Robert, Author at Link Engine ManagementLink Engine Management

‘RalyGrl’, Amanda Skelly’s, Subaru Rally Career

Last week Link ECU caught up with, Amanda Skelly, a.k.a RalyGrl, to chat about where it all began, her career highlights, her relationship with Link ECU and where to next.

The beginning

Amanda grew up with a classic car loving father who was always restoring and selling them. As kids, she and her brothers were exposed to go-karting, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, Dune Buggies and even a Honda Odyssey. “Every winter we would take these amazing snowmobile trips, and when I was about 12 years old I remember thinking how awesome it would be to be a female racer. I always loved going fast and was drawn towards racing.”

In 2006, Amanda was introduced to her hometown event, Sno*Drift Rally, in Atlanta and Lewiston, MI. After initially just spectating, she was later introduced to the Detroit Region SCCA RallyCross events where she was bit by the ‘rally bug.’ In December of 2006 Amanda bought her first Subaru, a 1998 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe (named Sassy) and began competing the following February at the local rallycross events. In 2009 Amanda moved up to competing in SCCA TSD Road Rallies. She attended and spectated at the Sno*Drift Rally every year until her own debut as a driver in 2012, in that very same ‘98 RS that started it all. Amanda has been competing in stage rally ever since.

Career Highlights

Although one of Amanda’s career highlights was from when she first started in rally, it’s still one of her best. “Receiving the Noble Way Award in 2012, which was presented by Rally America, in honour of former rally driver Matthew Noble Marker. I received this honour during the Olympus Rally, which was my first fully completed rally and the very same rally which Marker succumbed to a fatal accident.”

More recently however, one of Amanda’s best moments was competing with her new co-driver, Sarah Freeze, at the 2019 Sandblast Rally, where they received 3rd in class and 4th overall.

RalyGrl and Link

In 2015, Amanda was in the process of building her second rally car after retiring her ‘98 RS. In the midst of the build, Amanda and her team approached the question of what she wanted to do in terms of an engine build and how they wanted to proceed with this next car. It was suggested to look into a standalone ECU, which is where her research began. “A former crew member suggested looking into Link ECU and reach out to see if there was any opportunity there. So, I read up on the company, put in an inquiry and was beyond pleased to get such a positive response! The rest as they say, is history.”

“The support I get from Link ECU and their amazing top of the line products is fantastic.  For example, although they were not able to supply an application plug-and-play ECM, they sent a top of the line G4+ Fury instead as it would allow use of the VTC system, as well as provide for high baud rate onboard logging”, says Skelly.

A dash display was also sent along so they could monitor the system/engine vitals. Link worked with an independent wiring company to provide a plug-and-play harness from the factory wiring harness/ECU pins, to the G4. When the team encountered a wiring concern on initial installation, Link’s technical support was able to help find a misplaced pin/wire in the harness.

But it’s not just Link’s incredible service and technical skills that make Amanda appreciate them all the more. “Link ECU have been beyond supportive of myself and my team as well, assisting with getting the car to events, advice/help with tuning/setup, even down to employees using their personal time and vehicle to tow for a few events!”

When asked why Link is their ECU supplier of choice Amanda’s crew chief/tuner Ryan Davis, of TurboTime (Sanford, NC), responded directly, “After having the ability to chat informally with one of their reps, it was enlightening, and frankly reassuring, finding out how thoroughly testing is performed, as well as the state-of-the-art processes that go into production. It’s also hearing some great stories from behind the scenes at Formula D, where Link sponsors a large number of the top Pro 1 drivers/teams. The tuning interface has been straightforward, although frankly I have only just begun to scratch the surface of capability, as the car is sporting a very basic calibration. I look forward to adding some flex fuel capability, as well as various failsafe and safety protocols using the extensive features list available on the Link ECU. They are standing by with all of the support needed to turn the ECU from basic running, to completely customized this summer prior to testing and our next events.”

What’s next?

Amanda and Sarah just competed in their 2nd rally together (and Amanda’s 3rd for this year) during the 100 Acre Wood Rally, in Salem, MO.  Next up, Amanda will be doing some rally training at the Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park, then will be attending and competing at Hyperfest in May. Later in July the ladies will return back to the Eastern region of the American Rally Association (ARA) National schedule, for the New England Forest Rally in Newry, ME.

Amongst all of this Amanda is still finding time to work on her other passion, raising awareness and fundraising for the Lupus and Cystic Fibrosis Foundations. “Having been diagnosed with Lupus almost 3 years ago and having a teammate [Ian Kessler] with Cystic Fibrosis, the causes are close to my heart. We raise money for both the Foundations through campaigns, giveaways and other events such as “Painting the Town Purple” and “Painting with a Twist”. Every May, we also share facts about the invisible illnesses on our social media to raise awareness and share our stories.”

Advice for aspiring rally drivers

When asked what advice she would give to anyone wanting to get into the game she responded “ I think the best way to get your feet wet is by seeing what rally is like behind the scenes. Volunteering is a great way to see rally from a variety of perspectives, and some volunteer positions even give you a chance to interact with all the teams.  Without volunteers, rally wouldn’t be possible in the States! It is also easy to get involved by trying your hand at co-driving, and then you don’t have to pay for a race car right away. Some other options to get into rallying are by participating in smaller, local events such as rallycross or TSD (time speed distance) rallies. There are even opportunities to rent stage rally cars.

But if you want to become a driver, my advice- do the research and prepare yourself for your journey. The better equipped you are with knowledge, the further you can take yourself, and the less stressful that journey will be. Most of us start out on a whim with a passion for racing and jump in with both feet.  This can result in both success and failure, but so long as you learn from your mistakes and failures, you will keep growing and that is so important!”, she concludes.

Safety is also top of mind for Amanda, “Always invest in your safety. It can be easy to overlook in the beginning, to try and save a few pennies. But in the long term, it is worth investing in high quality safety equipment. For example, after one of my accidents while co-driving, we hit 2 trees. The first we hit sideways going about 70mph, and the second we hit head-on. The first tree was inches behind my seat. My head went to the window… This resulted in a concussion and whiplash in both directions. Because of that incident, I will never race in another car without halo seats. It is worth investing in good seats, belts, HANS device, suits, shoes and gloves etc. right from the start.”

And her final piece of sage advice is to focus on getting seat time. “On the track you see the same one corner a hundred times, but in rally you see a hundred corners one time. It’s really important to get seat time, however possible, even just driving your rally car around daily. Unlike track racing, rally drivers don’t often have the opportunity to practice.  A lot of our practice happens during the events, or brief moments during shakedown and testing.  It is really important to find a way to gain seat time to improve as a driver, because you don’t always know how your car is going to behave in all terrains. My theory is that any chance you can get to throw your car around, test and gain more car control gives you a greater sense of your car and own abilities, and that’s makes all the difference.”

Photos supplied by
Tedrick Mealy

Matt Field, Formula Drift Long Beach

For 2019, Link ECU warmly welcomes Matt Field to our #TeamLink Formula Drift Pro Driver line-up. Matt’s Corvette is now powered by a Link Thunder ECU. After a busy off-season building a new car, we were ‘over the moon’ to see his hard work pay off with taking Pole Position at the Formula Drift Season opener in Long Beach!

 

Read his report below for all the information about how his weekend went…

 

 

“After a long and action packed off-season, my team and I found ourselves at the opening round of the Formula Drift in California. Long Beach is my favorite track by far. The high and dangerous walls that line the narrow course showcase the drivers and teams ability.

 

Media day was upon us. This was the first time that us drivers were able to hit the circuit. Giving rides, turning laps and interviews is what this day is all about! We ended on a high note and a solid setup going in to Friday.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/linkecu/videos/1033697243488131/

 

Friday morning rolled in and the team and I were ready. We worked through practice, dialing in the car and making huge leaps to achieve a solid qualifying setup.

On the first run I ran a smooth but safe line, receiving a score of 91 we were in the show, but not where we wanted to end up.

For run two I was able to throw it down. Putting the rear bumper of the Corvette right on every wall and filling every zone. After I finished the run, I could tell it was going to be a good one, but even I was not expecting to receive a score of 99 and landing us the top spot.

Number 1 qualifier baby!

 

https://www.facebook.com/linkecu/videos/678808419189084/

 

Qualifying well was awesome but it was time to shift into battle mode. The top 32 bracket is so loaded that every battle was going to be difficult.

 

We were to face Jeff Jones in top 32, and unfortunately for Jeff, he hurt his hand the day before and needed 40 stitches to hold his finger back together. He was out there driving with a severely damaged hand, so I knew I had to drive smart, and be careful for any wild movements from Jeff. Fortunately we won the battle and moved on to the Top 16.

 

Here we would face Ken Gushi. The mindset going into this battle was to not over grip or over drive the car and win with our lead run. The first run went great, with me hitting all my points and finishing off the run solid. On my follow things got a little difficult when Ken failed to reach the touch and go, causing a odd transition behind him, but we still got the win and moved into the great 8.

 

Chris Forsberg was our next opponent. He had been driving amazing all weekend and now that he has Parts Shop Max suspension, he would be an even more difficult opponent. I lead first and for the first time all weekend rubbed my bumper on the wall. After A mistake from Chris in the chase I figured we had the battle won. Unfortunately on my follow, after a smooth and possibly not aggressive enough transition under the bridge, the front end started to push. I understeered and almost crashed into the tires. Fortunately for me, I was able to flip the car around, stand on the throttle and avoid the tires.

 

A total bummer, and not the way we wanted our weekend to end. Overall though it was a solid weekend. We qualified 1st, finished 5th in the event, and Odi ended up winning. Solid weekend for the Falken team and it really shows me how amazing this season is going to be. On to Orlando in a few short weeks!

 

All in all, the team and myself were very happy with the outcome of the weekend. This car has huge potential and my team is working great together to develop it and give me a winning machine.

 

Thank you to everyone who made this build possible and who continues to support us through this 2019 Season.”

 

Link ECU partners with Worthouse Drift team

Standing on the podium, holding the winner’s trophy and being sprayed with champagne at the end of a grueling Formula Drift USA season, arguably the world’s premier drift championship, is an amazing feat. When you do it twice in a row, the entire drift world is rightfully in awe. James Deane is that winner, an amazing and talented ‘Drift Pilot’ with two, 2017 and 2018, Formula Drift USA titles, the 2018 Drift Masters European Championship and countless other Drift Championship’s to his name – James Deane, The Machine, is a motorsport phenomenon. 

Taking on USA, James is teamed up with the rising star of Drift, Piotr Więcek, in the Worthouse Drift team. Proving themselves with talent, meticulous preparation and competitive car set-up over the years, Worthouse have become what is quite possibly the strongest force to-be-reckoned-with in the world of drifting. Last year the pair finished 1st and 3rd overall in the Formula Drift USA standings. Więcek won round seven of the 2018 series in Texas, proving his ability to challenge his best friend Deane on track. 

Both Deane and Więcek have been able to roll out at every event with full confidence in their engine over the past two years, thanks to Link Engine Management.  

The global leader in engine management technology is proud to now officially confirm a partnership with Worthouse Drift Team. This agreement will see the team use the full Link Engine Management package throughout the eight rounds of Formula Drift series in 2019, with the aim for the Worthouse team to once again claim the top spot. 

The team’s 2JZ engines will be once again controlled by Link G4+ Thunder ECUs, Link Engine Management’s premier engine control unit. This year will also see the addition of a Link MXS Strada dash powered by AiM Technologies into each car, ensuring both pilots can instantly see the information from the engine directly into the cockpit via a customizable, full colour display unit. 

Mike Sheehan, team manager for Worthouse Drift, believes the package is key to their success: “As in all motorsport the key to success is to have a reliable vehicle. Since the beginning Worthouse Drift Team have always used Link Engine Management components in our 2JZ powered Nissan Silvia S15’s. The reliability and functionality of the Link Engine Management products have played a major role in keeping our 980hp 2jz engines running at 100%.  Thank you to everyone at Link Engine Management for producing such top-quality parts.’’  

With 25 years’ experience in the motorsport electronics field, Link Engine Management is extremely pleased to officially announce a partnership with this team. “To confirm our support of the Worthouse Drift Team in 2019 reaffirms our long-term association with the sport of drifting, a sport that has been core to our business for much of the 25 years we’ve been around. We are excited that the Worthouse team see Link ECU’s as the preferred choice of engine management to keep them ahead of the pack. James and Piotr are excellent ambassadors for our product and their team, being consistent and reliable is a perfect match to the qualities our products are best known for. We congratulate them for their success to date and wish them the very best of luck in 2019”. Says, Andy Millard, CEO of Link Engine Management 

The Worthouse Drift cars will be in action the first weekend of April in Long Beach, California for Round One of 2019 Formula Drift. 

The Formula Drift USA schedule can be found here: www.formulaD.com 

More information about Link Engine Management can be found here: www.linkecu.com 

Follow Worthouse Drift on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/worthousedriftteam/ 

Link ECU Supporting Women in Motorsport

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2019, today we salute all females in the motorsport industry! Link Engine Management are pleased to support many females competing across the global motorsport arena and recognise the contributions of many other women acting as volunteers, officials, mechanics, media personnel and organisational staff. Paving the way for more women to make history in what is historically a male dominated industry, these females are a huge inspiration to many.

Here, we feature seven females from seven different disciplines, from rally to drag racing, all utilising a Link ECU in their vehicle of choice. Link Engine Management could not be more pleased to help power these ladies towards their dreams.


1. Liz Gracie – Burnouts

Liz is currently leading the New Zealand burnout championship in her
1969 small block Chevrolet Camaro, EV1L69.



2. Amanda Skelly – Rally

Amanda has been supported by Link ECU over the progress of her latest rally car build, a ’97 Subaru Impreza. She competes as an all female rally team with Sarah Freeze and focuses on raising awareness for Cystic Fybrosis.



3. Nikki Hepburn – Drag racing

Australian drag racer Nikki is the world record holder for the Fastest Radial Drag car and also the world’s quickest female sport compact racer. Last year she rebroke her own record during a trip to Orlanda, USA, clocking 219 mph in her 1UZFE powered Toyota 86.



4. Nanami Tsukamoto

Nanami competes in Japan in her S14 drift car. She has previously participated in the Porsche Carrera Cup, GAZOO 86 racing and go-karting; making her one very experienced driver!



5. Caitlyn Hayward – Speedway

Caitlyn is a seasoned speedway racer hailing from Tauranga, New Zealand. She has competed for many years in the aggressive and highly compeitive stock car class and has just recently moved on to Super Saloon racing.



6. Pip Thomson & Karen Wakelin

Pip has been sponsored by Link ECU for a few years now as she takes on the New Zealand Jetsprint Championship, this year with co-driver Karen Wakelin. The past two years she has held her own in the Super Boat Class, piloting a 800 horspower 6.2L LSA engine running straight methanol. Talk about girl power!



7. Kat Benson – Time Attack

Kat proved her exceptional driver ability as the 2013-2014 New Zealand Superlap Series Pro-Street Champion. She has also competed at World Time Attack in Sydney, Australia, in her 2001 Mitsubishi Evolution 7 Time Attack/Superlap race car.


International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. … International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.” – https://www.internationalwomensday.com/IWD2019

Sheldon Clark: Aiming for a Formula Drift PRO2 license

Quite often, the story behind a build is what determines its final outcome. When one has a strong motive and vision for the car, it can turn into something very special. Sheldon Clark from Washington, USA, has finished this drift car in memory of his late father and what a tribute it is. His LinkECU powered SR20DET Sil80 is finished to perfection, putting out solid figures and carrying the Link ECU logo with pride.

When it comes to grass roots drifting, Sheldon hasn’t cut corners to get started in the sport. Labelling his vehicle as a ‘pro grassroots car’, he has built a FD spec six point roll cage, equipped the cock pit with the Link MXS Strada dash and utilises the S13Link+ Plug n play ECU.

Starting out with a quality engine management is important for every drift car before heavy modifications take place. Link ECU dealer, Tuned by PSI, ensured engine protection and safety features were set up before Sheldon hit the track.

These efforts will ensure his engine performs at its absolute best while competing in the ProAm competition at Evergreen Speedway this year. Sheldon buit the car with Formula Drift PRO2 in mind, hoping he will qualify for a pro license within the next two years.

The History

“My longtime friend took me for a ride in this car when I was 17 and it blew my mind. He moved on to a GTR and stored the sil80. I never forgot about the car or that first ride with the blow off valve screaming. Almost 10 years later, my father and I finally talked him into selling it.  Soon after the purchase, my father passed. It was on me to build our vision. It’s nice to have the sentiment, and nice to know that whenever I work on it, it’s for the long run.”

The Build

Jason Oefelein and I built a chassis for pro competition with an affordable drivetrain while I get seat time in grassroots / pro-am. We stuck with the traditional SR20DET. With the Link ECU and GTX2867R we’re able to run 16 lbs of boost with an output of 360 WHP — reliably. You could call it a pro-grassroots car.

The Details:

Engine: SR20DET with GTX2867R running 16 lbs of boost with an output of 360 WHP. While we could turn it up, our focus is balance and longevity.

ECU: Link G4+ S13Link+ Plugin and Link dash.

Misc: FD spec 6 point cage, Fuel safe, custom wiring, Wisefab, Feal suspension and safety gear from 425 Motorsports.


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 👋

3SGZE Beams powered AE86

After over 3,200 hours spent working on a car, you would expect it to be something special. We can certainly vouch for that with this AE86 carrying a 3SGE Beams engine.

Based in Uruguay, the car originally was left stock and restored for exhibitions. Once the aesthetic part was finished, a swap was made to the 3SGE Beams motor. Since then, upgrades to the front & rear suspension, brakes, supercharger, clutch, chassis reinforcement, roll cage and transmission have taken place. Of course, the standard ECU was replaced with a Link G4+ Plug In engine management solution, giving the owner full control over the fuelling, ignition and timing, along with the ability to set engine protection limits and allocate the auxiliary outputs.

No longer a Daily Driver, this is now a true Track Toy for owner Fernando Montero. The goal is to enjoy it in Time Attack and Drift events, and hopefully appear at the SEMA and the Nurburgring.

With 380 horsepower and just 950kg of weight, it promises to be a force to reckoned with!

Photos by: http://www.instagram.com/todoruedauy

Follow the build here: https://www.instagram.com/perfect_ae86/

 

‘RalyGrl’, Amanda Skelly’s, Subaru Rally Career

Last week Link ECU caught up with, Amanda Skelly, a.k.a RalyGrl, to chat about where it all began, her career highlights, her relationship with Link ECU and where to next.

The beginning

Amanda grew up with a classic car loving father who was always restoring and selling them. As kids, she and her brothers were exposed to go-karting, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, Dune Buggies and even a Honda Odyssey. “Every winter we would take these amazing snowmobile trips, and when I was about 12 years old I remember thinking how awesome it would be to be a female racer. I always loved going fast and was drawn towards racing.”

In 2006, Amanda was introduced to her hometown event, Sno*Drift Rally, in Atlanta and Lewiston, MI. After initially just spectating, she was later introduced to the Detroit Region SCCA RallyCross events where she was bit by the ‘rally bug.’ In December of 2006 Amanda bought her first Subaru, a 1998 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe (named Sassy) and began competing the following February at the local rallycross events. In 2009 Amanda moved up to competing in SCCA TSD Road Rallies. She attended and spectated at the Sno*Drift Rally every year until her own debut as a driver in 2012, in that very same ‘98 RS that started it all. Amanda has been competing in stage rally ever since.

Career Highlights

Although one of Amanda’s career highlights was from when she first started in rally, it’s still one of her best. “Receiving the Noble Way Award in 2012, which was presented by Rally America, in honour of former rally driver Matthew Noble Marker. I received this honour during the Olympus Rally, which was my first fully completed rally and the very same rally which Marker succumbed to a fatal accident.”

More recently however, one of Amanda’s best moments was competing with her new co-driver, Sarah Freeze, at the 2019 Sandblast Rally, where they received 3rd in class and 4th overall.

RalyGrl and Link

In 2015, Amanda was in the process of building her second rally car after retiring her ‘98 RS. In the midst of the build, Amanda and her team approached the question of what she wanted to do in terms of an engine build and how they wanted to proceed with this next car. It was suggested to look into a standalone ECU, which is where her research began. “A former crew member suggested looking into Link ECU and reach out to see if there was any opportunity there. So, I read up on the company, put in an inquiry and was beyond pleased to get such a positive response! The rest as they say, is history.”

“The support I get from Link ECU and their amazing top of the line products is fantastic.  For example, although they were not able to supply an application plug-and-play ECM, they sent a top of the line G4+ Fury instead as it would allow use of the VTC system, as well as provide for high baud rate onboard logging”, says Skelly.

A dash display was also sent along so they could monitor the system/engine vitals. Link worked with an independent wiring company to provide a plug-and-play harness from the factory wiring harness/ECU pins, to the G4. When the team encountered a wiring concern on initial installation, Link’s technical support was able to help find a misplaced pin/wire in the harness.

But it’s not just Link’s incredible service and technical skills that make Amanda appreciate them all the more. “Link ECU have been beyond supportive of myself and my team as well, assisting with getting the car to events, advice/help with tuning/setup, even down to employees using their personal time and vehicle to tow for a few events!”

When asked why Link is their ECU supplier of choice Amanda’s crew chief/tuner Ryan Davis, of TurboTime (Sanford, NC), responded directly, “After having the ability to chat informally with one of their reps, it was enlightening, and frankly reassuring, finding out how thoroughly testing is performed, as well as the state-of-the-art processes that go into production. It’s also hearing some great stories from behind the scenes at Formula D, where Link sponsors a large number of the top Pro 1 drivers/teams. The tuning interface has been straightforward, although frankly I have only just begun to scratch the surface of capability, as the car is sporting a very basic calibration. I look forward to adding some flex fuel capability, as well as various failsafe and safety protocols using the extensive features list available on the Link ECU. They are standing by with all of the support needed to turn the ECU from basic running, to completely customized this summer prior to testing and our next events.”

What’s next?

Amanda and Sarah just competed in their 2nd rally together (and Amanda’s 3rd for this year) during the 100 Acre Wood Rally, in Salem, MO.  Next up, Amanda will be doing some rally training at the Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park, then will be attending and competing at Hyperfest in May. Later in July the ladies will return back to the Eastern region of the American Rally Association (ARA) National schedule, for the New England Forest Rally in Newry, ME.

Amongst all of this Amanda is still finding time to work on her other passion, raising awareness and fundraising for the Lupus and Cystic Fibrosis Foundations. “Having been diagnosed with Lupus almost 3 years ago and having a teammate [Ian Kessler] with Cystic Fibrosis, the causes are close to my heart. We raise money for both the Foundations through campaigns, giveaways and other events such as “Painting the Town Purple” and “Painting with a Twist”. Every May, we also share facts about the invisible illnesses on our social media to raise awareness and share our stories.”

Advice for aspiring rally drivers

When asked what advice she would give to anyone wanting to get into the game she responded “ I think the best way to get your feet wet is by seeing what rally is like behind the scenes. Volunteering is a great way to see rally from a variety of perspectives, and some volunteer positions even give you a chance to interact with all the teams.  Without volunteers, rally wouldn’t be possible in the States! It is also easy to get involved by trying your hand at co-driving, and then you don’t have to pay for a race car right away. Some other options to get into rallying are by participating in smaller, local events such as rallycross or TSD (time speed distance) rallies. There are even opportunities to rent stage rally cars.

But if you want to become a driver, my advice- do the research and prepare yourself for your journey. The better equipped you are with knowledge, the further you can take yourself, and the less stressful that journey will be. Most of us start out on a whim with a passion for racing and jump in with both feet.  This can result in both success and failure, but so long as you learn from your mistakes and failures, you will keep growing and that is so important!”, she concludes.

Safety is also top of mind for Amanda, “Always invest in your safety. It can be easy to overlook in the beginning, to try and save a few pennies. But in the long term, it is worth investing in high quality safety equipment. For example, after one of my accidents while co-driving, we hit 2 trees. The first we hit sideways going about 70mph, and the second we hit head-on. The first tree was inches behind my seat. My head went to the window… This resulted in a concussion and whiplash in both directions. Because of that incident, I will never race in another car without halo seats. It is worth investing in good seats, belts, HANS device, suits, shoes and gloves etc. right from the start.”

And her final piece of sage advice is to focus on getting seat time. “On the track you see the same one corner a hundred times, but in rally you see a hundred corners one time. It’s really important to get seat time, however possible, even just driving your rally car around daily. Unlike track racing, rally drivers don’t often have the opportunity to practice.  A lot of our practice happens during the events, or brief moments during shakedown and testing.  It is really important to find a way to gain seat time to improve as a driver, because you don’t always know how your car is going to behave in all terrains. My theory is that any chance you can get to throw your car around, test and gain more car control gives you a greater sense of your car and own abilities, and that’s makes all the difference.”

Photos supplied by
Tedrick Mealy

Matt Field, Formula Drift Long Beach

For 2019, Link ECU warmly welcomes Matt Field to our #TeamLink Formula Drift Pro Driver line-up. Matt’s Corvette is now powered by a Link Thunder ECU. After a busy off-season building a new car, we were ‘over the moon’ to see his hard work pay off with taking Pole Position at the Formula Drift Season opener in Long Beach!

 

Read his report below for all the information about how his weekend went…

 

 

“After a long and action packed off-season, my team and I found ourselves at the opening round of the Formula Drift in California. Long Beach is my favorite track by far. The high and dangerous walls that line the narrow course showcase the drivers and teams ability.

 

Media day was upon us. This was the first time that us drivers were able to hit the circuit. Giving rides, turning laps and interviews is what this day is all about! We ended on a high note and a solid setup going in to Friday.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/linkecu/videos/1033697243488131/

 

Friday morning rolled in and the team and I were ready. We worked through practice, dialing in the car and making huge leaps to achieve a solid qualifying setup.

On the first run I ran a smooth but safe line, receiving a score of 91 we were in the show, but not where we wanted to end up.

For run two I was able to throw it down. Putting the rear bumper of the Corvette right on every wall and filling every zone. After I finished the run, I could tell it was going to be a good one, but even I was not expecting to receive a score of 99 and landing us the top spot.

Number 1 qualifier baby!

 

https://www.facebook.com/linkecu/videos/678808419189084/

 

Qualifying well was awesome but it was time to shift into battle mode. The top 32 bracket is so loaded that every battle was going to be difficult.

 

We were to face Jeff Jones in top 32, and unfortunately for Jeff, he hurt his hand the day before and needed 40 stitches to hold his finger back together. He was out there driving with a severely damaged hand, so I knew I had to drive smart, and be careful for any wild movements from Jeff. Fortunately we won the battle and moved on to the Top 16.

 

Here we would face Ken Gushi. The mindset going into this battle was to not over grip or over drive the car and win with our lead run. The first run went great, with me hitting all my points and finishing off the run solid. On my follow things got a little difficult when Ken failed to reach the touch and go, causing a odd transition behind him, but we still got the win and moved into the great 8.

 

Chris Forsberg was our next opponent. He had been driving amazing all weekend and now that he has Parts Shop Max suspension, he would be an even more difficult opponent. I lead first and for the first time all weekend rubbed my bumper on the wall. After A mistake from Chris in the chase I figured we had the battle won. Unfortunately on my follow, after a smooth and possibly not aggressive enough transition under the bridge, the front end started to push. I understeered and almost crashed into the tires. Fortunately for me, I was able to flip the car around, stand on the throttle and avoid the tires.

 

A total bummer, and not the way we wanted our weekend to end. Overall though it was a solid weekend. We qualified 1st, finished 5th in the event, and Odi ended up winning. Solid weekend for the Falken team and it really shows me how amazing this season is going to be. On to Orlando in a few short weeks!

 

All in all, the team and myself were very happy with the outcome of the weekend. This car has huge potential and my team is working great together to develop it and give me a winning machine.

 

Thank you to everyone who made this build possible and who continues to support us through this 2019 Season.”

 

Link ECU partners with Worthouse Drift team

Standing on the podium, holding the winner’s trophy and being sprayed with champagne at the end of a grueling Formula Drift USA season, arguably the world’s premier drift championship, is an amazing feat. When you do it twice in a row, the entire drift world is rightfully in awe. James Deane is that winner, an amazing and talented ‘Drift Pilot’ with two, 2017 and 2018, Formula Drift USA titles, the 2018 Drift Masters European Championship and countless other Drift Championship’s to his name – James Deane, The Machine, is a motorsport phenomenon. 

Taking on USA, James is teamed up with the rising star of Drift, Piotr Więcek, in the Worthouse Drift team. Proving themselves with talent, meticulous preparation and competitive car set-up over the years, Worthouse have become what is quite possibly the strongest force to-be-reckoned-with in the world of drifting. Last year the pair finished 1st and 3rd overall in the Formula Drift USA standings. Więcek won round seven of the 2018 series in Texas, proving his ability to challenge his best friend Deane on track. 

Both Deane and Więcek have been able to roll out at every event with full confidence in their engine over the past two years, thanks to Link Engine Management.  

The global leader in engine management technology is proud to now officially confirm a partnership with Worthouse Drift Team. This agreement will see the team use the full Link Engine Management package throughout the eight rounds of Formula Drift series in 2019, with the aim for the Worthouse team to once again claim the top spot. 

The team’s 2JZ engines will be once again controlled by Link G4+ Thunder ECUs, Link Engine Management’s premier engine control unit. This year will also see the addition of a Link MXS Strada dash powered by AiM Technologies into each car, ensuring both pilots can instantly see the information from the engine directly into the cockpit via a customizable, full colour display unit. 

Mike Sheehan, team manager for Worthouse Drift, believes the package is key to their success: “As in all motorsport the key to success is to have a reliable vehicle. Since the beginning Worthouse Drift Team have always used Link Engine Management components in our 2JZ powered Nissan Silvia S15’s. The reliability and functionality of the Link Engine Management products have played a major role in keeping our 980hp 2jz engines running at 100%.  Thank you to everyone at Link Engine Management for producing such top-quality parts.’’  

With 25 years’ experience in the motorsport electronics field, Link Engine Management is extremely pleased to officially announce a partnership with this team. “To confirm our support of the Worthouse Drift Team in 2019 reaffirms our long-term association with the sport of drifting, a sport that has been core to our business for much of the 25 years we’ve been around. We are excited that the Worthouse team see Link ECU’s as the preferred choice of engine management to keep them ahead of the pack. James and Piotr are excellent ambassadors for our product and their team, being consistent and reliable is a perfect match to the qualities our products are best known for. We congratulate them for their success to date and wish them the very best of luck in 2019”. Says, Andy Millard, CEO of Link Engine Management 

The Worthouse Drift cars will be in action the first weekend of April in Long Beach, California for Round One of 2019 Formula Drift. 

The Formula Drift USA schedule can be found here: www.formulaD.com 

More information about Link Engine Management can be found here: www.linkecu.com 

Follow Worthouse Drift on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/worthousedriftteam/ 

Link ECU Supporting Women in Motorsport

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2019, today we salute all females in the motorsport industry! Link Engine Management are pleased to support many females competing across the global motorsport arena and recognise the contributions of many other women acting as volunteers, officials, mechanics, media personnel and organisational staff. Paving the way for more women to make history in what is historically a male dominated industry, these females are a huge inspiration to many.

Here, we feature seven females from seven different disciplines, from rally to drag racing, all utilising a Link ECU in their vehicle of choice. Link Engine Management could not be more pleased to help power these ladies towards their dreams.


1. Liz Gracie – Burnouts

Liz is currently leading the New Zealand burnout championship in her
1969 small block Chevrolet Camaro, EV1L69.



2. Amanda Skelly – Rally

Amanda has been supported by Link ECU over the progress of her latest rally car build, a ’97 Subaru Impreza. She competes as an all female rally team with Sarah Freeze and focuses on raising awareness for Cystic Fybrosis.



3. Nikki Hepburn – Drag racing

Australian drag racer Nikki is the world record holder for the Fastest Radial Drag car and also the world’s quickest female sport compact racer. Last year she rebroke her own record during a trip to Orlanda, USA, clocking 219 mph in her 1UZFE powered Toyota 86.



4. Nanami Tsukamoto

Nanami competes in Japan in her S14 drift car. She has previously participated in the Porsche Carrera Cup, GAZOO 86 racing and go-karting; making her one very experienced driver!



5. Caitlyn Hayward – Speedway

Caitlyn is a seasoned speedway racer hailing from Tauranga, New Zealand. She has competed for many years in the aggressive and highly compeitive stock car class and has just recently moved on to Super Saloon racing.



6. Pip Thomson & Karen Wakelin

Pip has been sponsored by Link ECU for a few years now as she takes on the New Zealand Jetsprint Championship, this year with co-driver Karen Wakelin. The past two years she has held her own in the Super Boat Class, piloting a 800 horspower 6.2L LSA engine running straight methanol. Talk about girl power!



7. Kat Benson – Time Attack

Kat proved her exceptional driver ability as the 2013-2014 New Zealand Superlap Series Pro-Street Champion. She has also competed at World Time Attack in Sydney, Australia, in her 2001 Mitsubishi Evolution 7 Time Attack/Superlap race car.


International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. … International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.” – https://www.internationalwomensday.com/IWD2019

Sheldon Clark: Aiming for a Formula Drift PRO2 license

Quite often, the story behind a build is what determines its final outcome. When one has a strong motive and vision for the car, it can turn into something very special. Sheldon Clark from Washington, USA, has finished this drift car in memory of his late father and what a tribute it is. His LinkECU powered SR20DET Sil80 is finished to perfection, putting out solid figures and carrying the Link ECU logo with pride.

When it comes to grass roots drifting, Sheldon hasn’t cut corners to get started in the sport. Labelling his vehicle as a ‘pro grassroots car’, he has built a FD spec six point roll cage, equipped the cock pit with the Link MXS Strada dash and utilises the S13Link+ Plug n play ECU.

Starting out with a quality engine management is important for every drift car before heavy modifications take place. Link ECU dealer, Tuned by PSI, ensured engine protection and safety features were set up before Sheldon hit the track.

These efforts will ensure his engine performs at its absolute best while competing in the ProAm competition at Evergreen Speedway this year. Sheldon buit the car with Formula Drift PRO2 in mind, hoping he will qualify for a pro license within the next two years.

The History

“My longtime friend took me for a ride in this car when I was 17 and it blew my mind. He moved on to a GTR and stored the sil80. I never forgot about the car or that first ride with the blow off valve screaming. Almost 10 years later, my father and I finally talked him into selling it.  Soon after the purchase, my father passed. It was on me to build our vision. It’s nice to have the sentiment, and nice to know that whenever I work on it, it’s for the long run.”

The Build

Jason Oefelein and I built a chassis for pro competition with an affordable drivetrain while I get seat time in grassroots / pro-am. We stuck with the traditional SR20DET. With the Link ECU and GTX2867R we’re able to run 16 lbs of boost with an output of 360 WHP — reliably. You could call it a pro-grassroots car.

The Details:

Engine: SR20DET with GTX2867R running 16 lbs of boost with an output of 360 WHP. While we could turn it up, our focus is balance and longevity.

ECU: Link G4+ S13Link+ Plugin and Link dash.

Misc: FD spec 6 point cage, Fuel safe, custom wiring, Wisefab, Feal suspension and safety gear from 425 Motorsports.


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 👋

3SGZE Beams powered AE86

After over 3,200 hours spent working on a car, you would expect it to be something special. We can certainly vouch for that with this AE86 carrying a 3SGE Beams engine.

Based in Uruguay, the car originally was left stock and restored for exhibitions. Once the aesthetic part was finished, a swap was made to the 3SGE Beams motor. Since then, upgrades to the front & rear suspension, brakes, supercharger, clutch, chassis reinforcement, roll cage and transmission have taken place. Of course, the standard ECU was replaced with a Link G4+ Plug In engine management solution, giving the owner full control over the fuelling, ignition and timing, along with the ability to set engine protection limits and allocate the auxiliary outputs.

No longer a Daily Driver, this is now a true Track Toy for owner Fernando Montero. The goal is to enjoy it in Time Attack and Drift events, and hopefully appear at the SEMA and the Nurburgring.

With 380 horsepower and just 950kg of weight, it promises to be a force to reckoned with!

Photos by: http://www.instagram.com/todoruedauy

Follow the build here: https://www.instagram.com/perfect_ae86/

 

xxxxx
-----

‘RalyGrl’, Amanda Skelly’s, Subaru Rally Career

Last week Link ECU caught up with, Amanda Skelly, a.k.a RalyGrl, to chat about where it all began, her career highlights, her relationship with Link ECU and where to next.

The beginning

Amanda grew up with a classic car loving father who was always restoring and selling them. As kids, she and her brothers were exposed to go-karting, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, Dune Buggies and even a Honda Odyssey. “Every winter we would take these amazing snowmobile trips, and when I was about 12 years old I remember thinking how awesome it would be to be a female racer. I always loved going fast and was drawn towards racing.”

In 2006, Amanda was introduced to her hometown event, Sno*Drift Rally, in Atlanta and Lewiston, MI. After initially just spectating, she was later introduced to the Detroit Region SCCA RallyCross events where she was bit by the ‘rally bug.’ In December of 2006 Amanda bought her first Subaru, a 1998 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe (named Sassy) and began competing the following February at the local rallycross events. In 2009 Amanda moved up to competing in SCCA TSD Road Rallies. She attended and spectated at the Sno*Drift Rally every year until her own debut as a driver in 2012, in that very same ‘98 RS that started it all. Amanda has been competing in stage rally ever since.

Career Highlights

Although one of Amanda’s career highlights was from when she first started in rally, it’s still one of her best. “Receiving the Noble Way Award in 2012, which was presented by Rally America, in honour of former rally driver Matthew Noble Marker. I received this honour during the Olympus Rally, which was my first fully completed rally and the very same rally which Marker succumbed to a fatal accident.”

More recently however, one of Amanda’s best moments was competing with her new co-driver, Sarah Freeze, at the 2019 Sandblast Rally, where they received 3rd in class and 4th overall.

RalyGrl and Link

In 2015, Amanda was in the process of building her second rally car after retiring her ‘98 RS. In the midst of the build, Amanda and her team approached the question of what she wanted to do in terms of an engine build and how they wanted to proceed with this next car. It was suggested to look into a standalone ECU, which is where her research began. “A former crew member suggested looking into Link ECU and reach out to see if there was any opportunity there. So, I read up on the company, put in an inquiry and was beyond pleased to get such a positive response! The rest as they say, is history.”

“The support I get from Link ECU and their amazing top of the line products is fantastic.  For example, although they were not able to supply an application plug-and-play ECM, they sent a top of the line G4+ Fury instead as it would allow use of the VTC system, as well as provide for high baud rate onboard logging”, says Skelly.

A dash display was also sent along so they could monitor the system/engine vitals. Link worked with an independent wiring company to provide a plug-and-play harness from the factory wiring harness/ECU pins, to the G4. When the team encountered a wiring concern on initial installation, Link’s technical support was able to help find a misplaced pin/wire in the harness.

But it’s not just Link’s incredible service and technical skills that make Amanda appreciate them all the more. “Link ECU have been beyond supportive of myself and my team as well, assisting with getting the car to events, advice/help with tuning/setup, even down to employees using their personal time and vehicle to tow for a few events!”

When asked why Link is their ECU supplier of choice Amanda’s crew chief/tuner Ryan Davis, of TurboTime (Sanford, NC), responded directly, “After having the ability to chat informally with one of their reps, it was enlightening, and frankly reassuring, finding out how thoroughly testing is performed, as well as the state-of-the-art processes that go into production. It’s also hearing some great stories from behind the scenes at Formula D, where Link sponsors a large number of the top Pro 1 drivers/teams. The tuning interface has been straightforward, although frankly I have only just begun to scratch the surface of capability, as the car is sporting a very basic calibration. I look forward to adding some flex fuel capability, as well as various failsafe and safety protocols using the extensive features list available on the Link ECU. They are standing by with all of the support needed to turn the ECU from basic running, to completely customized this summer prior to testing and our next events.”

What’s next?

Amanda and Sarah just competed in their 2nd rally together (and Amanda’s 3rd for this year) during the 100 Acre Wood Rally, in Salem, MO.  Next up, Amanda will be doing some rally training at the Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park, then will be attending and competing at Hyperfest in May. Later in July the ladies will return back to the Eastern region of the American Rally Association (ARA) National schedule, for the New England Forest Rally in Newry, ME.

Amongst all of this Amanda is still finding time to work on her other passion, raising awareness and fundraising for the Lupus and Cystic Fibrosis Foundations. “Having been diagnosed with Lupus almost 3 years ago and having a teammate [Ian Kessler] with Cystic Fibrosis, the causes are close to my heart. We raise money for both the Foundations through campaigns, giveaways and other events such as “Painting the Town Purple” and “Painting with a Twist”. Every May, we also share facts about the invisible illnesses on our social media to raise awareness and share our stories.”

Advice for aspiring rally drivers

When asked what advice she would give to anyone wanting to get into the game she responded “ I think the best way to get your feet wet is by seeing what rally is like behind the scenes. Volunteering is a great way to see rally from a variety of perspectives, and some volunteer positions even give you a chance to interact with all the teams.  Without volunteers, rally wouldn’t be possible in the States! It is also easy to get involved by trying your hand at co-driving, and then you don’t have to pay for a race car right away. Some other options to get into rallying are by participating in smaller, local events such as rallycross or TSD (time speed distance) rallies. There are even opportunities to rent stage rally cars.

But if you want to become a driver, my advice- do the research and prepare yourself for your journey. The better equipped you are with knowledge, the further you can take yourself, and the less stressful that journey will be. Most of us start out on a whim with a passion for racing and jump in with both feet.  This can result in both success and failure, but so long as you learn from your mistakes and failures, you will keep growing and that is so important!”, she concludes.

Safety is also top of mind for Amanda, “Always invest in your safety. It can be easy to overlook in the beginning, to try and save a few pennies. But in the long term, it is worth investing in high quality safety equipment. For example, after one of my accidents while co-driving, we hit 2 trees. The first we hit sideways going about 70mph, and the second we hit head-on. The first tree was inches behind my seat. My head went to the window… This resulted in a concussion and whiplash in both directions. Because of that incident, I will never race in another car without halo seats. It is worth investing in good seats, belts, HANS device, suits, shoes and gloves etc. right from the start.”

And her final piece of sage advice is to focus on getting seat time. “On the track you see the same one corner a hundred times, but in rally you see a hundred corners one time. It’s really important to get seat time, however possible, even just driving your rally car around daily. Unlike track racing, rally drivers don’t often have the opportunity to practice.  A lot of our practice happens during the events, or brief moments during shakedown and testing.  It is really important to find a way to gain seat time to improve as a driver, because you don’t always know how your car is going to behave in all terrains. My theory is that any chance you can get to throw your car around, test and gain more car control gives you a greater sense of your car and own abilities, and that’s makes all the difference.”

Photos supplied by
Tedrick Mealy

Matt Field, Formula Drift Long Beach

For 2019, Link ECU warmly welcomes Matt Field to our #TeamLink Formula Drift Pro Driver line-up. Matt’s Corvette is now powered by a Link Thunder ECU. After a busy off-season building a new car, we were ‘over the moon’ to see his hard work pay off with taking Pole Position at the Formula Drift Season opener in Long Beach!

 

Read his report below for all the information about how his weekend went…

 

 

“After a long and action packed off-season, my team and I found ourselves at the opening round of the Formula Drift in California. Long Beach is my favorite track by far. The high and dangerous walls that line the narrow course showcase the drivers and teams ability.

 

Media day was upon us. This was the first time that us drivers were able to hit the circuit. Giving rides, turning laps and interviews is what this day is all about! We ended on a high note and a solid setup going in to Friday.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/linkecu/videos/1033697243488131/

 

Friday morning rolled in and the team and I were ready. We worked through practice, dialing in the car and making huge leaps to achieve a solid qualifying setup.

On the first run I ran a smooth but safe line, receiving a score of 91 we were in the show, but not where we wanted to end up.

For run two I was able to throw it down. Putting the rear bumper of the Corvette right on every wall and filling every zone. After I finished the run, I could tell it was going to be a good one, but even I was not expecting to receive a score of 99 and landing us the top spot.

Number 1 qualifier baby!

 

https://www.facebook.com/linkecu/videos/678808419189084/

 

Qualifying well was awesome but it was time to shift into battle mode. The top 32 bracket is so loaded that every battle was going to be difficult.

 

We were to face Jeff Jones in top 32, and unfortunately for Jeff, he hurt his hand the day before and needed 40 stitches to hold his finger back together. He was out there driving with a severely damaged hand, so I knew I had to drive smart, and be careful for any wild movements from Jeff. Fortunately we won the battle and moved on to the Top 16.

 

Here we would face Ken Gushi. The mindset going into this battle was to not over grip or over drive the car and win with our lead run. The first run went great, with me hitting all my points and finishing off the run solid. On my follow things got a little difficult when Ken failed to reach the touch and go, causing a odd transition behind him, but we still got the win and moved into the great 8.

 

Chris Forsberg was our next opponent. He had been driving amazing all weekend and now that he has Parts Shop Max suspension, he would be an even more difficult opponent. I lead first and for the first time all weekend rubbed my bumper on the wall. After A mistake from Chris in the chase I figured we had the battle won. Unfortunately on my follow, after a smooth and possibly not aggressive enough transition under the bridge, the front end started to push. I understeered and almost crashed into the tires. Fortunately for me, I was able to flip the car around, stand on the throttle and avoid the tires.

 

A total bummer, and not the way we wanted our weekend to end. Overall though it was a solid weekend. We qualified 1st, finished 5th in the event, and Odi ended up winning. Solid weekend for the Falken team and it really shows me how amazing this season is going to be. On to Orlando in a few short weeks!

 

All in all, the team and myself were very happy with the outcome of the weekend. This car has huge potential and my team is working great together to develop it and give me a winning machine.

 

Thank you to everyone who made this build possible and who continues to support us through this 2019 Season.”

 

Link ECU partners with Worthouse Drift team

Standing on the podium, holding the winner’s trophy and being sprayed with champagne at the end of a grueling Formula Drift USA season, arguably the world’s premier drift championship, is an amazing feat. When you do it twice in a row, the entire drift world is rightfully in awe. James Deane is that winner, an amazing and talented ‘Drift Pilot’ with two, 2017 and 2018, Formula Drift USA titles, the 2018 Drift Masters European Championship and countless other Drift Championship’s to his name – James Deane, The Machine, is a motorsport phenomenon. 

Taking on USA, James is teamed up with the rising star of Drift, Piotr Więcek, in the Worthouse Drift team. Proving themselves with talent, meticulous preparation and competitive car set-up over the years, Worthouse have become what is quite possibly the strongest force to-be-reckoned-with in the world of drifting. Last year the pair finished 1st and 3rd overall in the Formula Drift USA standings. Więcek won round seven of the 2018 series in Texas, proving his ability to challenge his best friend Deane on track. 

Both Deane and Więcek have been able to roll out at every event with full confidence in their engine over the past two years, thanks to Link Engine Management.  

The global leader in engine management technology is proud to now officially confirm a partnership with Worthouse Drift Team. This agreement will see the team use the full Link Engine Management package throughout the eight rounds of Formula Drift series in 2019, with the aim for the Worthouse team to once again claim the top spot. 

The team’s 2JZ engines will be once again controlled by Link G4+ Thunder ECUs, Link Engine Management’s premier engine control unit. This year will also see the addition of a Link MXS Strada dash powered by AiM Technologies into each car, ensuring both pilots can instantly see the information from the engine directly into the cockpit via a customizable, full colour display unit. 

Mike Sheehan, team manager for Worthouse Drift, believes the package is key to their success: “As in all motorsport the key to success is to have a reliable vehicle. Since the beginning Worthouse Drift Team have always used Link Engine Management components in our 2JZ powered Nissan Silvia S15’s. The reliability and functionality of the Link Engine Management products have played a major role in keeping our 980hp 2jz engines running at 100%.  Thank you to everyone at Link Engine Management for producing such top-quality parts.’’  

With 25 years’ experience in the motorsport electronics field, Link Engine Management is extremely pleased to officially announce a partnership with this team. “To confirm our support of the Worthouse Drift Team in 2019 reaffirms our long-term association with the sport of drifting, a sport that has been core to our business for much of the 25 years we’ve been around. We are excited that the Worthouse team see Link ECU’s as the preferred choice of engine management to keep them ahead of the pack. James and Piotr are excellent ambassadors for our product and their team, being consistent and reliable is a perfect match to the qualities our products are best known for. We congratulate them for their success to date and wish them the very best of luck in 2019”. Says, Andy Millard, CEO of Link Engine Management 

The Worthouse Drift cars will be in action the first weekend of April in Long Beach, California for Round One of 2019 Formula Drift. 

The Formula Drift USA schedule can be found here: www.formulaD.com 

More information about Link Engine Management can be found here: www.linkecu.com 

Follow Worthouse Drift on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/worthousedriftteam/ 

Link ECU Supporting Women in Motorsport

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2019, today we salute all females in the motorsport industry! Link Engine Management are pleased to support many females competing across the global motorsport arena and recognise the contributions of many other women acting as volunteers, officials, mechanics, media personnel and organisational staff. Paving the way for more women to make history in what is historically a male dominated industry, these females are a huge inspiration to many.

Here, we feature seven females from seven different disciplines, from rally to drag racing, all utilising a Link ECU in their vehicle of choice. Link Engine Management could not be more pleased to help power these ladies towards their dreams.


1. Liz Gracie – Burnouts

Liz is currently leading the New Zealand burnout championship in her
1969 small block Chevrolet Camaro, EV1L69.



2. Amanda Skelly – Rally

Amanda has been supported by Link ECU over the progress of her latest rally car build, a ’97 Subaru Impreza. She competes as an all female rally team with Sarah Freeze and focuses on raising awareness for Cystic Fybrosis.



3. Nikki Hepburn – Drag racing

Australian drag racer Nikki is the world record holder for the Fastest Radial Drag car and also the world’s quickest female sport compact racer. Last year she rebroke her own record during a trip to Orlanda, USA, clocking 219 mph in her 1UZFE powered Toyota 86.



4. Nanami Tsukamoto

Nanami competes in Japan in her S14 drift car. She has previously participated in the Porsche Carrera Cup, GAZOO 86 racing and go-karting; making her one very experienced driver!



5. Caitlyn Hayward – Speedway

Caitlyn is a seasoned speedway racer hailing from Tauranga, New Zealand. She has competed for many years in the aggressive and highly compeitive stock car class and has just recently moved on to Super Saloon racing.



6. Pip Thomson & Karen Wakelin

Pip has been sponsored by Link ECU for a few years now as she takes on the New Zealand Jetsprint Championship, this year with co-driver Karen Wakelin. The past two years she has held her own in the Super Boat Class, piloting a 800 horspower 6.2L LSA engine running straight methanol. Talk about girl power!



7. Kat Benson – Time Attack

Kat proved her exceptional driver ability as the 2013-2014 New Zealand Superlap Series Pro-Street Champion. She has also competed at World Time Attack in Sydney, Australia, in her 2001 Mitsubishi Evolution 7 Time Attack/Superlap race car.


International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. … International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.” – https://www.internationalwomensday.com/IWD2019

Sheldon Clark: Aiming for a Formula Drift PRO2 license

Quite often, the story behind a build is what determines its final outcome. When one has a strong motive and vision for the car, it can turn into something very special. Sheldon Clark from Washington, USA, has finished this drift car in memory of his late father and what a tribute it is. His LinkECU powered SR20DET Sil80 is finished to perfection, putting out solid figures and carrying the Link ECU logo with pride.

When it comes to grass roots drifting, Sheldon hasn’t cut corners to get started in the sport. Labelling his vehicle as a ‘pro grassroots car’, he has built a FD spec six point roll cage, equipped the cock pit with the Link MXS Strada dash and utilises the S13Link+ Plug n play ECU.

Starting out with a quality engine management is important for every drift car before heavy modifications take place. Link ECU dealer, Tuned by PSI, ensured engine protection and safety features were set up before Sheldon hit the track.

These efforts will ensure his engine performs at its absolute best while competing in the ProAm competition at Evergreen Speedway this year. Sheldon buit the car with Formula Drift PRO2 in mind, hoping he will qualify for a pro license within the next two years.

The History

“My longtime friend took me for a ride in this car when I was 17 and it blew my mind. He moved on to a GTR and stored the sil80. I never forgot about the car or that first ride with the blow off valve screaming. Almost 10 years later, my father and I finally talked him into selling it.  Soon after the purchase, my father passed. It was on me to build our vision. It’s nice to have the sentiment, and nice to know that whenever I work on it, it’s for the long run.”

The Build

Jason Oefelein and I built a chassis for pro competition with an affordable drivetrain while I get seat time in grassroots / pro-am. We stuck with the traditional SR20DET. With the Link ECU and GTX2867R we’re able to run 16 lbs of boost with an output of 360 WHP — reliably. You could call it a pro-grassroots car.

The Details:

Engine: SR20DET with GTX2867R running 16 lbs of boost with an output of 360 WHP. While we could turn it up, our focus is balance and longevity.

ECU: Link G4+ S13Link+ Plugin and Link dash.

Misc: FD spec 6 point cage, Fuel safe, custom wiring, Wisefab, Feal suspension and safety gear from 425 Motorsports.


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 👋

3SGZE Beams powered AE86

After over 3,200 hours spent working on a car, you would expect it to be something special. We can certainly vouch for that with this AE86 carrying a 3SGE Beams engine.

Based in Uruguay, the car originally was left stock and restored for exhibitions. Once the aesthetic part was finished, a swap was made to the 3SGE Beams motor. Since then, upgrades to the front & rear suspension, brakes, supercharger, clutch, chassis reinforcement, roll cage and transmission have taken place. Of course, the standard ECU was replaced with a Link G4+ Plug In engine management solution, giving the owner full control over the fuelling, ignition and timing, along with the ability to set engine protection limits and allocate the auxiliary outputs.

No longer a Daily Driver, this is now a true Track Toy for owner Fernando Montero. The goal is to enjoy it in Time Attack and Drift events, and hopefully appear at the SEMA and the Nurburgring.

With 380 horsepower and just 950kg of weight, it promises to be a force to reckoned with!

Photos by: http://www.instagram.com/todoruedauy

Follow the build here: https://www.instagram.com/perfect_ae86/

 

xxxxx

‘RalyGrl’, Amanda Skelly’s, Subaru Rally Career

Last week Link ECU caught up with, Amanda Skelly, a.k.a RalyGrl, to chat about where it all began, her career highlights, her relationship with Link ECU and where to next.

The beginning

Amanda grew up with a classic car loving father who was always restoring and selling them. As kids, she and her brothers were exposed to go-karting, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, Dune Buggies and even a Honda Odyssey. “Every winter we would take these amazing snowmobile trips, and when I was about 12 years old I remember thinking how awesome it would be to be a female racer. I always loved going fast and was drawn towards racing.”

In 2006, Amanda was introduced to her hometown event, Sno*Drift Rally, in Atlanta and Lewiston, MI. After initially just spectating, she was later introduced to the Detroit Region SCCA RallyCross events where she was bit by the ‘rally bug.’ In December of 2006 Amanda bought her first Subaru, a 1998 Impreza 2.5RS Coupe (named Sassy) and began competing the following February at the local rallycross events. In 2009 Amanda moved up to competing in SCCA TSD Road Rallies. She attended and spectated at the Sno*Drift Rally every year until her own debut as a driver in 2012, in that very same ‘98 RS that started it all. Amanda has been competing in stage rally ever since.

Career Highlights

Although one of Amanda’s career highlights was from when she first started in rally, it’s still one of her best. “Receiving the Noble Way Award in 2012, which was presented by Rally America, in honour of former rally driver Matthew Noble Marker. I received this honour during the Olympus Rally, which was my first fully completed rally and the very same rally which Marker succumbed to a fatal accident.”

More recently however, one of Amanda’s best moments was competing with her new co-driver, Sarah Freeze, at the 2019 Sandblast Rally, where they received 3rd in class and 4th overall.

RalyGrl and Link

In 2015, Amanda was in the process of building her second rally car after retiring her ‘98 RS. In the midst of the build, Amanda and her team approached the question of what she wanted to do in terms of an engine build and how they wanted to proceed with this next car. It was suggested to look into a standalone ECU, which is where her research began. “A former crew member suggested looking into Link ECU and reach out to see if there was any opportunity there. So, I read up on the company, put in an inquiry and was beyond pleased to get such a positive response! The rest as they say, is history.”

“The support I get from Link ECU and their amazing top of the line products is fantastic.  For example, although they were not able to supply an application plug-and-play ECM, they sent a top of the line G4+ Fury instead as it would allow use of the VTC system, as well as provide for high baud rate onboard logging”, says Skelly.

A dash display was also sent along so they could monitor the system/engine vitals. Link worked with an independent wiring company to provide a plug-and-play harness from the factory wiring harness/ECU pins, to the G4. When the team encountered a wiring concern on initial installation, Link’s technical support was able to help find a misplaced pin/wire in the harness.

But it’s not just Link’s incredible service and technical skills that make Amanda appreciate them all the more. “Link ECU have been beyond supportive of myself and my team as well, assisting with getting the car to events, advice/help with tuning/setup, even down to employees using their personal time and vehicle to tow for a few events!”

When asked why Link is their ECU supplier of choice Amanda’s crew chief/tuner Ryan Davis, of TurboTime (Sanford, NC), responded directly, “After having the ability to chat informally with one of their reps, it was enlightening, and frankly reassuring, finding out how thoroughly testing is performed, as well as the state-of-the-art processes that go into production. It’s also hearing some great stories from behind the scenes at Formula D, where Link sponsors a large number of the top Pro 1 drivers/teams. The tuning interface has been straightforward, although frankly I have only just begun to scratch the surface of capability, as the car is sporting a very basic calibration. I look forward to adding some flex fuel capability, as well as various failsafe and safety protocols using the extensive features list available on the Link ECU. They are standing by with all of the support needed to turn the ECU from basic running, to completely customized this summer prior to testing and our next events.”

What’s next?

Amanda and Sarah just competed in their 2nd rally together (and Amanda’s 3rd for this year) during the 100 Acre Wood Rally, in Salem, MO.  Next up, Amanda will be doing some rally training at the Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park, then will be attending and competing at Hyperfest in May. Later in July the ladies will return back to the Eastern region of the American Rally Association (ARA) National schedule, for the New England Forest Rally in Newry, ME.

Amongst all of this Amanda is still finding time to work on her other passion, raising awareness and fundraising for the Lupus and Cystic Fibrosis Foundations. “Having been diagnosed with Lupus almost 3 years ago and having a teammate [Ian Kessler] with Cystic Fibrosis, the causes are close to my heart. We raise money for both the Foundations through campaigns, giveaways and other events such as “Painting the Town Purple” and “Painting with a Twist”. Every May, we also share facts about the invisible illnesses on our social media to raise awareness and share our stories.”

Advice for aspiring rally drivers

When asked what advice she would give to anyone wanting to get into the game she responded “ I think the best way to get your feet wet is by seeing what rally is like behind the scenes. Volunteering is a great way to see rally from a variety of perspectives, and some volunteer positions even give you a chance to interact with all the teams.  Without volunteers, rally wouldn’t be possible in the States! It is also easy to get involved by trying your hand at co-driving, and then you don’t have to pay for a race car right away. Some other options to get into rallying are by participating in smaller, local events such as rallycross or TSD (time speed distance) rallies. There are even opportunities to rent stage rally cars.

But if you want to become a driver, my advice- do the research and prepare yourself for your journey. The better equipped you are with knowledge, the further you can take yourself, and the less stressful that journey will be. Most of us start out on a whim with a passion for racing and jump in with both feet.  This can result in both success and failure, but so long as you learn from your mistakes and failures, you will keep growing and that is so important!”, she concludes.

Safety is also top of mind for Amanda, “Always invest in your safety. It can be easy to overlook in the beginning, to try and save a few pennies. But in the long term, it is worth investing in high quality safety equipment. For example, after one of my accidents while co-driving, we hit 2 trees. The first we hit sideways going about 70mph, and the second we hit head-on. The first tree was inches behind my seat. My head went to the window… This resulted in a concussion and whiplash in both directions. Because of that incident, I will never race in another car without halo seats. It is worth investing in good seats, belts, HANS device, suits, shoes and gloves etc. right from the start.”

And her final piece of sage advice is to focus on getting seat time. “On the track you see the same one corner a hundred times, but in rally you see a hundred corners one time. It’s really important to get seat time, however possible, even just driving your rally car around daily. Unlike track racing, rally drivers don’t often have the opportunity to practice.  A lot of our practice happens during the events, or brief moments during shakedown and testing.  It is really important to find a way to gain seat time to improve as a driver, because you don’t always know how your car is going to behave in all terrains. My theory is that any chance you can get to throw your car around, test and gain more car control gives you a greater sense of your car and own abilities, and that’s makes all the difference.”

Photos supplied by
Tedrick Mealy

Matt Field, Formula Drift Long Beach

For 2019, Link ECU warmly welcomes Matt Field to our #TeamLink Formula Drift Pro Driver line-up. Matt’s Corvette is now powered by a Link Thunder ECU. After a busy off-season building a new car, we were ‘over the moon’ to see his hard work pay off with taking Pole Position at the Formula Drift Season opener in Long Beach!

 

Read his report below for all the information about how his weekend went…

 

 

“After a long and action packed off-season, my team and I found ourselves at the opening round of the Formula Drift in California. Long Beach is my favorite track by far. The high and dangerous walls that line the narrow course showcase the drivers and teams ability.

 

Media day was upon us. This was the first time that us drivers were able to hit the circuit. Giving rides, turning laps and interviews is what this day is all about! We ended on a high note and a solid setup going in to Friday.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/linkecu/videos/1033697243488131/

 

Friday morning rolled in and the team and I were ready. We worked through practice, dialing in the car and making huge leaps to achieve a solid qualifying setup.

On the first run I ran a smooth but safe line, receiving a score of 91 we were in the show, but not where we wanted to end up.

For run two I was able to throw it down. Putting the rear bumper of the Corvette right on every wall and filling every zone. After I finished the run, I could tell it was going to be a good one, but even I was not expecting to receive a score of 99 and landing us the top spot.

Number 1 qualifier baby!

 

https://www.facebook.com/linkecu/videos/678808419189084/

 

Qualifying well was awesome but it was time to shift into battle mode. The top 32 bracket is so loaded that every battle was going to be difficult.

 

We were to face Jeff Jones in top 32, and unfortunately for Jeff, he hurt his hand the day before and needed 40 stitches to hold his finger back together. He was out there driving with a severely damaged hand, so I knew I had to drive smart, and be careful for any wild movements from Jeff. Fortunately we won the battle and moved on to the Top 16.

 

Here we would face Ken Gushi. The mindset going into this battle was to not over grip or over drive the car and win with our lead run. The first run went great, with me hitting all my points and finishing off the run solid. On my follow things got a little difficult when Ken failed to reach the touch and go, causing a odd transition behind him, but we still got the win and moved into the great 8.

 

Chris Forsberg was our next opponent. He had been driving amazing all weekend and now that he has Parts Shop Max suspension, he would be an even more difficult opponent. I lead first and for the first time all weekend rubbed my bumper on the wall. After A mistake from Chris in the chase I figured we had the battle won. Unfortunately on my follow, after a smooth and possibly not aggressive enough transition under the bridge, the front end started to push. I understeered and almost crashed into the tires. Fortunately for me, I was able to flip the car around, stand on the throttle and avoid the tires.

 

A total bummer, and not the way we wanted our weekend to end. Overall though it was a solid weekend. We qualified 1st, finished 5th in the event, and Odi ended up winning. Solid weekend for the Falken team and it really shows me how amazing this season is going to be. On to Orlando in a few short weeks!

 

All in all, the team and myself were very happy with the outcome of the weekend. This car has huge potential and my team is working great together to develop it and give me a winning machine.

 

Thank you to everyone who made this build possible and who continues to support us through this 2019 Season.”

 

Link ECU partners with Worthouse Drift team

Standing on the podium, holding the winner’s trophy and being sprayed with champagne at the end of a grueling Formula Drift USA season, arguably the world’s premier drift championship, is an amazing feat. When you do it twice in a row, the entire drift world is rightfully in awe. James Deane is that winner, an amazing and talented ‘Drift Pilot’ with two, 2017 and 2018, Formula Drift USA titles, the 2018 Drift Masters European Championship and countless other Drift Championship’s to his name – James Deane, The Machine, is a motorsport phenomenon. 

Taking on USA, James is teamed up with the rising star of Drift, Piotr Więcek, in the Worthouse Drift team. Proving themselves with talent, meticulous preparation and competitive car set-up over the years, Worthouse have become what is quite possibly the strongest force to-be-reckoned-with in the world of drifting. Last year the pair finished 1st and 3rd overall in the Formula Drift USA standings. Więcek won round seven of the 2018 series in Texas, proving his ability to challenge his best friend Deane on track. 

Both Deane and Więcek have been able to roll out at every event with full confidence in their engine over the past two years, thanks to Link Engine Management.  

The global leader in engine management technology is proud to now officially confirm a partnership with Worthouse Drift Team. This agreement will see the team use the full Link Engine Management package throughout the eight rounds of Formula Drift series in 2019, with the aim for the Worthouse team to once again claim the top spot. 

The team’s 2JZ engines will be once again controlled by Link G4+ Thunder ECUs, Link Engine Management’s premier engine control unit. This year will also see the addition of a Link MXS Strada dash powered by AiM Technologies into each car, ensuring both pilots can instantly see the information from the engine directly into the cockpit via a customizable, full colour display unit. 

Mike Sheehan, team manager for Worthouse Drift, believes the package is key to their success: “As in all motorsport the key to success is to have a reliable vehicle. Since the beginning Worthouse Drift Team have always used Link Engine Management components in our 2JZ powered Nissan Silvia S15’s. The reliability and functionality of the Link Engine Management products have played a major role in keeping our 980hp 2jz engines running at 100%.  Thank you to everyone at Link Engine Management for producing such top-quality parts.’’  

With 25 years’ experience in the motorsport electronics field, Link Engine Management is extremely pleased to officially announce a partnership with this team. “To confirm our support of the Worthouse Drift Team in 2019 reaffirms our long-term association with the sport of drifting, a sport that has been core to our business for much of the 25 years we’ve been around. We are excited that the Worthouse team see Link ECU’s as the preferred choice of engine management to keep them ahead of the pack. James and Piotr are excellent ambassadors for our product and their team, being consistent and reliable is a perfect match to the qualities our products are best known for. We congratulate them for their success to date and wish them the very best of luck in 2019”. Says, Andy Millard, CEO of Link Engine Management 

The Worthouse Drift cars will be in action the first weekend of April in Long Beach, California for Round One of 2019 Formula Drift. 

The Formula Drift USA schedule can be found here: www.formulaD.com 

More information about Link Engine Management can be found here: www.linkecu.com 

Follow Worthouse Drift on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/worthousedriftteam/ 

Link ECU Supporting Women in Motorsport

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2019, today we salute all females in the motorsport industry! Link Engine Management are pleased to support many females competing across the global motorsport arena and recognise the contributions of many other women acting as volunteers, officials, mechanics, media personnel and organisational staff. Paving the way for more women to make history in what is historically a male dominated industry, these females are a huge inspiration to many.

Here, we feature seven females from seven different disciplines, from rally to drag racing, all utilising a Link ECU in their vehicle of choice. Link Engine Management could not be more pleased to help power these ladies towards their dreams.


1. Liz Gracie – Burnouts

Liz is currently leading the New Zealand burnout championship in her
1969 small block Chevrolet Camaro, EV1L69.



2. Amanda Skelly – Rally

Amanda has been supported by Link ECU over the progress of her latest rally car build, a ’97 Subaru Impreza. She competes as an all female rally team with Sarah Freeze and focuses on raising awareness for Cystic Fybrosis.



3. Nikki Hepburn – Drag racing

Australian drag racer Nikki is the world record holder for the Fastest Radial Drag car and also the world’s quickest female sport compact racer. Last year she rebroke her own record during a trip to Orlanda, USA, clocking 219 mph in her 1UZFE powered Toyota 86.



4. Nanami Tsukamoto

Nanami competes in Japan in her S14 drift car. She has previously participated in the Porsche Carrera Cup, GAZOO 86 racing and go-karting; making her one very experienced driver!



5. Caitlyn Hayward – Speedway

Caitlyn is a seasoned speedway racer hailing from Tauranga, New Zealand. She has competed for many years in the aggressive and highly compeitive stock car class and has just recently moved on to Super Saloon racing.



6. Pip Thomson & Karen Wakelin

Pip has been sponsored by Link ECU for a few years now as she takes on the New Zealand Jetsprint Championship, this year with co-driver Karen Wakelin. The past two years she has held her own in the Super Boat Class, piloting a 800 horspower 6.2L LSA engine running straight methanol. Talk about girl power!



7. Kat Benson – Time Attack

Kat proved her exceptional driver ability as the 2013-2014 New Zealand Superlap Series Pro-Street Champion. She has also competed at World Time Attack in Sydney, Australia, in her 2001 Mitsubishi Evolution 7 Time Attack/Superlap race car.


International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. … International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.” – https://www.internationalwomensday.com/IWD2019

Sheldon Clark: Aiming for a Formula Drift PRO2 license

Quite often, the story behind a build is what determines its final outcome. When one has a strong motive and vision for the car, it can turn into something very special. Sheldon Clark from Washington, USA, has finished this drift car in memory of his late father and what a tribute it is. His LinkECU powered SR20DET Sil80 is finished to perfection, putting out solid figures and carrying the Link ECU logo with pride.

When it comes to grass roots drifting, Sheldon hasn’t cut corners to get started in the sport. Labelling his vehicle as a ‘pro grassroots car’, he has built a FD spec six point roll cage, equipped the cock pit with the Link MXS Strada dash and utilises the S13Link+ Plug n play ECU.

Starting out with a quality engine management is important for every drift car before heavy modifications take place. Link ECU dealer, Tuned by PSI, ensured engine protection and safety features were set up before Sheldon hit the track.

These efforts will ensure his engine performs at its absolute best while competing in the ProAm competition at Evergreen Speedway this year. Sheldon buit the car with Formula Drift PRO2 in mind, hoping he will qualify for a pro license within the next two years.

The History

“My longtime friend took me for a ride in this car when I was 17 and it blew my mind. He moved on to a GTR and stored the sil80. I never forgot about the car or that first ride with the blow off valve screaming. Almost 10 years later, my father and I finally talked him into selling it.  Soon after the purchase, my father passed. It was on me to build our vision. It’s nice to have the sentiment, and nice to know that whenever I work on it, it’s for the long run.”

The Build

Jason Oefelein and I built a chassis for pro competition with an affordable drivetrain while I get seat time in grassroots / pro-am. We stuck with the traditional SR20DET. With the Link ECU and GTX2867R we’re able to run 16 lbs of boost with an output of 360 WHP — reliably. You could call it a pro-grassroots car.

The Details:

Engine: SR20DET with GTX2867R running 16 lbs of boost with an output of 360 WHP. While we could turn it up, our focus is balance and longevity.

ECU: Link G4+ S13Link+ Plugin and Link dash.

Misc: FD spec 6 point cage, Fuel safe, custom wiring, Wisefab, Feal suspension and safety gear from 425 Motorsports.


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 👋

3SGZE Beams powered AE86

After over 3,200 hours spent working on a car, you would expect it to be something special. We can certainly vouch for that with this AE86 carrying a 3SGE Beams engine.

Based in Uruguay, the car originally was left stock and restored for exhibitions. Once the aesthetic part was finished, a swap was made to the 3SGE Beams motor. Since then, upgrades to the front & rear suspension, brakes, supercharger, clutch, chassis reinforcement, roll cage and transmission have taken place. Of course, the standard ECU was replaced with a Link G4+ Plug In engine management solution, giving the owner full control over the fuelling, ignition and timing, along with the ability to set engine protection limits and allocate the auxiliary outputs.

No longer a Daily Driver, this is now a true Track Toy for owner Fernando Montero. The goal is to enjoy it in Time Attack and Drift events, and hopefully appear at the SEMA and the Nurburgring.

With 380 horsepower and just 950kg of weight, it promises to be a force to reckoned with!

Photos by: http://www.instagram.com/todoruedauy

Follow the build here: https://www.instagram.com/perfect_ae86/

 

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