James Deane was born to driftIn the world of drifting, James Deane is, despite his youth, one of the leading names. XCAR found out how he got into the sport and how he rose to the top of this sideways world.
[MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC]. [NOISE] We always used to love sliding cars and if we were all spectating at a rally you'd go to the tightest corner on a stage just to see the cars sliding. So when we heard of this drift combination in December 2002. My brother decided to enter and he actually managed to win that event. And I was just ten years old as a spectator back then. But I think seeing my brother win that event I just fell in love with it there and then. I first competed at my first event wa, I just turned 15-years-old and I had a Ford Sierra, just two liter twin can, competed in, like, two or three events in the novice class, with just pushing the Sierra to the max and. We bought this Nissan 14 stock car. We put a hydraulic hand brake in it and did some very minor upgrades to it. My first event in Macau was the [UNKNOWN] in 2007, I managed to qualify second out there and I got my pro license at 15 year olds and I couldn't believe it. I don't know how I wanna do this like it was, it was gonna be tough, especially with school. It was the same year as my junior, starting school. So there was a lot going on. But in my own head, drifting was gonna come first and like it, it was my first love and. So I was willing to do anything to make it happen. I managed to win the Irish [UNKNOWN] championship that year and same time I manage to with the European championship also. So 2008 was just a crazy year. 16 years old, traveling all over Europe, doing what I love, and just as a kid like it. It, it, was surreal. [MUSIC] My old Les-14 was in America. If I was to wait for it to come home we would have missed the first few events of the [UNKNOWN] Championship in 2009. So we had an RX-7 here and with the help of my family and friends we built a new car within two months. It was. It's all hands on deck. We got the car with a blown rotary engine and obviously budget was pretty tight at the time so we did say that, put an SNSR20 engine into it. It's a lot different to drive than an SN, S body or any other of the usual drift chassis out there. It's, still competitive. It only has 450 horsepower but it's a lot of fun to drive. It's like driving a golf cart full throttle all the time and [MUSIC] That's, it makes me smile when I drive it. And my plan was to come back competing in Drift Allstars for the 2014 series. The power of the European cars right now is just crazy. And I decided that, building a new car was probably a better option, because I didn't want to ruin the balance of the RX7. We decided to go with an S chassis, 2 [UNKNOWN] Z [UNKNOWN] set RP engine components in the car, running a NASCAR four speed tex racing dog box, ACT clutch, [UNKNOWN] GTX 35-82 turbo. Extremely reliable car, 650 horse power. We started building it about November and we had it ready at the end of April. So, it was busy off season, a lot of work to do. But it's a very good car and really competitive. One of the hardest things about competing internationally, is keeping the cars running. They need to be extremely reliable, that's definitely the most important thing. You can be the best driver in the world, and if you're in an unreliable car with it, you're not gonna get any results. First event, brand new car out of the box. And broke the gear box. [INAUDIBLE] That was basically [INAUDIBLE] so we got a box [INAUDIBLE] we didn't [INAUDIBLE] because after [UNKNOWN] after the last round and we had no problems really which [INAUDIBLE] credit to [INAUDIBLE] for their build. No matter where in Europe we go James is the last one into the car after. He doesn't leave anything to chance so if something goes wrong he was the last man at the tire so. He knows how to fix car up and if the tire pressures are down two feet or so he can tell you before he gets out of the car so. That's a good thing. [MUSIC]. Even to this day, I still get crazy nerves at the start line and before the event. Like the build up to the event. I'd be watching w\hat everyone else is doing. And looking at videos of the track, if I haven't competed there before. And trying to get as much information into my own head as possible. There's no feeling like sitting at the start line ready to do your fourth round of qualifying. It's so intimidating. You know you, you and your team have traveled all this way, put in so much effort. Sponsors, support, and everything, and it all comes down to two laps. If you make a mistake in two laps, two less than 30 second runs then you're going home, complete waste of time and effort and money. And the pressure on those two rounds of qualifying is unbelievable. It's really hard to describe, but I'd be, like, shaking at the line. But [INAUDIBLE] That's when I'm in my zone and I'm happy and more confident. I think if I stop getting the buzz I get from this sport I wouldn't be doing it. But I still get an unbelievable adrenaline rush from drifting. [NOISE]