Joshua Boettcher, or more fondly referred to as JB, is the first and to date, the only Australian that is competing in the Formula Drift Asia series. (Note to the rest of the drifters down under – COME ON UP TO SOUTHEAST ASIA!!!)
Last year, he entered his rookie Formula Drift season with three different cars for all three rounds. Tough as it was, JB managed to put in consistent performance despite having to deal with the challenges from setting up the car and adjusting to the track.
This time he has GT Radial S15 with him, a car that he is familiar with. Back for the complete season of Formula Drift Asia 2012 with valuable experience from his rookie year, JB has his eyes set on the carbon fibre trophies.
Q: Rookie of the Year JB! Now that you don’t have that excuse, how do you hope to fare this season?
A: It was great fun last season and an amazing opportunity to compete in this series, thanks to GT Radial. Winning Rookie of the Year made it even better! This year, now I have seen what Formula Drift is all about, I want to push harder and earn myself at one of those carbon fibre trophies! Of course, and also to finish higher in the series than last year!
Q: You drove 3 different cars for all 3 rounds last year. That must have been tough. How’s the car for this season?
A: Yeah last year was a real challenge with all the different cars, but I enjoyed them all. I really enjoy setting up a car to perform the way I like it, so it was fun! This year I’m super excited to have with my GT Radial S15 with me at all 4 rounds. Knowing the car so well means I can push harder with more confidence. Round 1 was a challenge, getting used to the jumps and bumps in the track was tricky, it’s something we don’t have a lot of in Australia, so I can’t wait for Singapore next week!
Q: You’re still the only Australian competing in FD Asia – where are the rest of the Australians? How do you think you can encourage your fellow countrymen to come out here and compete?
A: I don’t know?? I talk about it to my fellow Aussie drifters a lot, and we have certainly some great talent here in Australia, so it would be great to see more Aussies in FD Asia in the future!
Q: Is there any difference being a rookie and not being a rookie now?
A: The experience in the series certainly helps. I have learnt a lot here in FD Asia that I wouldn’t have back in Australia, so that helps a lot now when it comes to competition.
Q: How different is the Australian drifting scene compared to the Southeast Asian drifting scene? What lessons can be learnt from each other you think?
A: I think they are definitely different, but of course very much alike in some ways as well. The talent we have in Australia is really stepping up at the moment, and as we all know, the Southeast Asian drift scene has some huge talent as well. I think there is plenty to learn from each other though, from car setups to the professionalism of the drivers, their cars and the events themselves.
Q: How and why did you pick up drifting?
A: I raced go-karts from a young age, but saw a drifting video when I was about 19 and thought it looked cool. I had a FC RX7 at the time, so I took it to an event and I haven’t been able to stop going back since! I love it!
Q: What is your biggest achievement in drifting to date?
A: Winning the 2010 Stadium Drift Pro Tour in my first year with GT Radial was a great achievement, but FD Asia Rookie of the Year has to be the one I cherish the most so far!
Q: What do you hope to achieve out of your drifting?
A: As much as possible! I believe it is an awesome sport to watch and is really growing strong quickly. I of course want to win events and series, but making drifting my job is my biggest goal!
Q: What is your motivation in drifting?
A: I really like progressing my skills and I love the competition! It’s so fast and crazy! So when you can push as hard as you can and earn the spot to the next round, it’s an awesome feeling!
Q: What are some of the challenges you face, both personally and professionally, in drifting?
A: I think the main challenge I face is pushing myself harder and harder, closer to the walls and closer to my competitor each time I go on track, but I find that really fun! Professionally it’s all about presenting yourself the best way you can to your fans and sponsors, it takes up a lot of your time, but I really enjoy that aspect too!
Q: What do you do when you are not drifting?
A: I sell new cars – I’m a car salesman at my grandfather’s Mazda, Nissan and Volkswagen family dealership. So it’s cars, cars and more cars!!
For more of JB, visit his website.