Attempting to take back the points lead in Formula D drifting competition from Kiwi rival Rhys Millen at Sears Point this weekend, Swedish donut chef (and last year's Formula D Grand Champeen) Samuel Hubinette called us while navigating the streets of San Francisco to chat a bit about the upcoming competition. Check it after the jump.
At the end of last season, Hubinette's dominant Viper Competition Coupe was outlawed, meaning he had to start over with an unsorted SRT-10 for this season's run.
Hubinette: This season hasn t been as smooth as last year, obviously. We had a late start in the whole program with our car, because the car wasn t really developed at all early in the season. We didn t do too well in New Jersey.
However, he says that this year's Viper is now not much different performance-wise than the CC model: the real difference is in the competition.
Hubinette: It s not a major difference anymore, because we ve developed this car to be good for drifting. The major difference that the [level of] competition is so much higher.
When drifting first came to our shores, there were a bunch of naysayers who said that it was a purely Japanese thing that would never take off. We have a feeling those same people said that about Hello Kitty:
Hubinette: I ve seen both sides. We see a big group of people who think it s really fun to see American product out there in this Japanese sport. And then you have the other side who ve been watching for many years and are used to seeing Japanese cars and want to continue seeing that. But it's an international sport now. They re doing it in Europe, using older Volvo 240s and 3-series BMWs. It s a rear-wheel-drive sport, so it doesn t really matter what the nationality of the car is.
As for the vaunted twists and turns of Infineon Raceway?
Hubinette: For me personally, it s a little bit faster track; a little bit higher speed. That s a plus for me, because I ve got a bigger, heavier car. I have a big fan base up here in Northern California and I won last year. I don t really know if there are any minuses. Well, I guess the one minus would be that we put a steering quickener on the car and I haven t been able to test it, so hopefully the steering pump will hold up.