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Drifter Interview

Paul Umholtz


Paul Umholtz (aka "World Famous") Paul Umholtz Nissan 240sx

So, the "World Famous" Paul Umholtz, now that you've conquered import drag racing with a record breaking Honda Civic and raced GP bikes competetively at Suzuka Circuit in Japan, now you're turning your attention to drifting? Why?
What's up David. First off, whatever you mentioned about me is ridiculous, and you know it! YOU, David Shimokawa, are the Godfather of Drifting in America. Sure, others have come in promoting the sport, but what you've done in Hawaii and for the U.S., from when you first started, has given others a foundation.. And what are you talking about?! I'm slow as hell on a motorcycle, and I never did anything but watch a race at Suzuka back in '94. Who told you that other B.S.?!

Rumor has it that you're building up an "animal" vehicle in the backwoods of Wahiawa. Anything you can tell us about this project?
I'm putting together a 'pretty beat-up' 240sx that Sean Saiki hooked me up with (for a really good price.) The car's like 15 years old already, so I just wanted to make sure it won't fall apart. Special thanks go to everyone that's provided insights, parts, and the ribbing about the rust holes and the paint job. I'll fix it later, I promise. Sponsorship and drifting: How come everybody's taking it so seriously?

It seems that several of our more competitive drivers are worried about your entrance into drifting, even though you've yet to make your mark on the sport; Any thoughts?
They're probably worried because I might T-bone them with my beater car.

What differences do you see between the sports of drifting and drag racing?
As told to me by somebody- I can't remember who- 'drag racing is the only form of racing in which you have to spend more money so that you get to spend LESS time in the seat'.. Drifting is so much more fun; Where else can you get six hours of seat time? Plus- the rules are more common sense than anything else (no fat rulebooks), nobody yelling at you (unless you're a total idiot), no pressure (it's all for fun!), just a good time.

What goals do you have in the world of drifting? Winning Events? Getting Sponsored? Competing in D1, etc.?
Nope. I just wanna drive.

So with you, I hear it's all about the chicks. Do your female fans influence your style and drifting skill? Any groupies yet?
Where do you hear this stuff from? First off, hats off to the ladies, for.. being ladies! They can't influence my drifting skill, as I have none. And the only Drift Session guy that I know that has groupies would be.. You know, that guy with the pimped out hachi (Stanford "Handsome Stan" Lau)....?

Who influences you in this sport? Has anyone given you the tricks of the trade? What are they?
When Drift Session first invited Signal Auto to run at Hawaii Raceway Park (wow, long time ago?!) I had the opportunity to ride along with Signal's Komatsu. Coming from a strictly objective sport like drag racing, I had never seen anyone enjoying themselves in the driver's seat like he did. Sideways, somewhere near 100mph, laughing. So much control.

I've seen you drifting your bone stock Toyota Corolla SR5 between the guardrails at 60+ mph. What do you think when you hear people talking about needing expensive parts and modifications to drift? What do you really need to drift?
60+mph? I'm not sure that thing can even go that fast.. And I'm not sure that even qualifies as drifting.. Parts: IT'S 100% MANDATORY to buy all the parts that D-1 cars have, so that you can LOOK LIKE a guy that MIGHT be able to drive like that. Cool, huh? For real tech info, ask the guys that can actually bust- go down to the track and ask any of the Drift Session regulars that have been doing it for awhile. In my humble opinion, just get a reliable car that you can afford to fix and maintain. If you don't have adjustable this-and-thats, so what. Compensate in other ways. (Playing with tire pressure works wonders, even for little 155/80x13's!) Oh, and too much tire for too little motor can be bad, too.

Any advice for newcomers to the sport of drifting?
"Drifting" is such a buzzword nowadays. It'd be dope if everyone who talks about it would actually come to the track and try it, and experience it first-hand.  Trust me: You'll like it!

Driver Profile

Paul Umholtz (aka "World Famous")

Date of Birth:
December 7, 1972

Wahiawa, Hawaii

Favorite Beer:

# Beers Before Drunk:
Just one.

Drift Vehicles:
'85 Corolla SR5 (or what's left of it.)
1989 Nissan 240sx

Daily Driver:
1999 Lexus LS400 (full VIP style).

Graphic designer.

Obsessive Compulsive Habit:
I obsess about tons of things, but I don't think I'm compulsive.

Quirky Fact:
Obsessive-Compulsive disorders often go undiagnosed.

Mad Libs (fill in the blanks)

If I could, I'd punch Janet Jackson in the face for showing her titty during halftime. I wasn't offended by the titty, but all she wants to do is sell more CD's. Tramp. Anybody else want chin-checks? Just kidding.

I dig chicks that wear sneakers and jeans, and have enough of a presence to rock fake Louis Vuitton stuff and not have people notice.

I'd give my left nut to have Keiichi Tsuchiya's career, from the very beginning.

Sleep is the best cure for a bad day at work.




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Home Drifting Gallery Drifting Videos Drifting Technique Drifting Glossary Drifting Message Board
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