Week 33 exclusive Car & Driver feature: Lena Charlotte Westby making her mark on the tracks with smoked tires and noise.
Hello, Lena. Great to have you with us. A formal intro to start with?
Hi, my name is Lena Charlotte Westby, i’m from a small town in Norway and live with my fiancé and our daughter.
We have a BMW E30 that we have built together for drifting – we are at almost every Gatebil event! Back in 2014 I was in some drifting competitions, it was my first season. I felt good after that decided this was something that I could build something on and get even better at. So after that there was just one thing to do, start building a better drift car.
The brings us to our next question, the story behind getting into the motorsport of drifting.
The story behind getting into drifting started when I was young but did not have the money and time to start myself. I was watching “the big guys” drift. After a while when I had the money and more support around me, I got involved with other car-crazy people. It’s something different with the drifting life, the people, the support and the help that you can get anytime. It’s a special feeling, when you feel you have a car that’s out of control and you feel that you are mastering it.
Video: Lena C. West at Gatebil Rudskogen 100, 2017.
Tell us about your current drift car.
It’s a BMW E30, 1989 model – this is my first and only drift car.
What has been done to it and why?
We stripped the car down to the bone and mounted a roll cage. We also made a new front and rear frame. It has been rebuilt to the E36 front suspension with servo steering. We also installed Wisefab. 530 diesel gearbox and 730 E23 axle.
Tilton 3 plated clutch. The radiator was moved in the rear of the car. There is a fuel cell and 2x Bosch petrol pumps installed. We also have a fire extinguisher system in the car. Hydraulic brake and EBC brakes. (Bmw e36 328 front and e23 745 rear) Turbo groove E36 (328i) in front. Bmw E23 (745i) rear. Yellowstuff R clogs. HR spacer 50mm.
On the outside, it ihas a wide body kit from DL customworks. Rocket bunny tail. Wheels from GS performance in 8.25” on the front and 9.25″ rear.
Motorspec: BMW 46 s54b32. ( 856hp/ 922nm ). EMU control unit. Athena Cooper ring gasket. Wiseco stamps. Arp studs. Precision 6766 turbo. Jaa’s intake. Pauter rods. Double vanos. Original top. PPF 60mm dump valve. PPF 60mm wastegate. Audi coils.
It sounds like a long project. How long did it take to build it to where it is now?
It took about 1,5 years to build this car the way it is today. I have put a lot of money, sweat and tears in this car. I must say I have a close relationship with this car.
I am sure you love your drift build and its every feature but what is your favorite thing about it?
I definitely like the sound and the handling, but I must say that the outer look is my favorite part! The bodykit is one of a kind and there are just two E30 with it! It’s made by DL Customworks in Sweden.
Sounds of performance – It would be interesting to hear your perspective. How do you define the performance sound of a car and how do you experience it while driving?
Who can’t love the sound of an angry, turbo stroked S54b32? And when we drive with the scream pipe, I can’t describe the feeling I have when I hear the powe that I must be in control of.
Tell us about the team helping you.
There are so many people who have helped me out with this car! I have no words for what they have done for me! And without them, I would have never come so far!
Team Hardhaus AS,
Last but not the least, my family and friends, especially mom and dad! And countless individuals who have contributed more than we could dream of! Thank you everyone!
Any thoughts on the recent Gatebil Rudskogen 100, lessons learned, improvements and experience?
This year has been the best ever! And I have experienced a lot, both for myself and the car. At Gatebil’s main event, I signed up for the competition Super 3 along with two other norwegian female drifteres. We formed our own girls team. This is the first time it has been done, so it was a great experience! And we did a hell of a great job out there!
I’ve worked a lot on my driving technique and drifting mindset because I have to stay focused. I have to start trusting myself 100% because I know I can do even better, this is my passion!
Thanks so much, Lena. We hope to see again at next Gatebil :).
To remain updated with Lena’s drifting journey, make sure to follow her on:
Live long & Sideways!