So while at Japfest, I caught up with Kirsty Widdrington. She was on the Super Pro stand, along with a few other members of her team. Kirsty is currently sat in 32nd in the pro am standing. But after seeing her performance at the NEC. There is going to be some big things coming from her and the team. The car is running great and you can really see it is responding to her driving style much better.
Syril, Kirsty Widdrington competition car is a 1989 Nissan Silvia PS13 with an SR20DET fully forged engine, on this engine she runs a 3071R top mount turbo & front mount intercooler along with Samco Hoses, which helps the engine to produce 420bhp. The suspension on Syril is made up of a front TDP lock kit & Driftworks CS2’s Shock Absorbers all around. She runs a solid aluminium rear subframe bushes along with Superpro Suspension Poly Bushes all round & a Superpro swaybar. This year they have been using a new semi-slick tyre as we have been working with Achilles Tires.
The front tyres are Achilles 123’s > 225/45/R17
The rear tyres are Achilles 123’s > 235/40/R18
Favourite track to drift?
Not the easiest of questions for her to answer, especially after she has driven such tracks as Nurburgring and Hockenheim. But for Kirsty Widdrington the hallowed tarmac of Silverstone is the one she’d choose to drift. Her favourite track there is number one, I suppose being able to drift such an iconic track must be special. So it is no surprise she had this to say about it;
“I feel honoured & blessed every time I am allowed to participate in Drifting around there!”
How did you start drifting?
After being the presenter on a car scene documentary series, she found out that sky were looking for a presenter to do a show about drifting. So she contacted Sky TV not knowing anything about Drifting. And got the job. Her first outing was to Teeside Autodrome and as soon as she saw what Drifting was she said to herself “wow I simply have to do this”.
She carried on presenting for SKY TV that year. Then the following year gained her drifting license and began to compete in a borrowed car. She started competing as a solo entity in 2008 but sadly due to Her Mum being diagnosed with breast cancer that had gone to her bones she took two years out of competition to be with her family.
In those two years a lot happened and I’d rather share her story in her own words;
“During this time on one of the bouts when my mum was very sick in hospital I said “Mum I have a confession” she said “oh my god you’re not pregnant are you” no I said “I have bought a Jap car for drifting, he’s called Syril” with that she breathed a sigh of relief & I started showing her pictures of him.
(I was soooo happy as I thought my mum would disown me but she knew I loved the drifting and could not keep doing it in someone else car)
I was working as a parts sales rep for a car garage at the time & I won a competition to attend a full VIP day to British Touring Cars at Brands Hatch and as I knew my Mum always wanted to go to see Touring Cars I said to her in hospital “you better get better soon as…. And handed her the tickets, with Dad in the room I said you two are going VIP to Brands Hatch” with this Mum could sit down in the VIP area rest but also keep warm and watch the racing, they also got to meet some of the Vauxhall drivers and got some signed Autograph cards for me. After they finished at Brands Hatch they popped down the road (to where Syril was being kept and worked on at that time) and I showed them my boy “Syril” although he was looking a little sorry for himself & not really like a drift car I could see the final image in my head and knew that my Mum and Dad knew what I was doing and so they supported my actions with buying this car & spending when I could working on Syril doing bits and bobs… I also spent my inheritance money from my great aunt on getting the roll cage made in Syril so there are lots of sentimental ties with Syril and that is what spurs me on to keep pushing and going for it!!!
The biggest regret and heart breaker for me is that my Mum never got to see Syril finished in the flesh – I know she looks over us & can see him from up there in heaven but I would love to know what she thinks of how he has changed & progressed along the years along with my drifting skills.
Mum sadly lost her battle in May 2010 & knowing how supportive she was we finished Syril & started back in competition again in 2011 with Syril and as a solo entity.”
What’s next for Syril?
She would love to have the financial backing to rebuild his old blown up 2.2 engine which would see power output of around 500bhp. She would also like compete for a season in Europe as last year they competed over in Ireland under the IDC (Irish Drift Championship), this year they are back in the BDC (British Drift Championship).
One of the greatest thing about meeting BDC drivers is that you really get a sense of their passion for the sport. I mean there isn’t a great deal of cash in it for them. They do it for the love of drifting. And you can just see Kirsty’s passion for the sport by the fact she has even colour co-ordinated her hair with her car.
Drifting like most motorsport is filled with the highest highs and some of the lowest lows. I’ve seen and experienced friends pulling together to work on a car to reach a common goal. And drifting to me, is a family. The stories you hear, the characters you meet and friends you make on track days are a different breed.
Kirsty Widdrington is definitely one of kind and I wish her all the luck in world.
It was great chatting with her and the team, I wish them all the best at Driftland.
Follow Kirsty Widdrington’s progress in this years BDC;
Facebook – www.facebook.com/KirstyKerbs
Instagram – @kerb_drift
Twitter – @kerbdrift