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Drifter Interview

Barry Wong

 

What did you think when you won the Drift Competition this past weekend (Jan 31, 2004)?
I didn't think that I would win the competition because there are a lot of good drivers that entered. I know that I would have placed but I didn't expect to win.


What were you thinking about before you entered the competition? 
Before I enter a competition I always picture the course, how fast I wanna go and the line that I am going to take through it. 


Do you have any pre-competition rituals or superstitions?
Well before I go out on to the track to compete I say a short prayer to keep me and the other drivers safe from crashing our cars.  As far superstitions go I don't know if I should tell you...are you gonna post this up? Well anyways I got this pair of bibs that got like holes in it and shit. I used to think that it was my lucky bibs and always wore it every time I went to drift, but I think I'm over it already.


Can you explain your driving style / drift technique?
Hmmmmm....I dunno if I can explain my style or even if I have a style....I just try to go into the turn and exit as fast and as smooth as I can go without spinning....and when I change directions I try to switch as fast and as sharp as the car will let....If it had to be called a style I would say that it would be like Taniguchi / Ueo together or at least I try to make it seem that way.


Do you think that you've gained a spectator following yet? What about drifting groupies?
Of course I have a spectator following, I got my family and friends watching me and the other drivers as we compete in big events. Groupies? Are you trying to get me in trouble? Nah I think I only got 1.......my girlfriend...


What goals do you have for yourself (in drifting) for 2004?

My goal for 2004 is to refine my driving technique and eventually, maybe middle of the year, go and compete with the mainland guys in Cali.


You have a GTS and a 240, which do you prefer?

Which one do I prefer huh? I would have to say my Hachiroku. I say this because that is the car that I started out drifting with and it has taught me so much that to this day I still learn different things about handling characteristics from it. So this car will always be my favorite.


What's the difference between your GTS and your 240? 

Well there is one big difference between the two and it's POWER....The Hachiroku is a very underpowered car so in order to drift it good you need a lot of speed when entering the corners to help you out with the exit. But the handling of the Hachi is just awesome, it pitches back and fourth so fast that you kinda gotta think ahead of what you are going to do next. The 240 just has so much power that you don't need to fly it into a turn because you have all that horsepower to pull you out of the turn. It also has a longer wheelbase and more weight so it slides farther. It also reacts a lot slower because of that so it kinda gives you time to recover if you make a mistake.


Do you have to use different styles of driving with each car?
Yes, I do need to use different styles when driving each car. I kinda think of the two cars as 2 different breeds of women...sorry girls if this offends you. The Hachiroku is kinda like a ghetto hoodrat bitch. She's loud as fuck and kinda likes to be manhandled around the track. I be killin' that clutch and telling her to go here and she's like AWWWWRITE. She likes to be driven HARD if you guys know what I mean. But the 240 she's kinda like a classy high maintenence bitch. Her parts are expensive and she's just on a power trip. You know I tried to treat her like my Hachi but she wouldn't have none of that and put me in check by tapping the guardrail.....she kinda likes to be treated gently...you know like treat her good and she'll listen.....


Is your girlfriend Candis very supportive of your drifting?

Ummmm....yeah I guess, she's always with me at every Drift Session and competition that we have. Actually she's my co-pilot kinda like Bonnie and Clyde. She is the best. She's very understanding and knows that I love cars and just enjoys this sport with me. She even doesn't mind that I spend most of my money on my 2 other chicks....my cars.....


What did you think of the drifting you watched on the mainland at the SEMA show?

BORING....nah it was cool I guess. The parking lots they were drifting in were pretty huge and cool I guess. But I see a lot of potential for guys to become the next big thing up there because they just got so much room to go and practice without the cops bothering them.


What's your biggest complaint about the "drift scene" in the USA?

Too Big Too Fast....you know you got people claiming to be number 1, but I'm not gonna name any names and shit like that, but yeah it's like they claim to be the best but seem to exclude Hawaii. There are a lot of good drifters here in the islands that could be better than the number 1 guy in the 48 states. So you know if you gonna claim that you are number 1 be sure that it is not just in the 48 states, cause you never know some Eskimo from Alaska or a guy in a hula skirt from Hawaii could pop up out of nowhere and beat you.


Any advice for someone starting out in drifting?

I would say practice all you can but keep it off the streets or keep it to somewhere where no one will get hurt but you. Also be prepared to spend a lot of money if you end up having fun and liking it and want to get serious with this sport.

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