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Matt Coffman Continues to Battle in the 2018 Formula Drift Season

Matt Coffman has one of the most distinctive vehicles currently in the Formula Drift Pro Series circuit—a Nissan S13 featuring one of the oldest, most developed chassis currently on the FD track.

Matt Coffman's Nissan S13

Matt Coffman's Nissan S13 in action

Coffman grew up in Oregon, and developed his love for drifting on the lush forest roads of his home state. “I lived in a very small town,” he commented. “For about a hundred miles outside of town are the most gorgeous, lush, spectacular rally forest roads and mountains that you can imagine. Having my frustrations in my youth, I ended up driving into the forest and started drifting around on the dirt roads. That’s where I started to learn. There was a little drift series that started in my hometown, and I thought—that looks like a lot of fun.”

Nissan S13

The S13 was completely rebuilt in the off-season

Coffman purchased the Nissan S13 back in 2011, and began competing in a regional drifting series that same year. In 2012, he began competing in Northern California at the ThunderDrift ProAm, and started competing up and down the west coast in 2013. After placing in the Golden Gate Drift Series, he earned his Formula Drift Pro license. He had a rough rookie year—struggling to make it out of the Top 32—but tenacity and hard work resulted in a break into the Top 16 in 2015. Coffman and his team, ever persistent, continued practicing and competing regularly—knowing that success would follow experience and a strong work ethic.

Matt Coffman signing autographs

Coffman enjoys engaging with his fans at events

Coffman earned his first Top 8 appearance in 2016 in Montreal, followed by a Top 4 in Washington a few weeks later, eventually qualifying 15th for the 2017 season. The new year brought continued successes, with Coffman finishing the season strong in 10th place.

In the off-season, Coffman and his team fully rebuilt the S13, which debuted at the opening round of the 2018 season in Long Beach, California. Though Coffman has earned strong qualifying scores this season—qualifying 16th for Long Beach, and 20th for Orlando—the first four rounds have proven challenging, with multiple One More Time showdowns and a clutch issue in the most recent round in Wall, New Jersey.

The Nissan S13

The S13 features a distinctive purple design

“What brought me from four years ago to today is not giving up on myself,” he mused. “There were so many times when I could have, and I wanted to, and it would have made sense to just give up. But thinking of a life without drifting—it felt like I was going to lose a massive piece of myself if I didn’t continue. It’s passion that’s kept me going all these years.”

Coffman continues to show resolve and persistence, battling the top Formula Drift contenders. K&N continues to support Coffman in his quest for the podium. “I run individual throttle bodies on my motor,” Coffman explained, “And something that’s interesting about ITBs is that when you run individual filters—or if it has an internal screen or something like that—they will create different atmospheres and will lose power at the top end or gain power at the low end depending on which filter you use. The K&N sprint car air box filter was the only filter that didn’t create an atmosphere that would distract from the motor, and is the only one that performs absolutely top-notch from the low end to the top end.”

Coffman is currently in 18th place in the Pro Series standings. James Deane, Frederic Aasbo, and Chris Forsberg currently top the leaderboard.

You can see Matt Coffman on July 20-21 at Round 5 of the Formula Drift Pro Series in Monroe, Washington.


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