Drift Racing has been popular among street racers in Japan for in the neighborhood of fifteen years. However, the Formula Drift (Formula D) series didn't come to be in the states until nine years ago. The first Formula Drift event took place at Road Atlanta, in April of 2004. Since then, the sport has continued to soar in popularity to a point that some of the Japanese drivers, who in their native country were revered as rock stars are here, pulled up roots and settled in the United States.
Ryan Tuerck has been in the drifting scene since the beginning of Formula D nine years ago.
Ryan Tuerck has been on the drift scene here in the states since the Formula D started as a professional series. According to the driver, from the beginning of his career, the goal "has been to be one of the best on the series." Evidently, Tuerck has remained steadfast in his intentions, as the driver recently qualified in first place with a career high score of ninety-seven points at the "Streets of Long Beach," in Long Beach, California. Tuerck finished the weekend fifth overall in points out of a field of sixty drivers. "I am very happy with fifth place for the weekend," explained the driver. "It's the best the team and I have done all year, but I won't be satisfied until we are stepping up on that podium every round."
In front of a sold out crowd, an excess of ten-thousand fans, Tuerck and team Retaks Racing were anxious to get the event underway. Not only was it the season opener, but it was the driver's first opportunity to race in their LS-powered Nissan S13.5. Retaks racing and Ryan Tuerck had worked diligently to install upgrades to fit his driving style. It was finally time to put the car to the test and hopefully receive the bounties of their labor. "The key to success at this event was a lot of hard work and preparation," recalled Tuerck. "I believe I only slept about twenty hours in the entire week."
Ryan Tuerck and Retaks Racing are looking forward to a competitive season in Formula Drift during the 2012 season.
As one might suspect, although Tuerck and his team anticipated a successful outing, there were still uncertainties until the driver finally had the opportunity to get out on the track. "My confidence level wasn't low," explained Tuerck, "but it certainly was in question. There are always a lot of changes in the off-season, and you aren't always sure how they are going to work out until you get to the first round. We made a ton of changes to the car," he continued, "mainly the suspension set-up. KW Suspension helped us out a lot with their Variant 3, 3-way adjustable coilover system. We have a new wheel company that came on board, Fifteen52, to supply us with a ton of super-strong wheels. Maxxis Tires is one of the best upgrades to the car this year. In drifting, getting as much grip as possible while your tires are smoking is the key, and Maxxis is a great tire for that."
Ryan Tuerck and team Retaks Racing are also acutely aware that it is crucial to keep one's engine contaminant free. That said, they depend upon K&N to protect the internal components of their motors from dust and other matter while an ample amount of air and oil flow are still allowed to keep the engine running to its optimal performance.
"We are using the K&N intake and filter setup on our LS2 powered Nissan S13.5 explained the driver. "I am a firm believer that using K&N products will prolong my engine's life, while at the same time, giving me more reliable horsepower that I need on the track. Retaks has been using K&N products since they started in drifting. Maintenance is at the top of the list. If you don't take special care of something that you are torturing the entire time you are using it, then it's going to break immediately."
Ryan Tuerck is quick to credit his team for his success, "They're the most important piece to the puzzle, besides the car itself. If you don't have a solid, knowledgeable team behind you, then you are going to have a tough time."
Referring to what he enjoys most about drift racing, Ryan Tuerck explained, "I enjoy the complete recklessness of drifting; being in control of something that is completely out of control is somewhat comforting to me. It certainly demands some sort of finesse," he continued. "What separates drifting from other motorsports is that if you make one mistake, you are done for the weekend."
When asked what fans can expect from Ryan Tuerck in 2012 he explained, "Fans can expect to see me give them the best possible show at each and every round I come to. If you are at one of the Formula Drift events, make sure you come by the Retaks racing pit and check out the car." In closing Tuerck said, "If you like crashing, burnouts, and cars sliding sideways door to door, then this is the sport for you."
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