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PeopleReviews

Small car, big hearted

17th July 2017 — by Hans van der Vleuten

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At first sight it looks like a little beefed up BMW 1-Series. But with a second look you start to notice some differences… What is needed to build a proper drift car? A big powerfull engine and rear wheeldrive. 

Jaap Bosma bought himself a RHD 1-Series with severe water damage in Ireland. He transformed his car into an ultimate drift car and leaves his skid marks in throughout Europe as Smokey Bear. At a training facility for the fire brigade Jaap gets some time to play with his Fire Orange 1-Series. The car comes to life and fills the place with a pleasant hard roar coming from the side exists. Right from the start you know this is serious business!

BMW 1-Series V10 Smokey Bear Drifting

Jaap Smokey Bear Bosma started the build of his car from scratch in his own shed in The Netherlands. He heated the place and started to tear down the damaged 118d Coupé. He got rid of the not so drift capable diesel engine and made place for some extra cilinders. In the meanwhile he had cut all the fenders and made it look like an 1M-Coupe. Some air jacks are included to get rid of the worn tires a little faster.

BMW 1-Series V10 Smokey Bear Drifting

A lot of parts are fabricated out of carbon. Things like the hood, roof and rear hatch are all in this light weight material. The color is original BMW, as a factory option for the M3 GTS. Fire Orange suits the car well. Unfortunally when Jaap almost finished the car he had some bad luck… The car fell from the car lift and needed some extra work.

BMW 1-Series V10 Smokey Bear Drifting

The original 143 hp diesel engine was already gone and the newer widebody needed some extra muscle. Jaap decided to go for some extra… Five litres and ten cilinders in total fill the engine bay of this little BMW. Also known as the S85 engine as seen in the BMW M5 and M6. This big lumpy engine got shoehorned in the small front of the 1. There’s nearly enough room, but Jaap made it happen. Believe it or not. The engine is placed back as far as possible and makes the weight distribution almost a perfect 50/50 front to back. A small tune gives the S85 a little bit more power, 551 hp and 620 Nm is the result. The sound it produces way above the 8.000 rpm mark is very addictive.

BMW 1-Series V10 Smokey Bear Drifting

To get all the power down to the wheels he used a complete back end from a M3 V8 E92. The original M5 transmission wouldn’t be a good idea to drift with. They’re not famous for being that reliable. Smokey Bear got himself a manual one from from the same E92 M3. Combined with a light flywheel and Tilton triple-plate clutch it’s build to last. The suspension got some Intrax coilovers and Wisefab front arms. Of course the inside is filled with all the usual drift safety feautures and a big hand break lever. The side exhaust is one of the latest updates. The sound is incredible and big flames erupt when Jaap is on full throttle.

 

Jaap Bosma still has plenty ideas for the future. If you want to keep competing with the car it just needs a little bit more power. He found a solution. Next year the S85 V10 will be replaced by the newer M5 V8 turbo-powered engine. A stronger transmission is already on it’s way from the USA and the turbo’s are in Germany at this moment for a upgrade. This S63 V8 is going to produce over 900 hp. More then enough to get Smokey Bear melt those rear tires.

BMW 1-Series V10 Smokey Bear Drifting

Bonus images: 

 

Want to hear it’s engine scream??

Smokey Bear Facebook / Start84 Magazine

Reviews

North Coast 500: Enjoying the Scottish Highlands!

11th July 2017 — by Hans van der Vleuten

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No plans for your summer yet?!? Discover the beautiful roads and scenery at the Scottish Highlands. Drive during the day and enjoy some good food and drinks in the evening. The North Coast 500, five hundred miles of Scotlands finest roads… 

A few years ago I’ve read something about the Scottish Highlands and a route trip North Coast 500. Last year we decided to give it a go. We booked a boat trip from Ijmuiden to Newcastle at the end of June. Since we were a little bit to excited things went wrong right the way. I drove my lowered Nissan 350Z on to the high deck and immediatly my gearbox wanted to kiss the boat. A big bang but nothing happened luckily. The Princess Seaways brought us to mainland UK, our seven day road trip had started.

 

First day

It wasn’t my first time driving around the UK. But the first time with my Z and a lot of miles in a row on the other side of the road. We left the boat and set course to Inverness. This is the only hotel we booked in advance. Afterwards not the best idea, since every hotel or B&B on route were almost fully booked. So be prepared! At least to say Inverness is a great city.

North Coast 500 Highlands

Day two

The second day we decided to leave early. On the boat we spoke to a few people about the Isle of Skye. After looking on the internet it just looked fantastic. Later that day a little detour on Skye was made. Well not a little detour… We almost drove around complete the Isle. Just a little bit too much driving for one day.

 

Only problem was. We didn’t book a hotel for the evening, after some searching on various websites we found one. Only problem it was somewhere on the map where we should drive the next day. But we needed to sleep and drove to Gairloch. We chose a road which wasn’t on the map and again we were lucky. What a view!! Scotland is full of surprises.

North Coast 500 Highlands

Third day 

Driving the Highlands on the west coast. In one word… Amazing! In the morning we drove the same way back from Gairloch and started at the Road to Applecross.

North Coast 500 Highlands

It’s not advised for the learner drivers or very large vehicles. Small road, tight bends and a lot of cliffs. You’ve got to drive it and will love it instantly. The west coast is great to drive, I wish we drove it in two days instead of one.

After a long day of driving we end up at a small village named Rhiconich. We stayed at the Rhiconich Hotel, very, very, very friendly people. My radio went dead and they loved my car so much they gave me a spare radio. Glad to see the sun came back later in the evening, we had quiet some rain during the day. After a lot of Tennent’s beers and a some chat with the locals we went to sleep.

North Coast 500 Highlands

Day four 

It was time to discover the North coast from Scotland. But first we drove back to the Kylesku Bridge. The day before it was raining like hell and I wanted to have a photo from my Z at the bridge. My girlfriend took the photo and it was time to go North.

North Coast 500 Highlands

Yet again a lot of cliffs and the scenery changed hour after hour. In the far north it’s just like driving around in my neighbourhood in The Netherlands. It almost felt like home. Another hotel was found in John O’Groats, almost the most northerly point of mainland Britain.

Fifth day 

The fifth day was already the start of our journey back home, we set sail back to Inverness. The east coast has a lot of big roads which go up and down and it’s awesome to drive. Loads of distilleries to visit. Too bad we didn’t have much time to stop for them, hopefully next time. One of the things you can’t miss driving around the Highlands are all those magnificent castles. Some are ruined but also a lot of them standing strong during time. Luckily we had some spare time to visit some of them before heading back to Inverness.

Day six

We didn’t want to drive as much on the way back home as we did on our way to Inverness. Right in between we found a nice Castle to stay and walk around for the day. Of course we wanted to find Nessie before we went back home. My girlfriend tried to find him, but no luck…

The Dalhousie Castle is a hotel, but still in it’s real 13th century shape. Like you go back in time. We stayed there during the night for one of our last evenings.

Last day

Our road trip almost came to it’s end. We drove from Bonnyrigg, Dalhousie Castle, to Newcastle before we had to board again. We loved every minute driving around the Highlands. For sure I’ll go back sometime in the future. Next time it won’t be for only one week and also we will plan our entire trip. Booking no hotels or B&Bs in advance didn’t work that great in Scotland. Most of the hotels and B&Bs are relatively small and booked fast. Also I need some more thread on my front tires, mine were completely worn after one week. Haha.

 

See you again Scotland…

Bonus images:

 

Northcoast500.com

EventNewsReviews

Spanish paddock , part 1/2

28th June 2017 — by Ruben Langa

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A short walk along the spanish drift paddock. Cars, drivers and battle for the first podium spot.

The Spanish paddock grows at a speed that is impossible to follow. This year I have attended two rounds of Open Slalom Drift, our national competition, one in Miranda de Ebro and another in Valencia. In parallel with the second round, the infamous King of Europe. The progression is very clear in the improvement of the cars and drivers.

The first improvement are the categories AM and Semipro. Here, these categories comprise of stock cars which has created a rivalry between atmospheric and turbo that has been forged with time. In the first round, the podium was for naturally aspirated BMW’s, Aitor Galan , followed by Diego Sáez and in third, Aitor Sánchez.

The PRO category is booked on cars with swap, wide direction angle, bodywork of fibre, etc. All types of projects where we found the guys from Drifting Barcelona, a BMW orda with V8 engines. These included Oscar Ruiz’s Subaru Viper, a pilot who has greatly improved in the past two years and Jonathan Hernandez, champion of the OSD last year riding on the spectacular e46 LS (white). 

If we go by the paddock, our attention is immediately drawn to the brothers Caballer, Joan drives a s13 RB25 (white/blue), second last year in OSD, in his Palm can be proud of his second place in the Spanish round of the KOE 3 years ago. Xavier leads a s13 ca18 in Semipro and his driving skills grows day by the day.

If we look for brothers, we find the Angels Team Drift , Ivan Bolaños in SEMIPRO with an e36 M3 and Ruben Bolaños in PRO with an e46 2JZ(white/orange). Ruben came up to the second spot on the podium in Miranda de Ebro after some of the tightest battles that I have seen in a while. 

One of the most established of veterans is Alberto Canedo, facing monsters like the previous ones with an e30 M3 Enekos since my first time on a circuit, below the average of horses but compensating with spectacular driving.

 No more than two steps in and we can find the winner of the first Round, David Infantes. He is a veteran of the Championship, driving an s13 by a small circuit school close to Igualada. One day he surprised me with a PS13 LS (black/green/white). Personally this is one of the best car/pilot combos in that paddock, I couldn’t take as many photos as I would’ve liked because he lives away of my town but he is my favorite for this season. 

Check back very soon for the second part of my coverage with more pilots and photos of the last two Rounds including the King Of Europe.

Bonus pics:

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Reviews

Probe-ably not what you expected to find at Players

22nd June 2017 — by Dave Cox

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This was my first visit to the Players Classic show at the prestigious Goodwood Motor Circuit and I really had no idea what to expect. And I sure as sh*t wasn’t expecting to see a Ford Probe!

Yep, you read that right, a Ford Probe. If you saw it out of the corner of your eye you may be forgiven for thinking it was a Mitsubishi GTO, I know I did. Realising my faux pas I started circling the car in bewilderment, genuinely surprised that any still existed on UK roads, let alone in such good condition.

Sitting on ETA Beta 3-piece wheels at a lower than stock ride height this Ford was pulling off it’s new found attitude rather well. I really couldn’t make my mind up as to why someone would choose to modify a Probe or that the end result was pretty decent.

Looking through the windscreen there was a list of modifications, proudly boasting 226bhp from the 2.5l V6 (stock is 162). Clearly someone had put some love into this. The smoothed body panels, devoid of any branding, paired with the immaculate paint really did go a long way to updating it’s appearance.

I know this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but at an event like Players, I really think it stood out and did well to separate itself from the crowd. I appreciate it for what it is, the owner tried something different and I think they pulled it off.

Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (Shooting Dave)

Reviews

The GT1 GTR at Coventry MotoFest

19th June 2017 — by Dave Cox

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It is always fascinating when you send a team of photographers to an event and see what they all capture.

Variety is often the result, occasionally though, we will all gravitate to one vehicle. It’s the same at car shows too. However in this instance, it wasn’t what the car looked like that caught our attention, it was something much, MUCH more primal.

The car in question, if you have not worked it out by now, is a Nissan GTR GT1 and it is quite clearly a racecar! To most, that is reason alone to make it a favourite and it is, but we will circle back to that in a second. You see, as we walked down blissfully quiet Coventry ring road, the silence was, and there is no other better way to describe it, shattered by the eruption of decibels from the Nissan VK56 that powers this FIA spec GTR.

5.6 litres of free breathing V8 labouring under heavy cams and sucking in air before detonating and shouting it out of the straight through exhaust. I nearly dropped my camera as it started up. It wasn’t so much announcing it’s presence as elbowing everyone out of the way and fighting it’s way through.

600bhp and 479ft-lb of torque certainly made light work of the rear tyres off of the line as well as reducing anyone in close proximity to a giggling wreck. Given that this car also weighs in at 1250kg, it didn’t hang around. And it was this sheer pantomime that really stole our hearts and brings me back to my earlier point about it being race car.

Not only was this silly fast and loud but it was also driving on a ring road! The juxtaposition is literally at it’s most extreme here. Race car + ring road, it is hilarious to look at. At a proper track, you might walk past it in the pits and briefly pause before continuing on, on the streets, it is just ludicrous!

What did you think? Did you see it?

Words: Dave Cox (ShootingDave)
Pictures: Fueltopia Team