As the winner of the 2005 D1 Grand Prix Championship, as well as the 2006 United Kingdom D1 exhibition match, Yasuyuki Kazama is no rookie driver. Having appeared in Best Motoring, Top Gear, JDM Option and more magazines than you can shake a stick at, Kazama is one of the most recognizable drivers in the D1 ranks. Having heard about drifting at the young age of 17, Kazama has now risen to become one of the superstars of the drifting world, and is as well known for his twin-drift technique as he is for his out-the-door "rodeo ride" parade lap.
Although he started drifting in an AE86, Kazama is best known for driving S15 Nissan Silvias, such as the green Kei-Office machine he used for his maiden win at Irwindale Speedway. This S15, campaigned by Team Move, is a blue tinted 509hp beast that can go sideways with just a blip of the throttle. Used by Kazama to seriously kick some European ass, this S15 was crowned the champion at the UK exhibition round.
Maintained by JDM tuner house Auto Produce Boss and built in conjunction with Nismo, this Silvia represents the professional side of drifting. No expense has been spared when building this car, which is designed to conquer the art of delivering flawless, smoke-filled drifts. This particular S15 Silvia began life as a Silvia Spec-R model. Featuring GT-R derived aluminum suspension design and a reinforced body, the turbocharged Spec-R model was the platform of choice for tuners. The SR20DET engine contained within the S15 features a square 86mm bore and 86mm stroke 2.0L turbocharged engine that produced almost 250hp in stock trim.
The factory S15 T28 ball bearing turbocharger is a popular upgrade for older model S13 and S14 owners, but this D1 machine demands the best. The stock SR20DET engine was removed in favor of a fully built Nismo R1 R-Tune concept engine. Only after sleeving and fitment of a prototype Nismo crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons, will a SR20 be considered an R1 engine. Assembled at the Nismo Omori Factory service center, which houses an amazing showroom and is the final exit place for many Skyline GT-R Z-Tune models, this R1 motor uses an enlarged 2.2L of displacement along with Nismo 272-degree camshafts to push the exhaust flow.
Competing in D1 level drifting events is hard on a machine, and Kazama's abuse necessitates reliable maintenance. Along with the RS*R drift squad and their own fleet of incredible demo cars, this Nissan is regularly repaired by Auto Produce Boss. A Nismo fuel pump feeds AP Boss 890cc/min fuel injectors, which spray enough Japanese premium fuel to match a healthy 21psi of boost. Force-fed by a HKS GT3037 Pro S turbo, the S15 uses a one-off Nismo stainless-steel exhaust manifold, which leads into a Nismo turbo outlet elbow and a full tract of titanium AP Boss goodness.
The Nissan parts bin was raided for the intake tract, donating a larger Z32 Fairlady (300ZX in the US) mass airflow meter and 60mm throttle body, sourced from a naturally aspirated Silvia model. Nismo also provided the front-mount intercooler, intercooler piping, oil cooler and aluminum radiator, which all conspire to help keep the intake air, coolant and oil temperatures in check. This is very important in a drifting situation, since the Silvia will spend large amounts of time sideways without proper airflow, bouncing off the rev-limiter and being fed lots and lots of boost.
Under the hood lies the Nismo-built R1 concept engine.
The power output of the car is strong, but the torque numbers are even more impressive, cresting the 456lb-ft mark with ease. This makes spinning the rear Bridgestone RE-01R tires easy, and keeping them lit even easier. Nismo provided their grippy Super Coppermix clutch kit, which spins a Nismo GT Pro limited-slip differential through a Nismo six-speed transmission. Built with reinforced gears, the Nismo six-speed transmission still uses a non-sequential H-pattern box, which Kazama rows with fury during competition.
Although his green S15 Silvia drift car rode on Kei Office suspension, Kazama uses DG-5 coilovers on this blue machine. DG-5, the latest suspension company by Keiichi Tsuchiya, uses his years of experience in racing and drifting to create precisely set up suspension systems. Spring rates are set up for drifting and use a relatively mild 9kg/mm front and 7kg/mm rear rate. Peeking out behind Prodrive GC-010G wheels are the telltale signs of performance: a set of black Brembo brakes. Offering more than enough stopping power for the art of drifting, the Brembo setup is good enough for a road course time attack, if the mood should strike Kazama.
The blue paint job hides GP Sports body work and a huge SARD carbon fiber rear wing, but this is mainly a competition vehicle, not a pimped out show car. Much of the interior remains, and a Nismo catalytic converter is present in the exhaust tract. While we're not quite recommending that you drive this Silvia daily, it does make you wonder. The D1GP was founded on the principle of drifting street legal cars, and Kazama's S15 keeps the torch burning strong. A six-point roll cage is present for safety, but the Nissan retains much of its interior panels and carpeting. The Bride Gardis seats were originally designed for JGTC racing and may be a little bit too much for street use, but hey, we'd use them if we got a pair. The Prodrive dished steering wheel and Kenwood double-DIN headunit are just two more examples of products that would fit perfectly into any properly set up street car.