FB Gallery Driver
Name: RICH WHITEMAN
Who influenced you to develop the drift style you have? When did you first get truly excited about drifting?
I learned about drifting a little later than most and was initially introduced to this addictive hobby by one of my bestest dudes, Othniel Baxter (Obeewon). I came from a MX / BMX background so I always loved loud and gnarly hobbies (insert XTREME! hand gesture). A few of my buddies started to get into drifting but I didnt pay much attention until hanging with OB and going to an event at Clubloose. I quickly made a decision to build a car and give it a shot, but my first 2-3 seasons were basically failures because I fell victim to the American disease of "over-building / under-driving". I loved watching the Japanese greats like Ueo, Koguchi, Kawabata, Nob, Immamura, etc and I thought that I needed every part possible to get to their level... luckily, I finally realized the beauty of simplicity and now I put a focus on seat time, rather than the parts catalog.
What cars influenced your car’s style?
My car styling has evolved over the years, and I am now at a spot between the 2001 flashy style era and the current more aggressive Meihan style. I have a fetish for chrome, but have an equal admiration for cars with perfectly executed forged wheels and a functional height. Within the US, I have looked up to Proceed, Animal Style, Risky Devil, etc but I admittedly put most of my admiration to the JP greats; Burst / PInk Style, Sexy Knights, A-Bo-Moon, Magician, Moccomans, etc etc. I am a huge fan of clean and simple exterior styling and always loved Koguchi's and Masao's designs, with a huge crush on Yoshinori's black 180sx.
What drivers influenced your driving style?
Like most people, I have been infatuated with the aggressive driving of Ueo, Tsuchiya, and Nakamura. I can vividly picture underpowered corollas being hurtled down the straight at Tsukuba, or herds of S-chassis (proper term for 3+ s-chassis) entering perfectly perpendicular at Meihan. Non-JP drivers like C's garage, Low Style, and even the infamous Gaijin (is he technically a citizen now?) Jesse Streeter. Too many to name really and I am constantly influenced by new drivers. I even had the chance to take Koguchi for a few laps and scrape some walls... Hearing his excited (yet inaudible) commentary was one of the highlights of my journey so far and has been a huge motivator for me to travel to Japan. While I have been hugely inspired by the foreign greats, I have to say that most of my driving development has come from my friends and some of the local legends. I call Clubloose my home and the organizers spend countless hours coaching and helping the drivers to become more consistent and more aggressive. I would still be doing 1st gear peelers out of Khol's parking lots if it wasnt for them. (I still do that...)
Why did you choose to take the path through drifting that you did?
I didn’t really choose any path. I was just aimlessly drawn to attractive cars and exciting drivers like a moth to a flame. Now that I have been doing this for a few years I dont see myself ever quitting as the friendships and laughs make all of the hard work worth it.
Drivetrain: Toyota 1jzvvti, R154, Garrett gt3076r, Doc Race manifold, Tial MVR44, ID 1000cc, PFC D-Jetro
PS: 420.69whp / 380wtq
Footwork: Fortune Auto 500, Kazama LCA's, Regas Knuckles, Cusco UCA, Xcessive Rear arms
Aero: Origin Racing Line w/ Underpanel, Origin fenders, Origin roof wing. Back up BN Sports Type 1 aero
Wheels: Too many: Minervas, Ryugis, Vishnus, Bazrieas, Andrew D’s, TE37, 57dr, t7r, 57c6, t5r.
Special Thanks!!! ~ to all the photographers that supplied photos! Be sure to check out their respective Instagram accounts - THEY HAVE AMAZING PICTURES! DMG, flipzco, los goonies alex scavuzzo, rob chulada, maddie liu, you’re doin it wrong photography, zach jopson, (if your photos are being used in the post and would like them to be tagged please DM us ~ THANK YOU!)