February 2019 | Link Engine ManagementLink Engine Management

Drift Pilot Andy Gray

Recently Link ECU caught up with one of the world’s leading drifters, Andy Gray, to chat about where he started, career highlights, his relationship with Link ECU and where to next.

 

The beginning

Andy has always been into rear wheel drive cars but he got his first taste of drifting at 18. “I remember, I was in a Ford Sierra Cosworth, and it was wet, raining, and I go around a round-about sideways.” Andy didn’t know it was drifting then but ever since then he’s been sliding cars.

It wasn’t until he started a shop in Scotland that he got a real thirst for drifting. In the process of importing rear wheel cars for customers Andy had to prepare the cars, which meant taking them for drives. And he hasn’t stopped driving since.

From there, Andy chose to go to Japan to get closer to the import market and was soon supplying the likes of GTX’s (GT-R’s) and RX7’s to the world. When he moved to Tokyo, his landlord just happened to be Tohiharu Kazama from Kazama Auto – one of Japan’s original drift shops.  Before long, Andy was attending track days and other events with Tohiharu where his love for drifting grew.

It was around this time that he got himself a great started car – a BN Sports 180sx and was soon competing and doing well in local events. Having one of the original drifting masters as his mentor and Japanese drivers as influencers and teachers all around him, it was no surprise Andy learnt to drive in the style of the Japanese racers. Eventually Andy became the only westerner to move his way through all of the ranks including D1 Divisional and D1 Street Legal to a D1 GP the Top License in Japan. From this point Andy moved to Formula Drift USA and then Formula Drift Japan.

Career Highlight

Over the past 11 years Andy believes that winning the Formula Drift Japan Championship three times in a row is still his favourite. He believes “it was a great mix of drivers, great experience, massive online audience and helped get me global sponsorship”.

Andy and Link

Up until three years ago Andy and his tuner Oki-san – one of Japan’s top tuners, had always used alternative engine control units but when they saw the Link ECU and tried it they were converts. As Andy puts it “it was night and day, using Link ECU is pure luxury”.

When asked why Link ECU’s are so great, Andy replied, “The biggest thing for us is the plug in time – on previous units we had to push buttons to start logging the unit – I had so many other things on my mind I was always forgetting to press that button and it always caused headaches for my team” But with Link ECU it’s fully automatic and adjustments are made easily. “For my tuner – capabilities and power are the main things as we are tuning for every track and every event. The tuner plugs into the Link ECU, pulls the data and does the adjustments quickly and effectively and then bam, you are back on the track again.”

What’s next?

Andy is focusing on building his car for the next season a Lexus RC. Inspired by GT race series he is inspired to make something beautiful and is taking time to get it up to spec.

When asked what advice he has for anyone wanting to get into the game, he replied, “It’s no use having an 800 horse power car if you can’t drive it. Start small and build up. Time in the seat is the biggest thing. Go to events as well, whatever age you are you can always just practise online and play games. Simulation and games are a genuine way of being able to train.”

-ENDS-

https://www.facebook.com/powervehicles/videos/218180728852347/

Brody Goble – Link ECU PRO2 driver

What is it like to compete in the Formula Drift Link ECU PRO2 Drift championship?

A top professional drifter does not just come out of nowhere. In a sport that takes a lot of skill, experience and of course, sponsorship, to win at the elite level, a driver often competes for many years before reaching the Pro class.

This is where the feeder series’ come to the forefront.

In every major drifting championship across the globe, there is a ‘support’ category which drivers compete in to earn their pro license. The Link ECU PRO2 Category is the feeder class for Formula Drift PRO in the USA, one of the world’s premier drift competitions. Be warned, however, these are not second-rate classes. The competition is tough, the cars are high horsepower and the teams are committed outfits. To understand what it’s like to compete in this category, Link ECU spoke with PRO2 driver Brody Goble.

 

 

Canadian Brody and his Nissan 240SX finished in the top 5 at three of the four competition events throughout 2018, earning his Pro license for the second year running. Despite his commitment to drifting, Brody still works full time in a family workshop and runs his own media business. Drifting is an expensive sport and it can be a long road to the top. It is certainly a worthwhile ride, however. The exact thrill of burning rubber in a competition car is too exhilarating to put into words contributing to the addiction many Pro hopefuls experience. Brody is well on his way towards a future in the sport, making the jump to the PRO class in 2019.

 

 

While Formula Drift Pro has seven rounds throughout the whole of the USA, the PRO2 class competes at four of these rounds. The rules are similar to that of the Pro category, only differing in the tires used and the smaller number of rounds which helps to keep the costs down.

 

 

As the title sponsor of the class, Link Engine Management have invested in the future of the sport. The aim is to help young drivers off the streets and into a safer environment where they can exercise their passion for powerful cars.

 

Link Engine Management systems are also a vital part of many team’s competitive package, providing safety limits, data logging and boost control features to these powerful vehicles. In 2018, Pro2 users included championship winner Travis Reeder. Brody’s 2018 car is equipped with the most powerful Link ECU, a G4+ Thunder ECU. It seems 1000 horsepower is now the minimum required to compete at this level and his package certainly has the power and reliability to get the job done.

 

 

Have a read of the interview below as we discover more about Brody, his car, and competing in the Link ECU Pro 2 category of Formula Drift.

 

 

Link ECU: How did you get started in drifting?

BG: I grew up as one of those little karting kids and got pretty deep into that sport travelling throughout North America. When I was making the switch from karts to cars I saved up to buy a 240sx to slide around and learn some car control. One thing led to the next and of course I found myself entering a drift competition for the first time ever really drifting when I was 18. Placed 3rd out of the 18 drivers entered without even have a handbrake in the car and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Link ECU: How long have you been drifting for?

BG: On and off since I was 18 (I’m 28 now). The focus in the beginning was still on road racing but since 2013 I have basically put all my eggs in the drifting basket and haven’t looked back.

Link ECU: What made you make the step up to Formula Drift PRO 2?

BG: I think it is important to always push yourself in car racing because you never know how long you can make the sacrifices for to create a program and have the opportunity to compete. I’ve always wanted to see how far I can take my driving, so it was natural to keep pushing to drive against people who are better than me and see if I can simply figure it out.

Link ECU: What made you make the step up to Formula Drift PRO 2?

BG: I think it is important to always push yourself in car racing because you never know how long you can make the sacrifices for to create a program and have the opportunity to compete. I’ve always wanted to see how far I can take my driving so it was natural to keep pushing to drive against people who are better than me and see if I can simply figure it out.

Link ECU: How did your season go in 2018?

BG: Rocky start but solid overall. We had some car troubles with an untested setup at our first event in Atlanta and didn’t qualify for our first time ever. It was hard to swallow as we stood on the podium in Atlanta just 1 year prior. After that, we got back home to Vancouver, Canada and got some proper testing in and finished in the top 5 for all of the remaining events. This is the second time we have now earned our Pro 1 license after a successful season in Pro 2.

Link ECU: Which personnel does your team consist of?

BG: Tommy Franke of Frankenstein Speed and Custom, Clay Beier, Keith Carter, my wife Grace who helps with media and my dad Alex.

Link ECU: How do you travel to the races? (drive in a semi, trailer the car? etc)

BG: With so much travel across the USA for Formula Drift my dad helps me with it. We have a 2 car semi (referred to as a “toterhome”) where I can haul my own car and Brandon Schmidt’s Pro 2 car as well. My wife and I usually drive to the event and stay in the motorhome portion of the tractor and then fly home to get back to work once the event is over. My dad will fly down for the event and then drive the rig back home to Canada for us which is a massive help.

Link ECU: What is your car? Detail of the modifications etc….

BG: Currently we are competing in a 1998 Nissan 240sx (s14) with a 427ci RHS engine, Mast Motorsports Black Label heads and a Vortech V-7 Ysi-B blower. It makes right around 1050whp with the Link Thunder ECU and Ignite Red 114 ethanol race fuel fed through a complete Radium Engineering fuel system. Gearbox is a 4speed G-Force GSR dogbox paired to a Winters Quick Change and Driveshaft Shop Axles and Driveshaft. Suspension is from Fortune Auto and all of the arms underneath are Voodoo13. ASD Handbrake with Wilwood brakes on all 4 corners and TAKATA seats and harnesses inside. Rear radiator and all of the fabrication components supplied by Vibrant Performance and built by Tommy at Frankenstein Speed and Custom.

Link ECU: How long have you owned this car?

BG: We began building this car in 2016 and it was debuted in the 2017 Pro 2 season. Previously we ran a naturally aspirated stroker LS s13 240sx in the 2015 Pro 2 Season. More pow is more fun though!

Link ECU: Who did the tuning?

BG: Tuned by a local LS wizard here in Canada, Matt Jamoukhanov. Matt has a ton of experience with supercharged LS engines as well as ethanol/methanol so it was a perfect fit. Matt is crazy, he drives around a near 800whp pump gas corvette on the street and has been thrashing on it for years without any issue so I knew he would be the guy we needed. Dyno services were provided by our local Ford dealership, Brown Bros. Ford. They have an awesome race shop and a bunch of their own badass road race cars that I occasionally am allowed to get behind the wheel of.

Link ECU: Why do you bother running an aftermarket ECU for drifting?

BG: When you need to feed (8) 1725cc injectors enough ethanol to make over 1000hp to the tires a lot can go wrong. Making sure this engine stays alive for an entire season of Formula Drift is essentially put on the tuner and ECU so reliability of the LINK products is very important to us. Logging and a ton of other options in it allow us to monitor everything and to find problems before something catastrophic takes place.

Summernats ’19 burnout champion

Summernats is labelled as Australia’s biggest horspower party, where car enthusiasts descend on the capital city for a weekend of performance cars, cruises, burnouts, rock’n’roll and more.

The Burnout competition is central to the event. Hosted in a purpose built burnout facility, the event attracts the best cars not only from Australia but from all over the world.

Mick Hamon in his VE Commodore, WIDE OPEN took the win this year at SUMMERNATS 32. Mick, from Sydney, competes regularly in the car, extracting maximum performance from the LS block engine.


Photo by Summernats

The methanol fuelled Holden utilises Link G4+ Thunder ECU & engine management to ensure the engine can handle the revs and load while spinning the rear tires for over 60 seconds.



Justin at BYE Performance in Western Australia rewired the car in-house. Pictured here is the Link G4+ Thunder ECU & fuse box. The team monitor fuel/oil pressure, PCV, and utilise 8 channel EGT’s to make fuel corrections on every cylinder.

WIDE OPEN puts out approx. 1000rwhp, though Justin has only been able to record 910rwhp at 6400rpm on skid tyres before hitting the dyno road speed limit. The RPM limiter is at 7800rpm.


Engine specifications:

Methanal fuel

Mechanical fuel pump

Dry Sump setup

LSX Block, 408cube LS engine built by BYE Performance

Powerglide Transmission

Sheet Metal 9” Diff

8/71 Littlefield Supercharger

JBR Carbon injector Hat

16x Injectors running 2650cc per cylinder, 1000CC for the injector hat and 1650CC for each cylinder


BYE Performance

(08) 9451 9696

84 Ewing Street, Welshpool WA 6106

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkCbNtgwN_A

https://www.facebook.com/BurnoutsAustraliaMagazine/videos/474978413033804/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNgJopOhJxA

Leadfoot Festival 2019

Well, that is a wrap on another year on the Coromandel coast of New Zealand at Leadfoot Festival.

Leadfoot is very unique in terms of the diversity among the cars which compete at the event. The vehicles age from 100 year old vintage restorations, to the modern rally cars, quads, sidecars and drift cars.

Link ECUs are an integral part of many of the vehicles racing up Rod Millen’s driveway, providing engine safety features, tuning capabilities, traction control and launch control, plus many more features that come in handy in this hill climb style motorsport event.

A special congratulations goes to fan favourite, Andy Duffin, in the Link ECU RX7 who was the fastest RWD car of the weekend. This meant Andy made the Top 10 shootout, proving his naturally aspirated RX7 is one of the fastest in the country.

Photo by Bryce Campbell

The Lab Limited’s Nissan March sponsored by Link ECU was driven by Paul Radisich for the day. He did a 53.3 and the car also placed third in the ‘best in show’ competition.  Check out this video here.

Matt Gaskin set a new personal best in his Nissan VK56 powered Skyline – setting a 55.87 (Link Xtreme ECU). 

Photo by Leadfoot

The NZ drift scene was graced with the presence of Formula Drift USA pro driver Ken Guishi for the weekend. A crew of seven drift pilots provided great entertainment for the crowd doing group and tandem drift displays over the two days.

Jase Brown Drift, his Nissan s13 ‘Frankenstein 07’ and his Granny all featured on Seven Sharp on Friday evening, a national news programme in New Zealand. Powered buy a Supercharged Toyota Lexus 1UZ V8, Frankenstein was one heck of a ride for Jase’s 91 year old gran who races rally. 

Gaz Whiter (S15), Cole Armstrong (R34) & Darren Kelly (R35 GTR) all had great fun being part of the event once again.

Kat Benson also competed in her time attack Mitsubishi EVO 7 and loved the challenge of racing up this tight & tricky strip of tarseal.

Congratulations to all these drivers and teams for a huge effort. Until next year, Hahei 👋

Who is Nikki Hepburn?

Queensland drag racing legend, Nikki Hepburn, spared a few competitive seconds to catch up with Link ECU about where it all began, her 2018 USA trip, what ECU kit the team are currently running and where to next.

Where it began for Nikki

Since a young girl Nikki has always been into drag cars and street racing. But six years ago things got serious when she started racing in her dad’s twin turbo big block gemini. “I competed in Super Sedan and then Outlaw 10.5 and managed a best of 6.88 at 218mph.”

Two years later Nikki and her fiance Luke, began building the 86 and has been running it as a radial car ever since, whilst still competing against the slick cars.

From there, masses of driving time and skill honing has been the key to her impressive achievements

Current records

Nikki is known for her steely nerves and level head which has helped her reach exceptional career heights, “We are currently the world’s fastest import radial car and I am also the world’s quickest female sport compact racer”. That’s no mean feat given her currently held PB is 6.55 at 217mph with a speed PB of 219mph.

Nikki’s 1FZ powered Toyota 86 drag car

2018 USA Tour

Nikki’s 2018 USA tour took her and the team on two incredibly successful trips. The first was for the World Sport Compact Challenge in Orlando which saw some incredible firsts. “During testing we broke our own world record three times, bringing it down to 6.55.” After that, Nikki made top qualifier in the street rod 10.5 class and also broke the class record.

The record breaking team & car in Orlando, USA

The second trip was for the World Spot Compact Finals, again Nikki qualified top in the class.

The team then took the car to Indianapolis for the PRI Show to display at the Supertech Valves stand, to which the audience gave many “ooo’s and aah’s”. During the show the car was nominated by an independent panel for the JE Pistons ‘Masters of Motors’ competition.

The car also made the top 25 and won the ‘best import motor’ class for which Nikki and the team received a trophy and $1000 in pistons from JE Pistons.

Winner of Best Import at PRI 2019

Nikki and Link

Although Link has been onboard as a sponsor for two years now, Nikki has always run Link gear in her race cars. “Our local guys, Justin & Michael from JW Automotive introduced us to Link. They’re a Link dealer but also manage the tuning and electrical package on the car.”

As well as the top service from JW Automotive Nikki reaches her exceptional speeds by running 2 x Link Xtreme ECUs, Link pressure sensors and Link EGT’s

Nikki’s Link ECU package is tuned by JW Automotive in QLD, Australia

What’s next

The 2019 race season is set to be a winner for Nikki. “The car’s due back in February with an immediate start of two events in March; the Sydney Jamboree in which Link sponsor us and the Kenda Tyres 660 Drag Radial Series. And after that another six events or so for the remainder of the year.”

When asked what her words of wisdom are for your racers she doesn’t disappoint, “Be prepared to spend the money to get things done right the first time and do it because you love it.”

Drift Pilot Andy Gray

Recently Link ECU caught up with one of the world’s leading drifters, Andy Gray, to chat about where he started, career highlights, his relationship with Link ECU and where to next.

 

The beginning

Andy has always been into rear wheel drive cars but he got his first taste of drifting at 18. “I remember, I was in a Ford Sierra Cosworth, and it was wet, raining, and I go around a round-about sideways.” Andy didn’t know it was drifting then but ever since then he’s been sliding cars.

It wasn’t until he started a shop in Scotland that he got a real thirst for drifting. In the process of importing rear wheel cars for customers Andy had to prepare the cars, which meant taking them for drives. And he hasn’t stopped driving since.

From there, Andy chose to go to Japan to get closer to the import market and was soon supplying the likes of GTX’s (GT-R’s) and RX7’s to the world. When he moved to Tokyo, his landlord just happened to be Tohiharu Kazama from Kazama Auto – one of Japan’s original drift shops.  Before long, Andy was attending track days and other events with Tohiharu where his love for drifting grew.

It was around this time that he got himself a great started car – a BN Sports 180sx and was soon competing and doing well in local events. Having one of the original drifting masters as his mentor and Japanese drivers as influencers and teachers all around him, it was no surprise Andy learnt to drive in the style of the Japanese racers. Eventually Andy became the only westerner to move his way through all of the ranks including D1 Divisional and D1 Street Legal to a D1 GP the Top License in Japan. From this point Andy moved to Formula Drift USA and then Formula Drift Japan.

Career Highlight

Over the past 11 years Andy believes that winning the Formula Drift Japan Championship three times in a row is still his favourite. He believes “it was a great mix of drivers, great experience, massive online audience and helped get me global sponsorship”.

Andy and Link

Up until three years ago Andy and his tuner Oki-san – one of Japan’s top tuners, had always used alternative engine control units but when they saw the Link ECU and tried it they were converts. As Andy puts it “it was night and day, using Link ECU is pure luxury”.

When asked why Link ECU’s are so great, Andy replied, “The biggest thing for us is the plug in time – on previous units we had to push buttons to start logging the unit – I had so many other things on my mind I was always forgetting to press that button and it always caused headaches for my team” But with Link ECU it’s fully automatic and adjustments are made easily. “For my tuner – capabilities and power are the main things as we are tuning for every track and every event. The tuner plugs into the Link ECU, pulls the data and does the adjustments quickly and effectively and then bam, you are back on the track again.”

What’s next?

Andy is focusing on building his car for the next season a Lexus RC. Inspired by GT race series he is inspired to make something beautiful and is taking time to get it up to spec.

When asked what advice he has for anyone wanting to get into the game, he replied, “It’s no use having an 800 horse power car if you can’t drive it. Start small and build up. Time in the seat is the biggest thing. Go to events as well, whatever age you are you can always just practise online and play games. Simulation and games are a genuine way of being able to train.”

-ENDS-

https://www.facebook.com/powervehicles/videos/218180728852347/

Brody Goble – Link ECU PRO2 driver

What is it like to compete in the Formula Drift Link ECU PRO2 Drift championship?

A top professional drifter does not just come out of nowhere. In a sport that takes a lot of skill, experience and of course, sponsorship, to win at the elite level, a driver often competes for many years before reaching the Pro class.

This is where the feeder series’ come to the forefront.

In every major drifting championship across the globe, there is a ‘support’ category which drivers compete in to earn their pro license. The Link ECU PRO2 Category is the feeder class for Formula Drift PRO in the USA, one of the world’s premier drift competitions. Be warned, however, these are not second-rate classes. The competition is tough, the cars are high horsepower and the teams are committed outfits. To understand what it’s like to compete in this category, Link ECU spoke with PRO2 driver Brody Goble.

 

 

Canadian Brody and his Nissan 240SX finished in the top 5 at three of the four competition events throughout 2018, earning his Pro license for the second year running. Despite his commitment to drifting, Brody still works full time in a family workshop and runs his own media business. Drifting is an expensive sport and it can be a long road to the top. It is certainly a worthwhile ride, however. The exact thrill of burning rubber in a competition car is too exhilarating to put into words contributing to the addiction many Pro hopefuls experience. Brody is well on his way towards a future in the sport, making the jump to the PRO class in 2019.

 

 

While Formula Drift Pro has seven rounds throughout the whole of the USA, the PRO2 class competes at four of these rounds. The rules are similar to that of the Pro category, only differing in the tires used and the smaller number of rounds which helps to keep the costs down.

 

 

As the title sponsor of the class, Link Engine Management have invested in the future of the sport. The aim is to help young drivers off the streets and into a safer environment where they can exercise their passion for powerful cars.

 

Link Engine Management systems are also a vital part of many team’s competitive package, providing safety limits, data logging and boost control features to these powerful vehicles. In 2018, Pro2 users included championship winner Travis Reeder. Brody’s 2018 car is equipped with the most powerful Link ECU, a G4+ Thunder ECU. It seems 1000 horsepower is now the minimum required to compete at this level and his package certainly has the power and reliability to get the job done.

 

 

Have a read of the interview below as we discover more about Brody, his car, and competing in the Link ECU Pro 2 category of Formula Drift.

 

 

Link ECU: How did you get started in drifting?

BG: I grew up as one of those little karting kids and got pretty deep into that sport travelling throughout North America. When I was making the switch from karts to cars I saved up to buy a 240sx to slide around and learn some car control. One thing led to the next and of course I found myself entering a drift competition for the first time ever really drifting when I was 18. Placed 3rd out of the 18 drivers entered without even have a handbrake in the car and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Link ECU: How long have you been drifting for?

BG: On and off since I was 18 (I’m 28 now). The focus in the beginning was still on road racing but since 2013 I have basically put all my eggs in the drifting basket and haven’t looked back.

Link ECU: What made you make the step up to Formula Drift PRO 2?

BG: I think it is important to always push yourself in car racing because you never know how long you can make the sacrifices for to create a program and have the opportunity to compete. I’ve always wanted to see how far I can take my driving, so it was natural to keep pushing to drive against people who are better than me and see if I can simply figure it out.

Link ECU: What made you make the step up to Formula Drift PRO 2?

BG: I think it is important to always push yourself in car racing because you never know how long you can make the sacrifices for to create a program and have the opportunity to compete. I’ve always wanted to see how far I can take my driving so it was natural to keep pushing to drive against people who are better than me and see if I can simply figure it out.

Link ECU: How did your season go in 2018?

BG: Rocky start but solid overall. We had some car troubles with an untested setup at our first event in Atlanta and didn’t qualify for our first time ever. It was hard to swallow as we stood on the podium in Atlanta just 1 year prior. After that, we got back home to Vancouver, Canada and got some proper testing in and finished in the top 5 for all of the remaining events. This is the second time we have now earned our Pro 1 license after a successful season in Pro 2.

Link ECU: Which personnel does your team consist of?

BG: Tommy Franke of Frankenstein Speed and Custom, Clay Beier, Keith Carter, my wife Grace who helps with media and my dad Alex.

Link ECU: How do you travel to the races? (drive in a semi, trailer the car? etc)

BG: With so much travel across the USA for Formula Drift my dad helps me with it. We have a 2 car semi (referred to as a “toterhome”) where I can haul my own car and Brandon Schmidt’s Pro 2 car as well. My wife and I usually drive to the event and stay in the motorhome portion of the tractor and then fly home to get back to work once the event is over. My dad will fly down for the event and then drive the rig back home to Canada for us which is a massive help.

Link ECU: What is your car? Detail of the modifications etc….

BG: Currently we are competing in a 1998 Nissan 240sx (s14) with a 427ci RHS engine, Mast Motorsports Black Label heads and a Vortech V-7 Ysi-B blower. It makes right around 1050whp with the Link Thunder ECU and Ignite Red 114 ethanol race fuel fed through a complete Radium Engineering fuel system. Gearbox is a 4speed G-Force GSR dogbox paired to a Winters Quick Change and Driveshaft Shop Axles and Driveshaft. Suspension is from Fortune Auto and all of the arms underneath are Voodoo13. ASD Handbrake with Wilwood brakes on all 4 corners and TAKATA seats and harnesses inside. Rear radiator and all of the fabrication components supplied by Vibrant Performance and built by Tommy at Frankenstein Speed and Custom.

Link ECU: How long have you owned this car?

BG: We began building this car in 2016 and it was debuted in the 2017 Pro 2 season. Previously we ran a naturally aspirated stroker LS s13 240sx in the 2015 Pro 2 Season. More pow is more fun though!

Link ECU: Who did the tuning?

BG: Tuned by a local LS wizard here in Canada, Matt Jamoukhanov. Matt has a ton of experience with supercharged LS engines as well as ethanol/methanol so it was a perfect fit. Matt is crazy, he drives around a near 800whp pump gas corvette on the street and has been thrashing on it for years without any issue so I knew he would be the guy we needed. Dyno services were provided by our local Ford dealership, Brown Bros. Ford. They have an awesome race shop and a bunch of their own badass road race cars that I occasionally am allowed to get behind the wheel of.

Link ECU: Why do you bother running an aftermarket ECU for drifting?

BG: When you need to feed (8) 1725cc injectors enough ethanol to make over 1000hp to the tires a lot can go wrong. Making sure this engine stays alive for an entire season of Formula Drift is essentially put on the tuner and ECU so reliability of the LINK products is very important to us. Logging and a ton of other options in it allow us to monitor everything and to find problems before something catastrophic takes place.

Summernats ’19 burnout champion

Summernats is labelled as Australia’s biggest horspower party, where car enthusiasts descend on the capital city for a weekend of performance cars, cruises, burnouts, rock’n’roll and more.

The Burnout competition is central to the event. Hosted in a purpose built burnout facility, the event attracts the best cars not only from Australia but from all over the world.

Mick Hamon in his VE Commodore, WIDE OPEN took the win this year at SUMMERNATS 32. Mick, from Sydney, competes regularly in the car, extracting maximum performance from the LS block engine.


Photo by Summernats

The methanol fuelled Holden utilises Link G4+ Thunder ECU & engine management to ensure the engine can handle the revs and load while spinning the rear tires for over 60 seconds.



Justin at BYE Performance in Western Australia rewired the car in-house. Pictured here is the Link G4+ Thunder ECU & fuse box. The team monitor fuel/oil pressure, PCV, and utilise 8 channel EGT’s to make fuel corrections on every cylinder.

WIDE OPEN puts out approx. 1000rwhp, though Justin has only been able to record 910rwhp at 6400rpm on skid tyres before hitting the dyno road speed limit. The RPM limiter is at 7800rpm.


Engine specifications:

Methanal fuel

Mechanical fuel pump

Dry Sump setup

LSX Block, 408cube LS engine built by BYE Performance

Powerglide Transmission

Sheet Metal 9” Diff

8/71 Littlefield Supercharger

JBR Carbon injector Hat

16x Injectors running 2650cc per cylinder, 1000CC for the injector hat and 1650CC for each cylinder


BYE Performance

(08) 9451 9696

84 Ewing Street, Welshpool WA 6106

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkCbNtgwN_A

https://www.facebook.com/BurnoutsAustraliaMagazine/videos/474978413033804/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNgJopOhJxA

Leadfoot Festival 2019

Well, that is a wrap on another year on the Coromandel coast of New Zealand at Leadfoot Festival.

Leadfoot is very unique in terms of the diversity among the cars which compete at the event. The vehicles age from 100 year old vintage restorations, to the modern rally cars, quads, sidecars and drift cars.

Link ECUs are an integral part of many of the vehicles racing up Rod Millen’s driveway, providing engine safety features, tuning capabilities, traction control and launch control, plus many more features that come in handy in this hill climb style motorsport event.

A special congratulations goes to fan favourite, Andy Duffin, in the Link ECU RX7 who was the fastest RWD car of the weekend. This meant Andy made the Top 10 shootout, proving his naturally aspirated RX7 is one of the fastest in the country.

Photo by Bryce Campbell

The Lab Limited’s Nissan March sponsored by Link ECU was driven by Paul Radisich for the day. He did a 53.3 and the car also placed third in the ‘best in show’ competition.  Check out this video here.

Matt Gaskin set a new personal best in his Nissan VK56 powered Skyline – setting a 55.87 (Link Xtreme ECU). 

Photo by Leadfoot

The NZ drift scene was graced with the presence of Formula Drift USA pro driver Ken Guishi for the weekend. A crew of seven drift pilots provided great entertainment for the crowd doing group and tandem drift displays over the two days.

Jase Brown Drift, his Nissan s13 ‘Frankenstein 07’ and his Granny all featured on Seven Sharp on Friday evening, a national news programme in New Zealand. Powered buy a Supercharged Toyota Lexus 1UZ V8, Frankenstein was one heck of a ride for Jase’s 91 year old gran who races rally. 

Gaz Whiter (S15), Cole Armstrong (R34) & Darren Kelly (R35 GTR) all had great fun being part of the event once again.

Kat Benson also competed in her time attack Mitsubishi EVO 7 and loved the challenge of racing up this tight & tricky strip of tarseal.

Congratulations to all these drivers and teams for a huge effort. Until next year, Hahei 👋

Who is Nikki Hepburn?

Queensland drag racing legend, Nikki Hepburn, spared a few competitive seconds to catch up with Link ECU about where it all began, her 2018 USA trip, what ECU kit the team are currently running and where to next.

Where it began for Nikki

Since a young girl Nikki has always been into drag cars and street racing. But six years ago things got serious when she started racing in her dad’s twin turbo big block gemini. “I competed in Super Sedan and then Outlaw 10.5 and managed a best of 6.88 at 218mph.”

Two years later Nikki and her fiance Luke, began building the 86 and has been running it as a radial car ever since, whilst still competing against the slick cars.

From there, masses of driving time and skill honing has been the key to her impressive achievements

Current records

Nikki is known for her steely nerves and level head which has helped her reach exceptional career heights, “We are currently the world’s fastest import radial car and I am also the world’s quickest female sport compact racer”. That’s no mean feat given her currently held PB is 6.55 at 217mph with a speed PB of 219mph.

Nikki’s 1FZ powered Toyota 86 drag car

2018 USA Tour

Nikki’s 2018 USA tour took her and the team on two incredibly successful trips. The first was for the World Sport Compact Challenge in Orlando which saw some incredible firsts. “During testing we broke our own world record three times, bringing it down to 6.55.” After that, Nikki made top qualifier in the street rod 10.5 class and also broke the class record.

The record breaking team & car in Orlando, USA

The second trip was for the World Spot Compact Finals, again Nikki qualified top in the class.

The team then took the car to Indianapolis for the PRI Show to display at the Supertech Valves stand, to which the audience gave many “ooo’s and aah’s”. During the show the car was nominated by an independent panel for the JE Pistons ‘Masters of Motors’ competition.

The car also made the top 25 and won the ‘best import motor’ class for which Nikki and the team received a trophy and $1000 in pistons from JE Pistons.

Winner of Best Import at PRI 2019

Nikki and Link

Although Link has been onboard as a sponsor for two years now, Nikki has always run Link gear in her race cars. “Our local guys, Justin & Michael from JW Automotive introduced us to Link. They’re a Link dealer but also manage the tuning and electrical package on the car.”

As well as the top service from JW Automotive Nikki reaches her exceptional speeds by running 2 x Link Xtreme ECUs, Link pressure sensors and Link EGT’s

Nikki’s Link ECU package is tuned by JW Automotive in QLD, Australia

What’s next

The 2019 race season is set to be a winner for Nikki. “The car’s due back in February with an immediate start of two events in March; the Sydney Jamboree in which Link sponsor us and the Kenda Tyres 660 Drag Radial Series. And after that another six events or so for the remainder of the year.”

When asked what her words of wisdom are for your racers she doesn’t disappoint, “Be prepared to spend the money to get things done right the first time and do it because you love it.”

xxxxx
-----

Drift Pilot Andy Gray

Recently Link ECU caught up with one of the world’s leading drifters, Andy Gray, to chat about where he started, career highlights, his relationship with Link ECU and where to next.

 

The beginning

Andy has always been into rear wheel drive cars but he got his first taste of drifting at 18. “I remember, I was in a Ford Sierra Cosworth, and it was wet, raining, and I go around a round-about sideways.” Andy didn’t know it was drifting then but ever since then he’s been sliding cars.

It wasn’t until he started a shop in Scotland that he got a real thirst for drifting. In the process of importing rear wheel cars for customers Andy had to prepare the cars, which meant taking them for drives. And he hasn’t stopped driving since.

From there, Andy chose to go to Japan to get closer to the import market and was soon supplying the likes of GTX’s (GT-R’s) and RX7’s to the world. When he moved to Tokyo, his landlord just happened to be Tohiharu Kazama from Kazama Auto – one of Japan’s original drift shops.  Before long, Andy was attending track days and other events with Tohiharu where his love for drifting grew.

It was around this time that he got himself a great started car – a BN Sports 180sx and was soon competing and doing well in local events. Having one of the original drifting masters as his mentor and Japanese drivers as influencers and teachers all around him, it was no surprise Andy learnt to drive in the style of the Japanese racers. Eventually Andy became the only westerner to move his way through all of the ranks including D1 Divisional and D1 Street Legal to a D1 GP the Top License in Japan. From this point Andy moved to Formula Drift USA and then Formula Drift Japan.

Career Highlight

Over the past 11 years Andy believes that winning the Formula Drift Japan Championship three times in a row is still his favourite. He believes “it was a great mix of drivers, great experience, massive online audience and helped get me global sponsorship”.

Andy and Link

Up until three years ago Andy and his tuner Oki-san – one of Japan’s top tuners, had always used alternative engine control units but when they saw the Link ECU and tried it they were converts. As Andy puts it “it was night and day, using Link ECU is pure luxury”.

When asked why Link ECU’s are so great, Andy replied, “The biggest thing for us is the plug in time – on previous units we had to push buttons to start logging the unit – I had so many other things on my mind I was always forgetting to press that button and it always caused headaches for my team” But with Link ECU it’s fully automatic and adjustments are made easily. “For my tuner – capabilities and power are the main things as we are tuning for every track and every event. The tuner plugs into the Link ECU, pulls the data and does the adjustments quickly and effectively and then bam, you are back on the track again.”

What’s next?

Andy is focusing on building his car for the next season a Lexus RC. Inspired by GT race series he is inspired to make something beautiful and is taking time to get it up to spec.

When asked what advice he has for anyone wanting to get into the game, he replied, “It’s no use having an 800 horse power car if you can’t drive it. Start small and build up. Time in the seat is the biggest thing. Go to events as well, whatever age you are you can always just practise online and play games. Simulation and games are a genuine way of being able to train.”

-ENDS-

https://www.facebook.com/powervehicles/videos/218180728852347/

Brody Goble – Link ECU PRO2 driver

What is it like to compete in the Formula Drift Link ECU PRO2 Drift championship?

A top professional drifter does not just come out of nowhere. In a sport that takes a lot of skill, experience and of course, sponsorship, to win at the elite level, a driver often competes for many years before reaching the Pro class.

This is where the feeder series’ come to the forefront.

In every major drifting championship across the globe, there is a ‘support’ category which drivers compete in to earn their pro license. The Link ECU PRO2 Category is the feeder class for Formula Drift PRO in the USA, one of the world’s premier drift competitions. Be warned, however, these are not second-rate classes. The competition is tough, the cars are high horsepower and the teams are committed outfits. To understand what it’s like to compete in this category, Link ECU spoke with PRO2 driver Brody Goble.

 

 

Canadian Brody and his Nissan 240SX finished in the top 5 at three of the four competition events throughout 2018, earning his Pro license for the second year running. Despite his commitment to drifting, Brody still works full time in a family workshop and runs his own media business. Drifting is an expensive sport and it can be a long road to the top. It is certainly a worthwhile ride, however. The exact thrill of burning rubber in a competition car is too exhilarating to put into words contributing to the addiction many Pro hopefuls experience. Brody is well on his way towards a future in the sport, making the jump to the PRO class in 2019.

 

 

While Formula Drift Pro has seven rounds throughout the whole of the USA, the PRO2 class competes at four of these rounds. The rules are similar to that of the Pro category, only differing in the tires used and the smaller number of rounds which helps to keep the costs down.

 

 

As the title sponsor of the class, Link Engine Management have invested in the future of the sport. The aim is to help young drivers off the streets and into a safer environment where they can exercise their passion for powerful cars.

 

Link Engine Management systems are also a vital part of many team’s competitive package, providing safety limits, data logging and boost control features to these powerful vehicles. In 2018, Pro2 users included championship winner Travis Reeder. Brody’s 2018 car is equipped with the most powerful Link ECU, a G4+ Thunder ECU. It seems 1000 horsepower is now the minimum required to compete at this level and his package certainly has the power and reliability to get the job done.

 

 

Have a read of the interview below as we discover more about Brody, his car, and competing in the Link ECU Pro 2 category of Formula Drift.

 

 

Link ECU: How did you get started in drifting?

BG: I grew up as one of those little karting kids and got pretty deep into that sport travelling throughout North America. When I was making the switch from karts to cars I saved up to buy a 240sx to slide around and learn some car control. One thing led to the next and of course I found myself entering a drift competition for the first time ever really drifting when I was 18. Placed 3rd out of the 18 drivers entered without even have a handbrake in the car and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Link ECU: How long have you been drifting for?

BG: On and off since I was 18 (I’m 28 now). The focus in the beginning was still on road racing but since 2013 I have basically put all my eggs in the drifting basket and haven’t looked back.

Link ECU: What made you make the step up to Formula Drift PRO 2?

BG: I think it is important to always push yourself in car racing because you never know how long you can make the sacrifices for to create a program and have the opportunity to compete. I’ve always wanted to see how far I can take my driving, so it was natural to keep pushing to drive against people who are better than me and see if I can simply figure it out.

Link ECU: What made you make the step up to Formula Drift PRO 2?

BG: I think it is important to always push yourself in car racing because you never know how long you can make the sacrifices for to create a program and have the opportunity to compete. I’ve always wanted to see how far I can take my driving so it was natural to keep pushing to drive against people who are better than me and see if I can simply figure it out.

Link ECU: How did your season go in 2018?

BG: Rocky start but solid overall. We had some car troubles with an untested setup at our first event in Atlanta and didn’t qualify for our first time ever. It was hard to swallow as we stood on the podium in Atlanta just 1 year prior. After that, we got back home to Vancouver, Canada and got some proper testing in and finished in the top 5 for all of the remaining events. This is the second time we have now earned our Pro 1 license after a successful season in Pro 2.

Link ECU: Which personnel does your team consist of?

BG: Tommy Franke of Frankenstein Speed and Custom, Clay Beier, Keith Carter, my wife Grace who helps with media and my dad Alex.

Link ECU: How do you travel to the races? (drive in a semi, trailer the car? etc)

BG: With so much travel across the USA for Formula Drift my dad helps me with it. We have a 2 car semi (referred to as a “toterhome”) where I can haul my own car and Brandon Schmidt’s Pro 2 car as well. My wife and I usually drive to the event and stay in the motorhome portion of the tractor and then fly home to get back to work once the event is over. My dad will fly down for the event and then drive the rig back home to Canada for us which is a massive help.

Link ECU: What is your car? Detail of the modifications etc….

BG: Currently we are competing in a 1998 Nissan 240sx (s14) with a 427ci RHS engine, Mast Motorsports Black Label heads and a Vortech V-7 Ysi-B blower. It makes right around 1050whp with the Link Thunder ECU and Ignite Red 114 ethanol race fuel fed through a complete Radium Engineering fuel system. Gearbox is a 4speed G-Force GSR dogbox paired to a Winters Quick Change and Driveshaft Shop Axles and Driveshaft. Suspension is from Fortune Auto and all of the arms underneath are Voodoo13. ASD Handbrake with Wilwood brakes on all 4 corners and TAKATA seats and harnesses inside. Rear radiator and all of the fabrication components supplied by Vibrant Performance and built by Tommy at Frankenstein Speed and Custom.

Link ECU: How long have you owned this car?

BG: We began building this car in 2016 and it was debuted in the 2017 Pro 2 season. Previously we ran a naturally aspirated stroker LS s13 240sx in the 2015 Pro 2 Season. More pow is more fun though!

Link ECU: Who did the tuning?

BG: Tuned by a local LS wizard here in Canada, Matt Jamoukhanov. Matt has a ton of experience with supercharged LS engines as well as ethanol/methanol so it was a perfect fit. Matt is crazy, he drives around a near 800whp pump gas corvette on the street and has been thrashing on it for years without any issue so I knew he would be the guy we needed. Dyno services were provided by our local Ford dealership, Brown Bros. Ford. They have an awesome race shop and a bunch of their own badass road race cars that I occasionally am allowed to get behind the wheel of.

Link ECU: Why do you bother running an aftermarket ECU for drifting?

BG: When you need to feed (8) 1725cc injectors enough ethanol to make over 1000hp to the tires a lot can go wrong. Making sure this engine stays alive for an entire season of Formula Drift is essentially put on the tuner and ECU so reliability of the LINK products is very important to us. Logging and a ton of other options in it allow us to monitor everything and to find problems before something catastrophic takes place.

Summernats ’19 burnout champion

Summernats is labelled as Australia’s biggest horspower party, where car enthusiasts descend on the capital city for a weekend of performance cars, cruises, burnouts, rock’n’roll and more.

The Burnout competition is central to the event. Hosted in a purpose built burnout facility, the event attracts the best cars not only from Australia but from all over the world.

Mick Hamon in his VE Commodore, WIDE OPEN took the win this year at SUMMERNATS 32. Mick, from Sydney, competes regularly in the car, extracting maximum performance from the LS block engine.


Photo by Summernats

The methanol fuelled Holden utilises Link G4+ Thunder ECU & engine management to ensure the engine can handle the revs and load while spinning the rear tires for over 60 seconds.



Justin at BYE Performance in Western Australia rewired the car in-house. Pictured here is the Link G4+ Thunder ECU & fuse box. The team monitor fuel/oil pressure, PCV, and utilise 8 channel EGT’s to make fuel corrections on every cylinder.

WIDE OPEN puts out approx. 1000rwhp, though Justin has only been able to record 910rwhp at 6400rpm on skid tyres before hitting the dyno road speed limit. The RPM limiter is at 7800rpm.


Engine specifications:

Methanal fuel

Mechanical fuel pump

Dry Sump setup

LSX Block, 408cube LS engine built by BYE Performance

Powerglide Transmission

Sheet Metal 9” Diff

8/71 Littlefield Supercharger

JBR Carbon injector Hat

16x Injectors running 2650cc per cylinder, 1000CC for the injector hat and 1650CC for each cylinder


BYE Performance

(08) 9451 9696

84 Ewing Street, Welshpool WA 6106

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkCbNtgwN_A

https://www.facebook.com/BurnoutsAustraliaMagazine/videos/474978413033804/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNgJopOhJxA

Leadfoot Festival 2019

Well, that is a wrap on another year on the Coromandel coast of New Zealand at Leadfoot Festival.

Leadfoot is very unique in terms of the diversity among the cars which compete at the event. The vehicles age from 100 year old vintage restorations, to the modern rally cars, quads, sidecars and drift cars.

Link ECUs are an integral part of many of the vehicles racing up Rod Millen’s driveway, providing engine safety features, tuning capabilities, traction control and launch control, plus many more features that come in handy in this hill climb style motorsport event.

A special congratulations goes to fan favourite, Andy Duffin, in the Link ECU RX7 who was the fastest RWD car of the weekend. This meant Andy made the Top 10 shootout, proving his naturally aspirated RX7 is one of the fastest in the country.

Photo by Bryce Campbell

The Lab Limited’s Nissan March sponsored by Link ECU was driven by Paul Radisich for the day. He did a 53.3 and the car also placed third in the ‘best in show’ competition.  Check out this video here.

Matt Gaskin set a new personal best in his Nissan VK56 powered Skyline – setting a 55.87 (Link Xtreme ECU). 

Photo by Leadfoot

The NZ drift scene was graced with the presence of Formula Drift USA pro driver Ken Guishi for the weekend. A crew of seven drift pilots provided great entertainment for the crowd doing group and tandem drift displays over the two days.

Jase Brown Drift, his Nissan s13 ‘Frankenstein 07’ and his Granny all featured on Seven Sharp on Friday evening, a national news programme in New Zealand. Powered buy a Supercharged Toyota Lexus 1UZ V8, Frankenstein was one heck of a ride for Jase’s 91 year old gran who races rally. 

Gaz Whiter (S15), Cole Armstrong (R34) & Darren Kelly (R35 GTR) all had great fun being part of the event once again.

Kat Benson also competed in her time attack Mitsubishi EVO 7 and loved the challenge of racing up this tight & tricky strip of tarseal.

Congratulations to all these drivers and teams for a huge effort. Until next year, Hahei 👋

Who is Nikki Hepburn?

Queensland drag racing legend, Nikki Hepburn, spared a few competitive seconds to catch up with Link ECU about where it all began, her 2018 USA trip, what ECU kit the team are currently running and where to next.

Where it began for Nikki

Since a young girl Nikki has always been into drag cars and street racing. But six years ago things got serious when she started racing in her dad’s twin turbo big block gemini. “I competed in Super Sedan and then Outlaw 10.5 and managed a best of 6.88 at 218mph.”

Two years later Nikki and her fiance Luke, began building the 86 and has been running it as a radial car ever since, whilst still competing against the slick cars.

From there, masses of driving time and skill honing has been the key to her impressive achievements

Current records

Nikki is known for her steely nerves and level head which has helped her reach exceptional career heights, “We are currently the world’s fastest import radial car and I am also the world’s quickest female sport compact racer”. That’s no mean feat given her currently held PB is 6.55 at 217mph with a speed PB of 219mph.

Nikki’s 1FZ powered Toyota 86 drag car

2018 USA Tour

Nikki’s 2018 USA tour took her and the team on two incredibly successful trips. The first was for the World Sport Compact Challenge in Orlando which saw some incredible firsts. “During testing we broke our own world record three times, bringing it down to 6.55.” After that, Nikki made top qualifier in the street rod 10.5 class and also broke the class record.

The record breaking team & car in Orlando, USA

The second trip was for the World Spot Compact Finals, again Nikki qualified top in the class.

The team then took the car to Indianapolis for the PRI Show to display at the Supertech Valves stand, to which the audience gave many “ooo’s and aah’s”. During the show the car was nominated by an independent panel for the JE Pistons ‘Masters of Motors’ competition.

The car also made the top 25 and won the ‘best import motor’ class for which Nikki and the team received a trophy and $1000 in pistons from JE Pistons.

Winner of Best Import at PRI 2019

Nikki and Link

Although Link has been onboard as a sponsor for two years now, Nikki has always run Link gear in her race cars. “Our local guys, Justin & Michael from JW Automotive introduced us to Link. They’re a Link dealer but also manage the tuning and electrical package on the car.”

As well as the top service from JW Automotive Nikki reaches her exceptional speeds by running 2 x Link Xtreme ECUs, Link pressure sensors and Link EGT’s

Nikki’s Link ECU package is tuned by JW Automotive in QLD, Australia

What’s next

The 2019 race season is set to be a winner for Nikki. “The car’s due back in February with an immediate start of two events in March; the Sydney Jamboree in which Link sponsor us and the Kenda Tyres 660 Drag Radial Series. And after that another six events or so for the remainder of the year.”

When asked what her words of wisdom are for your racers she doesn’t disappoint, “Be prepared to spend the money to get things done right the first time and do it because you love it.”

xxxxx

Drift Pilot Andy Gray

Recently Link ECU caught up with one of the world’s leading drifters, Andy Gray, to chat about where he started, career highlights, his relationship with Link ECU and where to next.

 

The beginning

Andy has always been into rear wheel drive cars but he got his first taste of drifting at 18. “I remember, I was in a Ford Sierra Cosworth, and it was wet, raining, and I go around a round-about sideways.” Andy didn’t know it was drifting then but ever since then he’s been sliding cars.

It wasn’t until he started a shop in Scotland that he got a real thirst for drifting. In the process of importing rear wheel cars for customers Andy had to prepare the cars, which meant taking them for drives. And he hasn’t stopped driving since.

From there, Andy chose to go to Japan to get closer to the import market and was soon supplying the likes of GTX’s (GT-R’s) and RX7’s to the world. When he moved to Tokyo, his landlord just happened to be Tohiharu Kazama from Kazama Auto – one of Japan’s original drift shops.  Before long, Andy was attending track days and other events with Tohiharu where his love for drifting grew.

It was around this time that he got himself a great started car – a BN Sports 180sx and was soon competing and doing well in local events. Having one of the original drifting masters as his mentor and Japanese drivers as influencers and teachers all around him, it was no surprise Andy learnt to drive in the style of the Japanese racers. Eventually Andy became the only westerner to move his way through all of the ranks including D1 Divisional and D1 Street Legal to a D1 GP the Top License in Japan. From this point Andy moved to Formula Drift USA and then Formula Drift Japan.

Career Highlight

Over the past 11 years Andy believes that winning the Formula Drift Japan Championship three times in a row is still his favourite. He believes “it was a great mix of drivers, great experience, massive online audience and helped get me global sponsorship”.

Andy and Link

Up until three years ago Andy and his tuner Oki-san – one of Japan’s top tuners, had always used alternative engine control units but when they saw the Link ECU and tried it they were converts. As Andy puts it “it was night and day, using Link ECU is pure luxury”.

When asked why Link ECU’s are so great, Andy replied, “The biggest thing for us is the plug in time – on previous units we had to push buttons to start logging the unit – I had so many other things on my mind I was always forgetting to press that button and it always caused headaches for my team” But with Link ECU it’s fully automatic and adjustments are made easily. “For my tuner – capabilities and power are the main things as we are tuning for every track and every event. The tuner plugs into the Link ECU, pulls the data and does the adjustments quickly and effectively and then bam, you are back on the track again.”

What’s next?

Andy is focusing on building his car for the next season a Lexus RC. Inspired by GT race series he is inspired to make something beautiful and is taking time to get it up to spec.

When asked what advice he has for anyone wanting to get into the game, he replied, “It’s no use having an 800 horse power car if you can’t drive it. Start small and build up. Time in the seat is the biggest thing. Go to events as well, whatever age you are you can always just practise online and play games. Simulation and games are a genuine way of being able to train.”

-ENDS-

https://www.facebook.com/powervehicles/videos/218180728852347/

Brody Goble – Link ECU PRO2 driver

What is it like to compete in the Formula Drift Link ECU PRO2 Drift championship?

A top professional drifter does not just come out of nowhere. In a sport that takes a lot of skill, experience and of course, sponsorship, to win at the elite level, a driver often competes for many years before reaching the Pro class.

This is where the feeder series’ come to the forefront.

In every major drifting championship across the globe, there is a ‘support’ category which drivers compete in to earn their pro license. The Link ECU PRO2 Category is the feeder class for Formula Drift PRO in the USA, one of the world’s premier drift competitions. Be warned, however, these are not second-rate classes. The competition is tough, the cars are high horsepower and the teams are committed outfits. To understand what it’s like to compete in this category, Link ECU spoke with PRO2 driver Brody Goble.

 

 

Canadian Brody and his Nissan 240SX finished in the top 5 at three of the four competition events throughout 2018, earning his Pro license for the second year running. Despite his commitment to drifting, Brody still works full time in a family workshop and runs his own media business. Drifting is an expensive sport and it can be a long road to the top. It is certainly a worthwhile ride, however. The exact thrill of burning rubber in a competition car is too exhilarating to put into words contributing to the addiction many Pro hopefuls experience. Brody is well on his way towards a future in the sport, making the jump to the PRO class in 2019.

 

 

While Formula Drift Pro has seven rounds throughout the whole of the USA, the PRO2 class competes at four of these rounds. The rules are similar to that of the Pro category, only differing in the tires used and the smaller number of rounds which helps to keep the costs down.

 

 

As the title sponsor of the class, Link Engine Management have invested in the future of the sport. The aim is to help young drivers off the streets and into a safer environment where they can exercise their passion for powerful cars.

 

Link Engine Management systems are also a vital part of many team’s competitive package, providing safety limits, data logging and boost control features to these powerful vehicles. In 2018, Pro2 users included championship winner Travis Reeder. Brody’s 2018 car is equipped with the most powerful Link ECU, a G4+ Thunder ECU. It seems 1000 horsepower is now the minimum required to compete at this level and his package certainly has the power and reliability to get the job done.

 

 

Have a read of the interview below as we discover more about Brody, his car, and competing in the Link ECU Pro 2 category of Formula Drift.

 

 

Link ECU: How did you get started in drifting?

BG: I grew up as one of those little karting kids and got pretty deep into that sport travelling throughout North America. When I was making the switch from karts to cars I saved up to buy a 240sx to slide around and learn some car control. One thing led to the next and of course I found myself entering a drift competition for the first time ever really drifting when I was 18. Placed 3rd out of the 18 drivers entered without even have a handbrake in the car and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Link ECU: How long have you been drifting for?

BG: On and off since I was 18 (I’m 28 now). The focus in the beginning was still on road racing but since 2013 I have basically put all my eggs in the drifting basket and haven’t looked back.

Link ECU: What made you make the step up to Formula Drift PRO 2?

BG: I think it is important to always push yourself in car racing because you never know how long you can make the sacrifices for to create a program and have the opportunity to compete. I’ve always wanted to see how far I can take my driving, so it was natural to keep pushing to drive against people who are better than me and see if I can simply figure it out.

Link ECU: What made you make the step up to Formula Drift PRO 2?

BG: I think it is important to always push yourself in car racing because you never know how long you can make the sacrifices for to create a program and have the opportunity to compete. I’ve always wanted to see how far I can take my driving so it was natural to keep pushing to drive against people who are better than me and see if I can simply figure it out.

Link ECU: How did your season go in 2018?

BG: Rocky start but solid overall. We had some car troubles with an untested setup at our first event in Atlanta and didn’t qualify for our first time ever. It was hard to swallow as we stood on the podium in Atlanta just 1 year prior. After that, we got back home to Vancouver, Canada and got some proper testing in and finished in the top 5 for all of the remaining events. This is the second time we have now earned our Pro 1 license after a successful season in Pro 2.

Link ECU: Which personnel does your team consist of?

BG: Tommy Franke of Frankenstein Speed and Custom, Clay Beier, Keith Carter, my wife Grace who helps with media and my dad Alex.

Link ECU: How do you travel to the races? (drive in a semi, trailer the car? etc)

BG: With so much travel across the USA for Formula Drift my dad helps me with it. We have a 2 car semi (referred to as a “toterhome”) where I can haul my own car and Brandon Schmidt’s Pro 2 car as well. My wife and I usually drive to the event and stay in the motorhome portion of the tractor and then fly home to get back to work once the event is over. My dad will fly down for the event and then drive the rig back home to Canada for us which is a massive help.

Link ECU: What is your car? Detail of the modifications etc….

BG: Currently we are competing in a 1998 Nissan 240sx (s14) with a 427ci RHS engine, Mast Motorsports Black Label heads and a Vortech V-7 Ysi-B blower. It makes right around 1050whp with the Link Thunder ECU and Ignite Red 114 ethanol race fuel fed through a complete Radium Engineering fuel system. Gearbox is a 4speed G-Force GSR dogbox paired to a Winters Quick Change and Driveshaft Shop Axles and Driveshaft. Suspension is from Fortune Auto and all of the arms underneath are Voodoo13. ASD Handbrake with Wilwood brakes on all 4 corners and TAKATA seats and harnesses inside. Rear radiator and all of the fabrication components supplied by Vibrant Performance and built by Tommy at Frankenstein Speed and Custom.

Link ECU: How long have you owned this car?

BG: We began building this car in 2016 and it was debuted in the 2017 Pro 2 season. Previously we ran a naturally aspirated stroker LS s13 240sx in the 2015 Pro 2 Season. More pow is more fun though!

Link ECU: Who did the tuning?

BG: Tuned by a local LS wizard here in Canada, Matt Jamoukhanov. Matt has a ton of experience with supercharged LS engines as well as ethanol/methanol so it was a perfect fit. Matt is crazy, he drives around a near 800whp pump gas corvette on the street and has been thrashing on it for years without any issue so I knew he would be the guy we needed. Dyno services were provided by our local Ford dealership, Brown Bros. Ford. They have an awesome race shop and a bunch of their own badass road race cars that I occasionally am allowed to get behind the wheel of.

Link ECU: Why do you bother running an aftermarket ECU for drifting?

BG: When you need to feed (8) 1725cc injectors enough ethanol to make over 1000hp to the tires a lot can go wrong. Making sure this engine stays alive for an entire season of Formula Drift is essentially put on the tuner and ECU so reliability of the LINK products is very important to us. Logging and a ton of other options in it allow us to monitor everything and to find problems before something catastrophic takes place.

Summernats ’19 burnout champion

Summernats is labelled as Australia’s biggest horspower party, where car enthusiasts descend on the capital city for a weekend of performance cars, cruises, burnouts, rock’n’roll and more.

The Burnout competition is central to the event. Hosted in a purpose built burnout facility, the event attracts the best cars not only from Australia but from all over the world.

Mick Hamon in his VE Commodore, WIDE OPEN took the win this year at SUMMERNATS 32. Mick, from Sydney, competes regularly in the car, extracting maximum performance from the LS block engine.


Photo by Summernats

The methanol fuelled Holden utilises Link G4+ Thunder ECU & engine management to ensure the engine can handle the revs and load while spinning the rear tires for over 60 seconds.



Justin at BYE Performance in Western Australia rewired the car in-house. Pictured here is the Link G4+ Thunder ECU & fuse box. The team monitor fuel/oil pressure, PCV, and utilise 8 channel EGT’s to make fuel corrections on every cylinder.

WIDE OPEN puts out approx. 1000rwhp, though Justin has only been able to record 910rwhp at 6400rpm on skid tyres before hitting the dyno road speed limit. The RPM limiter is at 7800rpm.


Engine specifications:

Methanal fuel

Mechanical fuel pump

Dry Sump setup

LSX Block, 408cube LS engine built by BYE Performance

Powerglide Transmission

Sheet Metal 9” Diff

8/71 Littlefield Supercharger

JBR Carbon injector Hat

16x Injectors running 2650cc per cylinder, 1000CC for the injector hat and 1650CC for each cylinder


BYE Performance

(08) 9451 9696

84 Ewing Street, Welshpool WA 6106

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkCbNtgwN_A

https://www.facebook.com/BurnoutsAustraliaMagazine/videos/474978413033804/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNgJopOhJxA

Leadfoot Festival 2019

Well, that is a wrap on another year on the Coromandel coast of New Zealand at Leadfoot Festival.

Leadfoot is very unique in terms of the diversity among the cars which compete at the event. The vehicles age from 100 year old vintage restorations, to the modern rally cars, quads, sidecars and drift cars.

Link ECUs are an integral part of many of the vehicles racing up Rod Millen’s driveway, providing engine safety features, tuning capabilities, traction control and launch control, plus many more features that come in handy in this hill climb style motorsport event.

A special congratulations goes to fan favourite, Andy Duffin, in the Link ECU RX7 who was the fastest RWD car of the weekend. This meant Andy made the Top 10 shootout, proving his naturally aspirated RX7 is one of the fastest in the country.

Photo by Bryce Campbell

The Lab Limited’s Nissan March sponsored by Link ECU was driven by Paul Radisich for the day. He did a 53.3 and the car also placed third in the ‘best in show’ competition.  Check out this video here.

Matt Gaskin set a new personal best in his Nissan VK56 powered Skyline – setting a 55.87 (Link Xtreme ECU). 

Photo by Leadfoot

The NZ drift scene was graced with the presence of Formula Drift USA pro driver Ken Guishi for the weekend. A crew of seven drift pilots provided great entertainment for the crowd doing group and tandem drift displays over the two days.

Jase Brown Drift, his Nissan s13 ‘Frankenstein 07’ and his Granny all featured on Seven Sharp on Friday evening, a national news programme in New Zealand. Powered buy a Supercharged Toyota Lexus 1UZ V8, Frankenstein was one heck of a ride for Jase’s 91 year old gran who races rally. 

Gaz Whiter (S15), Cole Armstrong (R34) & Darren Kelly (R35 GTR) all had great fun being part of the event once again.

Kat Benson also competed in her time attack Mitsubishi EVO 7 and loved the challenge of racing up this tight & tricky strip of tarseal.

Congratulations to all these drivers and teams for a huge effort. Until next year, Hahei 👋

Who is Nikki Hepburn?

Queensland drag racing legend, Nikki Hepburn, spared a few competitive seconds to catch up with Link ECU about where it all began, her 2018 USA trip, what ECU kit the team are currently running and where to next.

Where it began for Nikki

Since a young girl Nikki has always been into drag cars and street racing. But six years ago things got serious when she started racing in her dad’s twin turbo big block gemini. “I competed in Super Sedan and then Outlaw 10.5 and managed a best of 6.88 at 218mph.”

Two years later Nikki and her fiance Luke, began building the 86 and has been running it as a radial car ever since, whilst still competing against the slick cars.

From there, masses of driving time and skill honing has been the key to her impressive achievements

Current records

Nikki is known for her steely nerves and level head which has helped her reach exceptional career heights, “We are currently the world’s fastest import radial car and I am also the world’s quickest female sport compact racer”. That’s no mean feat given her currently held PB is 6.55 at 217mph with a speed PB of 219mph.

Nikki’s 1FZ powered Toyota 86 drag car

2018 USA Tour

Nikki’s 2018 USA tour took her and the team on two incredibly successful trips. The first was for the World Sport Compact Challenge in Orlando which saw some incredible firsts. “During testing we broke our own world record three times, bringing it down to 6.55.” After that, Nikki made top qualifier in the street rod 10.5 class and also broke the class record.

The record breaking team & car in Orlando, USA

The second trip was for the World Spot Compact Finals, again Nikki qualified top in the class.

The team then took the car to Indianapolis for the PRI Show to display at the Supertech Valves stand, to which the audience gave many “ooo’s and aah’s”. During the show the car was nominated by an independent panel for the JE Pistons ‘Masters of Motors’ competition.

The car also made the top 25 and won the ‘best import motor’ class for which Nikki and the team received a trophy and $1000 in pistons from JE Pistons.

Winner of Best Import at PRI 2019

Nikki and Link

Although Link has been onboard as a sponsor for two years now, Nikki has always run Link gear in her race cars. “Our local guys, Justin & Michael from JW Automotive introduced us to Link. They’re a Link dealer but also manage the tuning and electrical package on the car.”

As well as the top service from JW Automotive Nikki reaches her exceptional speeds by running 2 x Link Xtreme ECUs, Link pressure sensors and Link EGT’s

Nikki’s Link ECU package is tuned by JW Automotive in QLD, Australia

What’s next

The 2019 race season is set to be a winner for Nikki. “The car’s due back in February with an immediate start of two events in March; the Sydney Jamboree in which Link sponsor us and the Kenda Tyres 660 Drag Radial Series. And after that another six events or so for the remainder of the year.”

When asked what her words of wisdom are for your racers she doesn’t disappoint, “Be prepared to spend the money to get things done right the first time and do it because you love it.”

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