This is Tetsuya Hibino’s Formula Drift Japan machine, which I can safely say looked like nothing else in the Fuji Speedway paddock on the day.
Built by Rush Motor Sports in Gifu Prefecture, it’s the first pro-spec drift car I’ve ever seen based on a BCNR33 chassis. The exterior mixes a stock look with factory front and rear bumpers and massively widened front fenders to accommodate a huge amount of steering angle.
The R33 sits on Mikado Hayabusa wheels, which look very different to any design we’ve ever seen come out of Japan in the past.
A lot of fabrication work has gone into the front structure, starting off with cut-out inner fenders. The front bumper and various ancillaries are then fixed onto a custom tubular frame, including the repositioned intercooler which sits higher up into the grille section so that the piping could be kept shorter and straighter to aid throttle response.
The RB26 is built for function so there aren’t any shiny and pretty bits spicing up its looks. BorgWarner EFR turbos are becoming more and more popular in Japan thanks to the better response, boost pick-up and flow characteristics compared to the same old blowers everyone is used to.
As you can see above, when Hibino battled against Yokoi a few weeks back at the Suzuka Twin round of FD Japan, the motor responds very quickly with tons of power. Bye-bye tyres!
With the intercooler given priority up front, the radiator had to be repositioned in the rear with a couple of fans added. Too bad the car had been stripped of the massive rear wing it usually runs, which you can see in the video above.
A pair of riveted-on fenders were fitted over the stock guards to add extra girth at the rear.
Japanese rollcage fabrication is really catching up to overseas standards now, this particular car boasting a serious custom job gusseted along the A and B pillars as well as the roof.
It’s probably one of the freshest drift car builds I’ve seen in Japan in the last couple of years. And finally something not powered by a 2JZ!