Realizing A Drifting Dream
The King Of Nations, King Of Europe Drift Series is in full swing. Four Rounds in, the excitement keeps getting better and better. In this week’s exclusive feature, we will be talking to one of the most talented and rising drifters in the King Of Europe Drift Series – Yvez Klossner.
Thanks for joining us, Yvez. Let’s begin with a customary intro.
My name is Yvez Klossner. I am 28 years old and owner of the successful Sideways Garage Ltd. in Dietlikon (Switzerland) for the past 5 years. I am very interested in drifting and I invest a lot of time in this sport. In 2014 and 2015 I became the Swiss champion in the Semi-Pro category with a Mazda MX5 / Miata with about 110HP. This year I started to test my skills with the drivers at King of Europe Drift Series, the official European drift League.
Can you take us back to where and how your journey in the motorsport of drifting began?
In 2012 I went to my first King of Europe event with a colleague of mine at the Anneau du Rhin circuit. The skill of the mad drivers, the ambiance and the heavily modified cars just got to me. From that day on, I knew that I will practice this sport too. I set myself a goal to practice this sport with passion on a top level. Since then I put a lot of sweat and blood into it to reach my goal.
Five years later, I have come pretty close to my goal. The fact being in second place right now is unimaginable for me. But I do not invest all the time in driving. As a qualified car mechanic and owner of the Sideways Garage, I have the luck to connect my hobby with my profession. We offer modifications and repairs to race and drift cars and we maintain these for our customers. This is like a huge dream come true.
Podium Position (3rd) at King of Europe Drift Round 3 & Overall Rank 2 Pro2
Tell us about your drift build.
My vehicle of choice at the moment is a BMW E30 with a 50B25 engine with a 2.7l stroker kit. It’s charged by a hybrid turbo. The actual power of this engine is about 540HP and 640Nm of torque. But the performance limit has not reached for long. By modifying this car, it was a huge goal to reduce the weight as much as possible. Also a good traction was necessary. Thanks to the BMW M5 rear axle and a ready to drive weight of only 930kg, this car generates a huge amount of grip. Although it is very light and agile, only high quality products from well known manufacturers have been used. This has made the car very reliable.
Video: King Of Europe Drift, Round 1, Greinbech 2017
For the season 2018 I am already planning a new car but will not talk about it yet.
In that case, it’s another story for another day.
What’s your approach to building a race car?
Thanks to the different works on customers’ cars, I have the possibility to compare and to improve many modifications and settings. There is no chance to create a perfect drift car from the beginning. Sometimes it takes years to find the perfect installations and settings. First you need to make a project plan where the needs for the driver have to be addressed thoroughly. Things like, should it be agile or should it react calm during driving. Also the chassis, engine and suspension are discussed and chosen during the project plan. After finding a concept you can choose the right chassis and engine and all other components for the car. Once that’s done, you can start to create a proper drift car. After a building time of five to seven months, you can ride out for a few test drives. During these tests you will recognize small problems and issues which have to be fixed.
Only when the driver feels confident with the car and becomes a unit, it can compete with other cars in competitions. After a few events you will recognize some small things to improve. It is always useful to clarify these changes in the regulations to avoid problems during the technical inspection or to get disqualified in advance.
It fascinates me and makes me move forward to create a perfect working car with a few restrictions from the regulations. Building a car that fascinates the crowd and that vanquishes the other competitors. The work I like the most during building a car is the metal workings. I love to build important parts from metal myself and often it works better than something else that can be bought from the market.
Sounds of performance – It would be interesting to hear your perspective. How do you define the performance sound of your car?
The sound of an engine is a matter of emotions. Some like the thunder of a V8, others love the sound of a screaming turbocharger. Personally, I prefer the screaming and banging of a turbo engine. My car is just screaming during full throttle and the anti-lag system is banging and produces big flames out of the exhaust. That’s exactly what I like the most. It takes me to an aggressive driving style and helps me to forget everything around me. This makes me focus on the moment to deliver the best performance.
Let’s hear about your team. The people who have been helping you to make this dream a reality.
I am the driver of the E30 baby monster, but this is not the most important ingredient for being successful in this sport. Drifting is a team sport where different people do many different jobs. I am proud to say that my team is really great and helped me to reach this success. Three mechanics take care of the car and technology. They look after the car, solve problems that it experiences. A good drift mechanic stands out with his inventive talent. Often it is about solving a problem with very limited options.
We also have a spotter who gives me important information on radio. Information related to my driving mistakes that I do not recognize. The spotter also accommodates me in briefings. He knows what the judges want to see on the track.
Team photo after podium position (3rd) at King Of Europe Round 3 2017 in France.
We also have our spectator adviser who speaks five languages and informs the fascinated visitors. He is also the connection to contact other teams, for example in case we need spare parts that we do not have in our service tools.
We are one of the little teams that have their own catering team on board. They take care of the wellbeing of the team. They also present us three meals a day with very delicious food under the given circumstances in the paddock. Also, we have a two man camera team with very professional equipment for the race weekends. They capture every moment on video and photos to present our achievements and to acquire new possible sponsors.
Every single person is essential for the overall success.
I would also like to mention my family. It is unbelievable how my wife and my two beautiful daughters are permitting and supporting me in what I am doing. They are my motivation to always give my very best and make it possible to live my drifting life.
Drifting is not just a sport, it is more of a lifestyle that takes a lot of time and enthusiasm. Therefore I would like to say a big thank you to my wonderful wife and my beautiful daughters. YOU are the best!
I would like to say thank you to all of my sponsors who believe in me and my skills. They support me with a lot of material that I can use on the track and financial funds that enable me to participate in this sport on this level.
Last but not the least, I would like to thank the King of Europe team. You guys organize fabulous events on the best race tracks around the world for an affordable price. You are taking the motorsport of drifting in a professional direction.
All of you who admire and believe in me are giving me the strength to do my best and to achieve my goals. Your support and your help is making my biggest dreams come true.