As driver move from ProAm into the Formula Drift Pro2 level; many drivers change their cars. Drivers are often worried about the level of competition they will see on a national stage. In the past drivers who change chassis as they move up have faced an up hill climb. With little practice time and rushed builds drivers fail to show their skills. I wanted to talk to some of the Pro2 field about their builds, and what if any changes they have made from the previous year.
Kelsey Rowlings #42
The new tire rule forced changed the team to make changes in the suspension and change the sway bars. Over the entire car very little changed, Kelsey said that seat time was the big focus during the off season.
Matt VanKirk #18
Nothing changed from last year; they had a new motor, but blew it on the dyno. The team worked quickly to source a junkyard motor and tune it on the drive down to Orlando. Look for big changes after Atlanta, the team will use the break to rebuild the current motor and try to push it up to 800HP.
Trent Beechum #999
This is the second year Trent has been driving JTP’s old mustang. Last year the car looked strong and almost nothing was changed this year. Small corrections were made in the suspension but overall the car is still the winning platform from last year.
Dirk Stratton #33
Since last year Dirk has rebuilt the Lingenfelter LS7; he said reliability was more important than power this year because of the 255 rule. New tire rules have really been the biggest change (Pro2 drivers are only allowed to run a 255 tire now.) As a result the HP wars have slowed down in favor of suspension and drive train. Dirk’s other changes included a PPG sequential transmission, and a Haltech ECU.
Donovan Brockway #418
This year the Red Baron Racing BWM has a new ported head, and custom cams increasing the HP by 20 points. The car was relatively unchanged, new bash bars were added to comply with the 2017 FD rule book, and the car sports a new aero design in the front to hide the upgraded bars.
Chris Johnson #813
Last year the team had a stock LS3; this year they added in a 416 stroker pushing the power up to 700HP. With the new tire rule Chris added in Voodoo 13 components allowing them to dial in the grip. Chris said that he is still getting use to the car, but “the speed and grip of the car is just out of this world.”