Jake “Driftsquid” Jones has confirmed he will be debuting the much anticipated Nissan RB28 powered BMW at WTAC 2017. After a marathon two year build program this car certainly appears to be able to deliver on all levels and 28 year old South Australian Jones certainly has the credentials to back it up. Jake has competed around the world for the past few years in many series and events including Japanese D1GP, Formula Drift Asia, ADGP, D1NZ, Red Bull Drift Shifters and most recently in the Chinese Red Bull Drift series where he has taken many outright victories. The car is a state of the art build featuring a reported 10,000rpm engine, HGT sequential transmission and Winters quickchange rear end.
We caught up with Jake at his hometown of Nurioopta in the South Australian Barossa Valley to get the lowdown on this crazy build and what he has planned for WTAC and beyond.
WTAC: Hi Jake you have certainly been busy with this build. Tell us a bit about it. Looks like it has all the good bits.
Jake Jones: Yeah I have been busy! I managed to do the near impossible and build this new BMW while doing my apprenticeship. I’m so glad to have both completed and finished. It wasn’t easy at all but I guess if it was everyone would be doing it.
WTAC: What inspired the BMW build and why did you choose to stick with the Nissan engine?
JJ: When I first saw the E92 M3 body I knew I wanted one. I always had it in the back of my mind until one afternoon while day dreaming I thought “I wonder if anyone sells these as a shell”. Thinking there may be a small chance and BOOM…. the first time I ever look on that Gumtree website a 2011 E92 M3 pops up. I rang the bloke straight away and got it on a tow truck. I asked my mate Levi Clarke in QLD if he could leave it in his backyard till I got it back home and the legend was kind enough to let me do that. Thanks again Levi!
I stuck with the Nissan engine and partnered with Powertune Australia who are the best in the business when it comes to RB engines. I always wanted a stupidly high revving 1000HP RB engine and it was right up their alley to get it perfect for me. It wasn’t long till the parts were ordered through Hi Octane Racing to get my brand new N1 RB26 block filled out with Tomei goodies. Now you can hear the results and it was well and truly worth it.
WTAC: How does it feel compared to other cars you have driven including your old Sonvia?
JJ: Its a lot heavier but it also has a lot more power. Being the fact that its my own car and I funded the entire build, it makes me hold back with it a little bit. It’s something I will get over once I feel more comfortable. The only thing letting it down at the moment is brakes.
Other then that it is leaps and bounds better then the old Sonvia. One thing that the fans in Sydney are going to love is the fact the BMW has an extra cog and that means the demos down the main straight are going to be a little bit stupid this year!
WTAC: Most recently you have been killing it over in China. Tell us about that and what were you driving over there?
JJ: China has been good to me. I have had the chance to drive just about every common Toyota platform they race over there. Supra, Altezza, Aristo… I even tried to fit in an FT86 but we couldn’t make it happen. Everything is fitted with a 2JZ so it’s a level playing field with outright driver skill bringing you to the podium. I won some and I lost some but it has been an experience no one will ever believe. Some would love it and others would hate it. China’s one seriously wacky place.
WTAC: You seem to have had a bit of a hiatus on the local scene in recent times, was that to focus on building the BMW?
JJ: Yes it was, trying to work a stupid amount of hours during my apprenticeship to speed up the income and build the BMW. It was so damn hard and so many people doubted that I would ever get it done. The car is so damn good, I’m really happy with all the time and effort that has gone into it.
WTAC: So how do you feel this car will be on an international level?
JJ: I honestly think with the right tyre widths on the back, a good crew to setup the car quickly at a new track, this car will be near-on unstoppable. But that also means I need to be on my A game every single step of the way. I honestly believe I can take on the best in the world with this new car and if I didn’t believe that then why the hell did I build it?
WTAC: Clearly you have big aspirations after WTAC. What is your longer term plan with this car?
JJ: Being completely honest here I want to hit the US ASAP! Formula Drift US has been a goal of mine for many years. I’m hoping I can find further support to make this goal a possibility in the not so distant future.
WTAC: Let’s say you make it through to the final on the Saturday night of the Honeywell Garrett International Drift Challenge. Who would you fear the most sitting in the opposite lane?
JJ: I wouldn’t fear anyone but I will honestly love to have a battle against everyone. I don’t want to have a top 32. I want a battle against every single person from the competition.
WTAC: A lot of smart minds have been involved in this project, tell us a bit about who has helped with the build.
JJ I have a lot of people to thank for this build. Over the 2 years the car has had many visits to workshops and people from SA to Sydney working on it.
It started at Solid Engineering and mechanical. Helps and Solid did the roll cage and some fabrication work on the BMW but after some big changes most of this work had to be changed around. Things just went from extreme to just insanity real quickly.
Here is a quick thanks to those companies that had a part in this build:
Solid Engineering and Mechanical / Yokohama / Hi Octane Racing / Hi Octane Direct / Hypertune / Turbosmart / Helps Metalworks / ASD motorsports / MCA Suspension / Powertune Australia / Royal Purple Oils / MTAA Super / HGT Precision Gearboxes / Fenix Radiators / HoonTV / Velo Race seats / KC customs /
My Current supporters of the BMW are:
MTAA SUPER / Powertune Australia / Yokohama / MCA Suspension / Hi Octane Racing / Hypertune / HGT Precision gearboxes / Turbosmart / Velo Race seats / Fenix Radiators / Hueys Transport
WTAC: Thanks Jake and best of luck. We seriously cant wait to see the RBMW in person and hear that RB sing!
JJ: Thanks guys and I am looking forward to making sure my RB fans are losing their minds over the raw sound this beast creates! Cant wait to see you all in Sydney!
Check out the RBMW in action in this video: