Andrea Fabri is one of the youngest aspiring pro drifters in Malta. With only three years of experience, he has already achieved more than 15 podium finishes. He tells us the story of his road to the top.
- For those who might not be familiar with the sport, what exactly is drifting?
Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner. Apart from this, the driver will be instructed by three judges to take a particular driving line, while maintaining the greatest angle and proximity to the clipping points appointed by the judges.
- How did you get started in drifting?
My first road car was a Toyota MR2. I discovered my adrenaline rush for drifting at public car parks. Not having a proper local track was a big problem for me, but I still took precautions and began training in car parking areas. It was not the ideal car for drifting since it was a mid-engine car. It was very difficult to put it sideways and not spin out, but after some time I got the hang of it. After that I knew I had to step up my game
- What is the one skill you need to nail drift competitions?
The skill you need to have in a drift competition is your self-control. You have to eliminate all emotion and the adrenaline rush and just focus on the behaviour of the car. When you manage to gain the control of every movement of the car, without feeling scared or excited, you will be able to put the vehicle in all the right places desired by the judges, which eventually gets you the big win.
- What makes a good drift car and what is it about your car that makes it stand out?
An example of a good drift car is one which has a front engine, rear wheel drive layout, with the most reliable engine possible. A key ingredient that we focused on our Supra build was to put all the weight of the car in the proper position. We moved the battery, fire extinguisher, fuse box and radiator all the way to the back of the car, to put as much weight at the back as possible, in order to increase grip on the rear wheels. We also made sure that the parts used were of high quality, since another important ingredient is reliability. In the drifting world, there are no second chances, you either win or lose, there is no doing it better in the next run. The last part that we really focused on, based on the car setup, was to set it up according to my driving style.
- How did your collaboration with Enemed come about?
Knowing Enemed is a very serious company, I showed interest in their product and asked if we could meet up and work together to promote their fuel on our car, with the aim to develop E Power as a very capable racing fuel. We both worked in a very professional manner and the results were very satisfying.
- Your car, a Toyota Supra, runs on Epower fuel. What are the benefits of this fuel and how do you differentiate it from others?
Everyone knows that our Supra runs purely on Epower fuel. A major advantage of this fuel is that it can be found at local petrol stations at a very low cost when comparing it to other racing fuels. From a technical view, with the 98 Octane that Epower got, we are running at 530 BHP and still on a low power setting. This proves that even when
driving a high-powered car, we don’t have to buy super expensive fuels with limited lifetime. The engine will still perform as needed, without having to change the fuel filter and clean the fuel lines due to the corrosion that normal racing fuel usually produces. This was not only very cost effective but also had a good result.
- How do you keep focused during a competition?
In a drifting competition, you must be focused at all times. Even when you are not driving, you should be studying other drivers and observing their techniques, in order to calculate the level of driving of every driver on the day. All drivers should remain calm, at all costs, and analyse everything, while still having fun on the track. A key
ingredient is actually to have fun.
- Looking back, what was your favourite moment of 2018?
My favorite moment of the 2018 Championship was the final round. Before the final we encountered a lot of wear and tear damages on the car and had to take the engine out just four days before the event. My crew and I managed to fix everything in time, just hours before the event and worked our way to the top, closing the 2018 Championship at 1st Place. This was very emotional for me after, as I really did want to return the favor to my crew and sponsors and show my appreciation. We worked very well together and ultimately, hard work really paid off!
- What are you hoping to achieve next year? Any long term career goals or are you just having fun driving for now?
In the near future my dream is to step up my game and compete internationally, representing my country. Along the years, we managed to build a very competitive vehicle to be ready for this moment, and I am very sure we are now up to spec to compete abroad. It was never my intention to just enjoy driving, I always craved the competition.
- What advice would you give to young kids looking to get into the sport?
My advice to young kids or new drivers that love the drifting discipline, is to mainly focus on their driving skills and not how much money one pumps into the car. It’s not what you drive, it’s how you drive it. A highly-skilled drifting driver could easily beat any high powered car, which is driven by someone that lacks skill. When you manage to master your current car, then start building and developing it according to your driving style.
© 2018 – VIDA Magazine