Hi Diego, thanks for this interview. Would you introduce yourself to our audience?
My name is Diego Jose Diestro Cano. I am 24 years old and was born in Colombia. I live in Vallirana near Barcelona. I work in our family company, which is dedicated to sea container transportation on a national level.
How and when did you become interested in drifting?
I do not remember the exact date but I have always loved cars and engines. I have always been in love with Japaenese cars and I remember the premier of the movie Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift. I started watching videos online and I liked the sliding cars. I remember when the drifting series King Of Europe arrived to Spain in 2013 and I attended the event in Castelloli as a spectator. When I arrived at the venue, two cars drove in front of me, they were making a lot of smoke. I got goosebumps like never before and I thought to myself ”One day this has to be me” and I started to fight for my new goal.
Tell us the story behind your Nissan S13
Story starts the day I finally got my car, white Nissan S13. For me it’s a lot more than just a car. I call it “Whitebear”. I found the car as I wanted it. It was totally OEM. I went to Lleida without a lot of experience but the car looked really good with only 104k kilometers on it. I made my offer to the previous owner and left. I was not sure if the seller would take my offer but I went home thinking that car needs to be mine. I was still on my way home when the phone rang and the seller told me that he will take the offer. On the next weekend, I washed it, took photos. I was enjoying my first car. I had paid for the car with my hard earned savings.
After 3 weeks of buying it, on a Sunday, the weather was mild and I decided to go for breakfast with a friend after which we went for a drive. We were driving around our town and I decided to skid a bit. Because I did not have any experience, the inevitable had to happen, I crashed into a light post. It looked fixable but truth is it was quite damaged. My family and friends told me to sell it before I start losing more money. Instead I bought another car, Nissan 200SX RS13 from Rafael Paulet, Pro driver in the Open Slalom Drift. I managed to disassemble the two cars and rebuild into the new chassis. After 6 months of working all by myself, the Nissan S13 was ready. I was the happiest man in the world, even after breaking the car I was able to fix it and enjoy my dream again.
After having the car working, I wanted to learn to drift proper already. I met Xavi Bridges, a fellow S13 owner who to this day is like a brother to me. He also drifts in the OSD. With him there was something special from the first day, he was supporting me 100% and recommended the right modifications for the car. I bought my first coilover suspension, welded the differential. We increased power with an exhaust, air filter, boost controller and a handful of other small things. After that we left it there. It took 4-5 months to buy and fit all the modifications.
I had my first round of drifting with Xavi as my professor. It was one of the best days in my life and I will never forget it. I learned a lot and realized the mistakes I was making. I understood what I need to learn to be able to drift proper. The car got a few scratches but that’s what happens when you are drifting.
After the first round of drifting, I used the car as a daily driver. I decided that it was time to dedicate some time to improve the looks of the car. After the car was painted and looking nice, I enjoyed it for a few months but I always wanted to try and improve the engine function also. After my second drifting in the very special circuit Castelloli, I was very happy, there were some small problems but nothing my sponsor Auto Taller la Plana could not fix. After a while I needed to upgrade the turbo as my old one was dying. With the help and collaboration from Ruben at TM Sports & Racing, I got a Garrett GT2560R.
I also bought a few other parts and the car was much faster than before, but then I started having trouble with the clutch, which was a new original from just 6 months before. One night after a cruise, I raced a friend, and the car did not feel the same as before. We learned with Xavi and another friend Dani, that there was something wrong with the engine internals. It needed a lot of money, so I left the car to Xavi and Dani’s place and we started to plan what to do with it next. I had just spent a lot of money on that engine and I wanted it to remain street legal, so I decided to keep the engine and improve it so it could have more power. I took it easy so it took me 2.5 years to drive the car again. We made the engine, painted the whole chassis, interior and everything. We have not counted the hours spent working on “Whitebear”, but I assure you there have been many.
Video: Diego in Open Slalom Drift Miranda de Ebro 2017
We always ask how it felt like to drive the car for the first time. Can you remember those feelings?
It was incredible! It was not super fast, but to drive these kind of cars with the stripped interior and handbrake on the hand, it’s incredible.
Your car has a very Japanese look to it. Are you a fan of Japanese street drifting?
Yes indeed, I am a big fan of D1 Street Legal, and the drifting in Japan is something that I always like more and more, and I keep learning new things to do to the car also.I got inspiration for the vinyles from the D1 Street Legal and the D1. I wanted the car white and I have always liked pink and blue. Thanks to Amorretty Works and Ed’s Vinyls we could make it happen. Today someone I get inspiration from is Naoki Nakamura. His style, not only the driving but the car as well is something I really like. My car is not ready yet, and we will have to change the name because it will not be white anymore.
What is your favorite part of your S13?
The mechanics and the chassis. I have not tried another car that gives me a better feeling. Although, I still need many hours of driving to learn to fully understand the car and learn to set it up.
Would you like to say thanks to someone?
I would like to thank everyone who supports the sport of drifting, and the people who have helped and sponsored me, as that of course helps so much!
I want to give a special thank you to Auto Taller la Plana, Xavi, Dani, Diego, Albert, Tino and everyone from that area. They have always been there for me when I needed anything.
Thank you to the S13 Maniacs club, where I am a member and they have helped me with everything.
Thanks to Ed’s Vinyls, Amoretty Works, Hobbydrift, AG Customs BCN, Hidroimpresion, Uissos Clothing, TMS Sports & Racing, Neumaticos Rubio, Tramal SL, Grupo Tramal and many other people who I have probably now forgotten.
Photo credits: xabiereguino.com and Hobbydrift.com