The semi-flat black Supra plants itself into the apex. Tire smoke rolls off the rear quarter panels as the tires squeal out and the engine redline carries the vehicle sliding back into the straight. For the on-lookers at the Rudskogen Raceway in Norway, the art of drifting may look simple, but for Hunter Taylor, it’s a full throttle journey towards competing with the biggest names in the community.
“Anything with a motor has been a passion of mine.” Says Hunter. Growing up in Southern California, she says that she was always a tom boy and interested in the mechanics of cars, with her dad being involved working in the auto industry, she spent the weekends outside of high school in off-road trucks making weekend desert trips racing in the open dunes.
But it wasn’t until her early 20’s that she began following the drift racing scene, attending the local Formula D along with other events and eventually meeting industry professional, Fredric Aasbø through social media. After a first date at a Lucas Oil off-road race in Lake Elsinore, California, the two connected immediately on all levels and next thing she knew, she was traveling with him across Norway for winter ice lake drifting events.
“Not long after my introduction to the sport I was hooked! She says. So with a loaner Toyota Supra and studded snow tires, she attempted her first practice off and across the ice leading into what became an addiction. “I picked it up quickly, and I couldn’t stop wanting to learn more!” She says.
When finally arriving back to the states, she knew what she wanted to do – and that was to get behind the wheel full time. But her only choice for a car was to build her 2008 Ford Mustang, which could have made a decent drift car, but she owned it since the age of 15 and there wasn’t a motive to build it for the sport. So with help of Fredric and his friend Preben, they both pitched in during the 2016 winter break to help Hunter put together a familiar ride, a 1993 Toyota Supra.
Stripping the car down, they began by installing a full roll cage and upgraded braking system with Tenaci hardware and hydraulic hand lever. Then dropping in a stock VVTI 2JZ, topped off with a single EFR8374 Turbo, that’s managed by a Maxxecu and delivers the power through a BMW ZF diesel “530” transmission with Tenaci adaption plate, billet flywheel and twin disk clutch.
“I named the car Tiffany.” She says. “Reason for that is Fredric’s first Formula Drift competition car was a red Supra named “Chucky” from the “Child’s Play” doll horror movies. So since my Supra is Chucky’s girlfriend her name had to be Tiffany . . . hence the movie called “The Bride of Chucky.” She says while laughing.
Now that a full year passed since the build, Hunter spent most of the 2017 summer practicing for her move into professional drifting. “I’m my still very young driving career.” She says. “Drifting on ice compared to an actual track is that its much easier to initiate drift — as its a much more slippery surface. But, it’s also much easier to slide off the track, so it really helped me learn great car control and the aspects of what drifting truly is.”
“At the Rudskogen race track in Norway, after a long weekend of driving I was finally able to complete the full course.” She says her goal for 2018 is to compete in the power-slide competition during the Norwegian, “Gatebil” festival. “At this festival they have everything from drift cars to time attack driving on track at different time slots, sometimes with over 50 cars at the same time. It’s hectic but it’s amazing!” She says.
But like any race competitor, the road to professional competition and even a podium can be a long journey, one that Hunter is prepared for. “My plan is to eventually compete in Pro AM here in the USA and work my way up to Pro 2 in Formula Drift.” She says. “Pro 1 is a far fetched dream but hey, anything is possible right? Never stop wanting and working towards goals even if they seem out of reach!”
Photo credits: 1. @camilliastofterraa 2. @mhrallybilder 3. Hunter Taylor 4. Hunter Taylor 5. @pennydmedia 6. @mhrallybilder 7. Hunter Taylor 8. @camillastofteraa 9. @camillastofteraa