Not only does Turbo Mafia have one of the most memorable names in motorsport, but the Motul-backed Hungarian drift team also builds its own drift cars. We catch up with Turbo Mafia driver Robert Petri to find out how to go about building a drift car.
Robert, what is Turbo Mafia?
Turbo Mafia is a racing team specialised in drifting. Besides racing, we also have our own workshop and build our own drift cars, too.
How long does it take to build a drift car?
If you ask a company to build a drift car for you it can take one to two years as they are always working on something else too, that’s why we decided to have our own mechanics and build our own project cars. Last year we managed to build two pro cars during the winter season, which took five to six months and we are working right now on two more cars, which need to be finished for the beginning of the 2021 season.
What are some of the main changes you do to the cars?
Building a drift car is totally different to creating a car for any other motorsport. The car should have specific modifications to improve the drifting skills of it. We also have safety regulations especially for drifting, so we also need to focus on these rules to have a regular car for competitions. A drift car must have a reliable and powerful engine and very good suspension with lots of steering lock and good grip.
What events do you compete in?
We are focusing on our national pro championship here in Hungary as well as the Drift Kings international championship. In 2020 we also participated in one round of the Polish national championship to get more experience.
How has COVID changed your year?
Too much, unfortunately. Big, international events were all cancelled, so it was almost impossible to go abroad and race against the well-known international top drifters. We hope it will change next year and we will travel around the whole of Europe again.
Drifting is such a growing sport. Why do you think this is?
Drifting is one of the newest motorsports and it’s very attractive, especially for the younger generation. It is not enough to have a good car, but a lot depends also on the driver. It is not like time attack [laughs]. Because of the layout of drift tracks, the audience can see all the action right in front of them.
How are you involved with Motul?
Our team manager Adam Kerenyi is a former pro drifter with many national and international top results. He was also using Motul during his racing career and he is committed to this brand, so there was no question: we use Motul in our own cars as well.
What difference does Motul’s lubricants make to your drift cars’ longevity and performance?
We already have some years of experience with Motul lubricants and we are very satisfied. At every oil change there is a visible difference compared to other brands, even oil temperature is lower with Motul. Also, the cooling system works much better, which is extremely important as drift cars get very little fresh air because they’re constantly going sideways. All our cooling radiators are mounted to the back of the car due to the proper weight balance, for instance. Because of these considerations, we wanted to use Motul cooling liquid in them.
© Pictures: Toomy Photo