Swiss drifter and long-time Motul partner Yves Meyer has lept across the pond to compete in one of the most competitive drifting series in the world: Formula Drift. Armed with two HGK Eurofighters, he and his team, the Drift Force, are taking on some of the biggest names in the business.
Yves, as a Swiss race driver, what attracted you to drifting and especially Formula Drift?
Before I was a drifter, I had been circuit racing for a very long time. In 2017 I bought my first drift car just to experiment. We joined the Drift King series and started making some progress. In 2018 I joined the FIA Intercontinental Drift Championship and ended up finishing second! This was the turning point where I wanted to take my drifting to another level. We bought two HGK Eurofighters from Kristaps Bluss and we have been developing these cars since. We had to make a decision this year whether we would compete in the Drift Masters Euro championship or commit to a full Formula D season. Both budgets were similar, so we went for the American option because it’s simply the ultimate drifting competition.
What are your first impressions of drifting in the US?
Last year, even though we had been struggling with the pandemic, we were allowed to compete in two events stateside. This was a good way to prepare us for the upcoming 2021 season. The first thing we had to deal with was the tyre size. They run a much bigger tyre in the US. Drifting is also very different in America. In the US it’s all about maximum grip, speed, and power. In Europe, things are more technical. One of the biggest things we had to get used to are the banked corners. A lot of drift events are held on oval tracks and the outer corners are banked, which can be incredibly tricky.
Your HGK Eurofighter looks like a BMW M2 chassis. Is it much different to the other M3-based Eurofighters?
That’s more of an impression because our car is a little bit higher. To be honest our car is quite similar to the other HGK builds. The only significant difference is the placement of the fuel tank. Kristaps really likes to have his fuel tank in the back to get some more weight on the rear wheels. For my style, this doesn’t work as well. So we’ve been playing around with a number of different set-ups. I can tell you, however, that we’re working on some completely new cars for next year.
For technical support, you teamed up with Formula Drift veteran, and current points leader, Matt Field. How instrumental was this collaboration?
Simply incredible. Matt’s team takes care of the cars and helps with the setup. They share their knowledge and help us along the way, and that saves us a lot of time. On top of that, by running our cars earlier in the event, he gets a lot of data on the situation on the track and how he should set up his car.
Formula Drift is one of the most professional drift championships in the world. Does it still have this friendly atmosphere drifting paddocks are known for?
Absolutely, maybe even a little more than on our side. A lot of the drivers are truly professional, which means they’re not spending their own hard-earned money. So, the stakes are not as high and the atmosphere gets a bit more relaxed.
In the US you continued your partnership with Motul. What products are you using on the Eurofighter?
Having Motul as a partner is the best thing for me. To be honest, I’ve never used any other lubricant before. It’s nice to get the same support here in the US as I did in Europe. In the Eurofighter, we’re pretty much using Motul fluids exclusively. In the engine, we’re using Motul 300V Competition 15W-50. It’s a pretty thin oil which we’re using, but it works so well for us. We're also using the Gear Competition in the gearbox and differential. We use the RBF660 for our brake fluid which has the perfect feel for our needs.
The season has just started and there are some iconic races lined up. Which are you most looking forward to?
I’m very excited about doing Long Beach. This race has a special history for me. Years ago, I went on holiday to California with my girlfriend and, without realising it, we had bought tickets for Formula Drift in Long Beach. It was there in the grandstand that I told her: “Babe, one day I’m going to drift here”. This year will be that moment - and I couldn’t be more excited.
© Pictures: DGP Media