10 questions with the Drift Squid Jake Jones. Exclusive interview and possible appearance in Formula
Drift Illustrated will be doing many of these 10 question type interviews. Today's interview comes from an Australian drift champion Jake Jones otherwise know as The Drift Squid.
Jake Thanks again for doing this interview. Lets start with some basic questions.
1. Jake tell us about your background and what got you into drifting?
Basically I first witnessed drifting when I was around 14 years old. It was an old Option DVD and I remember it clearly as it was a night event which they setup in a carpark with temporary ripple strips etc. I remember Nomuken driving his R34 4 door with RB25 and I was hooked. Instantly with the RB engine I knew I wanted one and then it wasn't long after that I quit school as I got myself a Full Time job. Started working heaps to make enough money to start my Drifting adventures. Managed to start drifting 4 to 5 years later when I was 19 years old. Now I've just turned 28 and it feels like yesterday when I first started drifting. Its seriously flown by so fast.
2.. What was your very first Drift car/build
It was actually a Nissan DR30. With the FJ20 engine. I bought this car as my daily and it was so damn awesome. I started to get the right parts for it and then realized it was going to be an expensive path to keep the DR30, I then sold it to purchase an already built SIl80 with CA18DET engine. It was a good choice and the Sil80 was so easy to begin with, before I knew it though the old CA18 died and the RB25 engine was put in its place. That car is what started it all.
3. What was your very first drift competition?
I'm pretty sure is was a Stadium Drift event on a banked circuit (Adelaide international raceway). I was so damn scared about the wall as I had never drifted near one or even on a bank before. Pretty sure I came second to last in the competition but damn it was so fun, I learnt a lot that day and it spiraled out of control after that.
4. Tell us about some of your favorite drift related stories.
I have so many to be honest. They have all been amazing but one that sticks out like a sore thumb was the time I took myself over to try and do the D1NZ drift series. This was a huge gamble with next to no support at all and took me years in the end to pay off. It was easily one of the best things I've ever done as I got to make friendships that will last a life time and got to see things people would only dream of. How ever just before a round in Christchurch. I was working in a shop with my blown gearbox spread out over the workbench, figuring out which parts need replacing so I can get it sorted and back in the car asap. Literally as soon as the final piece was on the table a giant Earthquake struck.. All I remember was everyone is the shop yelling RUNNNNNNN. I tried to run but it was near impossible, It felt like every step you were falling into a ditch... Thankfully the workshop roof stayed up but both shops either side weren't so lucky. I quickly looked down the street once we gathered ourselves and the realization that this was bad sunk in... The destruction and dust was like nothing id ever seen before and hope to never see again in my life. The reason I picked this story is because of the way it ended and not because of all the bad stuff that happened in the middle. I had to give up on the event that weekend and try and get myself out of the country and back to Australia. Everyone was in shutdown and once all my friends that needed help were OK I ended up hitch hiking my way to the ferry to get to the north island. The airport was shut down south so I needed to get to the north island and fly home. I was lucky enough to make it and ended up meeting my now good mate Hugo who picked me up at the ferry terminal on the north side. He took me all the way to the D1NZ drift round that weekend and I was going to be watching. Little did I know that the whole D1NZ community got together and managed to hook me up a ride (Jake Hakaraia) let me not only borrow his Onevia for the weekend he also let me just about burn it to the ground. Man this week really wasn't going in my favor. I had a heap of people come and help re wire the car and get it back together for me to compete in the D1NZ round. I ended up getting the best result ever in my entire time over in NZ. It was just one of those stories that you couldn't ever imagine. Even me telling you now quickly has brought back so many damn memories ahhhh I miss my Kiwi mates.
5. You drove for Team Orange in Japan, tell us a bit about how that came about.
I drove for Team Orange in Japan at D1GP Odiaba 2012. This came about when I had a meeting with Yokohama in Australia and simply asked the question. It wasn't long after that, that we put together a marketing structure to make it work and Team Orange were more then happy to accommodate me into the Team. I had a weeks training to make sure I was capable and the things I learnt during that week were insane, I just wish I had more time to practice in Australia because unfortunately we only get to drive maybe once every 2 or 3 months, It is one of the worst things.
6. Who is your favorite Pro Driver?
Mike Whiddett without a doubt. He's changed so much for Drifting and if you ever get the chance to meet him you'll know why. Most down to earth bloke I've ever met and the whole family/team is unreal. Lifelong friends now for sure!!
7. Obscure question but If you could have one super power, Either Flight or Invisibility what would it be and Why?
100% Flight as long as I was super fast ha ha. Man I would get so much more achieved in the little time we have each day as it is.
8. OK now back to drifting. When are we going to see you in Formula Drift?
I am always pushing for this dream and I am now focusing on it more then ever. I've actually put in my petition so we will have to wait and see ;)
9. If you could trade in your drift car for another pro drift car who's would you choose.
Call me silly or stupid but I honestly don't think I would or would even want to ha ha. There is no other pro RB26 cars I would want. Ryan Literals is rad and Forrest Wangs S15 is sick but that's 2jz. I just cant get enough of the RB26 engine note. I don't want to even try a V8 hey ha ha. I know it would make life easier but that is not what drifting is about. I didn't think that would be such a hard question hey sorry about that.
10. What is your end game with drifting? Were do you see yourself in 10 years?
I want to be successfully making a career out of my Drifting and hopefully travelling the world still. Ive recently committed to making this full time by quitting my day job and focusing 110% on drifting now. Its make or break time ;)
Jake Jones has put in his petition for the 2018 Pro2 Formula Drift series. If you want to support the Drift Squid and help his 2018 run you can contact him at email@example.com find him on Instagram @driftsquid