Latvian drifter and master car builder Kristaps Bluss has been creating spectacular drift cars for years. His company HGK’s signature style is the bare kevlar body panels that feature on most of his cars. Normally, he uses BMWs, but this year he branched out and has built a Toyota Supra! Needless to say, we had to find out more...
Kristaps, you are known for building spectacular “Eurofighter” kevlar-bodied BMW drift cars. For 2021, you built the Supra Eurofighter. What’s the story behind this car?
It was Nikita Shikov who came up with the idea and asked us to build a Eurofighter Supra. For us, this was a great build because Nikita is a Toyota Gazoo official driver, so to build a car that is backed by Toyota is huge for my company.
How important is it for you that a large OEM such as Toyota is supporting drifting?
It’s not new actually. In the US large manufacturers have been supporting drifting for some time now. Toyota has been backing drivers in Formula D for a number of years. This is also the case with Ford. In Europe and Russia, however, it is relatively new and it’s a great thing that these manufacturers finally recognise the popularity of drifting.
Can you share a few more details about the Eurofighter Supra? How much of the original Supra is left?
[Laughs]. The headlights and rear lights, and I believe the door hinges as well. The front and rear subframes. It’s hard to say but I think we only use about 10/15 stock Supra parts. As with our BMW projects, the entire body and shell is Kevlar.
The new Supra shares a lot with BMW. A lot of drifters have been playing around with its B58 six-cylinder BMW engine. You decided to use a different power unit. Why?
Yes, for this build we used the original 2JZ turbocharged engine. It was Nikita’s decision and, as it’s an original Toyota engine, it matched our story. The B58 is a great engine and I’ve been looking at what has been done to it overseas. It seems it needs a bit of development in order for it to be reliable. Compared to a 2JZ engine, which has been around for over 20 years now, it’s a lot safer to run it at higher horsepower. Currently, our Eurofighter Supra is running at around 1000bhp.
What are your plans for 2021? Will you build a Supra for yourself?
No, I’m sticking to the E92 Eurofighters. I don’t have a link with Toyota so that makes it a bit more complicated. Currently, we’re testing our 2021 cars in the shop. Although I like the idea of running a turbocharged car, I prefer our naturally-aspirated V8s. It’s so much simpler: air and fuel, that’s all. If we need extra power, we’ll apply nitrous. This year we’ll be pushing to do the full RDS GP season in Russia as well as the Driftmasters GP event here in my hometown of Riga. On top of that, we’ll also be joining the FIA Intercontinental Drifting Championship. It’s a good year for drifting in Latvia.
Both the Supra and your cars are all running Motul products. What does the partnership with Motul mean to you?
For me Motul means reliability. We are asking so much from our engines that we need a reliable lubricant. To be honest, we’re unofficial Motul ambassadors. Every car we have built since the start of our company in 2007 came with Motul in the engine and almost all of our customers stick to Motul. For us, that just says it all.
© Pictures: Vsevolod Rozhok