” which I have been attending religiously as a form of support for grassroots drifting and of course getting my weekly dose of missile drifting.
Q: Since the last you competed in FD Asia, how different do you think it will be?
A: Well, I have not lost touch with the game although I sat out of FD in 2011. Many of the FD Asia drivers were also competing in the All Star Professional Drift Thailand series, such as Saranon Pornpatanarak (FD Asia 2011 overall runner-up) whom I fought a hard battle with for the All Star Professional Drift Thailand Championship title. I managed to knock him out in the final 2 rounds to take the overall win, so I’m happy with my progress and feel confident for 2012.
Q: Having won the Series before, how do you hope to do this year?
A: I will give my best shot. No pressure on me and it’ll be great if I can win the title again.
Q: Who do you think is your biggest competitor and why?
A: Everyone on the grid is a competitor. We’ll evaluate and strategise from Formula Drift Malaysia.
Q: Are there any plans to go to FD USA?
A: That has been in the plan for 2 years now. I almost made it this year, but it fell through at the last min. Right now, the focus is on Asia till the right level of funding is achieved.
Q: Tell us more about your new sponsors.
A: My latest sponsor is Drive M7 Energy Drink and M7 Japan. It’s an honour to represent the Drive and M7 brand as we both share the same focus and direction. I will be supporting Drive M7′s marketing initiatives for Asia region. My major sponsor, Bridgestone Tires, has been with us since Day One and supplying the team with these awesome Potenzas. It’s been a great 7-year working relationship! In addition, Speed City KL, Enkei Wheels Japan, TONNKA, GT Auto, Motorsport Playground & DSTROYR Clothing have all contributed to my efforts in the world of drifting. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have today without their support.
Q: Finally, tell us more about your new car!
A: The team decided against modifying the championship-winning 180SX (that won FD 2009 and 2010, All Star 2011) and instead, opted to build a new shell for 2012 to meet FD’s technical requirements. Our new car is not entirely new as it is built on the same chassis that saw us finish 2nd at FD Qatar last year.
A simple yet effective approach was taken for this latest build. FD regulations were adopted and put together with the modifications the team has learnt through the years of drifting Silvias. The focus on that one neat package is reliability and agility.
There’s been a lot of talks about my LS-powered SX. That’s put on hold for now as we don’t want to rush the build. It is a bit tricky to build a RHD LS-motored Silvia. However, once we’re confident, we’ll take it out to play!
More of Djan at www.princeofdrift.com – which includes a daily update on his awesome FD build!
*Photos courtesy of Tengku Djan