Published on September 4th, 2014 | by Jos Roder


Interview with Jos Roder

You know you’re high profile when you interview yourself before an event. Let’s see how it went down.

Do you think its weird you are interviewing yourself?

I interview myself regularly although mainly in my head, do you?

Interviewer: My head hurts, next question. Your detractors are asking why would you enter the last round if it is mathematically impossible to win?

I don’t believe in numbers….unless my lotto numbers win, then ill make an exception. I wanted to give everyone a head start before making a comeback haha.

You persist with a bloody T25 Turbo and standard knuckles. Why? The world has moved on from bow and arrows and now uses Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. Should you not follow suit?

The nuclear drift power race or (NDPR) is like the Cold War. Except with global warming, we perhaps can only have a luke warm war at best. So…it’s not really like the cold war but i wanted to start off with that, it sounded intelligent. Was that intelligent?

I have some deeper and more philosophical reasons of continuing down this low modification path but that would need a longer page than this website can provide. However basically a part of me wants to hold on to one of the founding drift principles that drift was a great equaliser and that talent would overcome power /setup/grip differences. I am not sure that I have much talent to overcome these issues very well but I still believe in the cause!   Hey, the cold War ended in 1989 when they started getting rid of nuclear stockpiles, so maybe V8 stockpiles will reduce accordingly, who knows haha.

Drifting is not just about the driving. Perhaps it never was. But the landscape has changed from the old days of drift. Don’t get me wrong, there is still many great drivers proving their abilities with lower power setups in drift competitions and likewise there is plenty of great drivers in top shelf machines, but often power, lock and setup masks driving ability to a certain extent. The general public don’t know any difference so huge noise and smoke generation usually win the day in their eyes and I can certainly understand why. It is only perhaps the hard core enthusiasts that may recognise subtle differences in technique and driving styles involved. However I would argue that with drifting machinery, masking lack of talent with machinery is at a lower level than we see with other motor sports. Drift still provides that ability for the underdog to win, which is heartening. However that window continues to shrink in certain drift series around the world.

Can you really be competitive against these big bangers, most with double your power?

To a certain extent, yes. Many competitions restrict tyres which is the biggest factor and a great equaliser, however inevitably cars get faster, more powerful and improved suspension technology and supporting mods translates to more grip, so the pack is constantly evolving forward.  Unfortunately my driving level is not evolved enough to take full advantage of even my car at its maximum so I have to continually push my own skills and hone them very tightly to scrape every little last bit of speed out of it, which is a large part of my enjoyment. Competition just brings out that short burst of adrenalin and pure focus which is also enjoyable.

What is the power of your car anyway?

At the Bum (ATB) about 150kw’s ATW’s is my estimation.

People talk about ‘drag racing’ and it seems to be a consistent issue. Your thoughts being in an under powered car that is more likely to be affected?

I have never had any major issues personally. It is a little harder to really push inside at the last moment if they have a slight gap, but for the most part, if i get the old girl off the line with a slight ‘jump’ and  just BANG it and hold it flat, the other car usuually spins a bit off the line. I have an ‘approved’ traction control system, aka low power. To be honest, nearly everyone is quite sporting in making sure they are not unfairly making a gap.

Long run up’s have usually had a drag race cone so the leader will pace until there giving me time and for short run up’s starting side by side means there is less time for them to shoot ahead so either way seems to work in my opinion. Plus the judges can usually see a clear drag race, so I think this issue is a storm in a tea cup.

Are you trying to represent yourself as an underdog?

Perhaps that is part of it. For the 4 guys in the crowd that still may cheer for the little guy, or have a n/a or lower powered car themselves, it may give them something to consider before upgrading. I am not at the level I need to be to really take it to the big hitters, but getting the most out of a basic setup is great motivation and importantly my setup has been reliable and low cost so I can spend the funds on driving.

What changes have you made for this event?

Huge changes. including rear camber arms, an alignment and a new turbo to dump pipe gasket. We also bashed out the dent, so aero has improved by 6% according to the bullshit meter.


Hope to see you out at Calder! You can stay up to date via the Drift Life Facebook page over the weekend.

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About the Author

Jos Roder

is the owner of Drift Life and delves deeper into drifting culture. Jos started drifting more than 10 years ago after discovering a sport existed that captured his favourite motoring endeavour, going sideways! Jos works full-time in the automotive/motorsport field as a PR Manager and Advanced Driving Instructor and currently owns a JDM S15 Nissan Silvia for drift/track/hillclimb duties.

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