Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver Andy Hateley
Hey Andy thanks for taking some time to do this interview with us. You have been drifting for quite some time and we have always been a fan. Lets help the Drift Illustrated fans to learn more about you and your program.
1. What got you into drifting?
I just loved the feeling I got when I slid my car or spun tires. Once I found out it was an actual motorsport I knew this was for me. I never watched initial d or option video until I was fully involved with the sport. I saw a few videos online and had to do it. I started up in the canyons just learning the car and when I took my 350z to the track and never looked back. Drifting became my life.
2. What was your first drift car?
2004 350z that I leased for the first few years. Nissan was nice enough to keep my warranty even though I was beating on the car. I drove it while it was stock for a few years and earned my D1 license in the car less then a year after my first drift event. I drove it in D1 and FD competitions up until 2007. I still have the Z and it runs well, I even drove it for the first round of Top Drift last year.
3. What was your first drift competition?
First competition was D1 driver search back in 2004. Lets just say my Scandinavian flick did not work for me that day. I crashed the Z into the water barriers on the first lap. We got the car back together so could drive it home. It was my first really bad crash but I wasn’t going to quit just yet. I came back 3 driver searches later and earned my D1 license. Fall down, get back up!
4. You competed in Formula drift a few years ago tell us a little about that?
Yes I competed in the 2006 and 2007 seasons. The cars and drivers were no where near as good as they are today. My Z only had 380hp and that was enough back then. It was tough to do well because tandem only started at top 16 so I never got a lot of experience in tandem competitions. It was a great learning experience, I think I have a better knowledge on how this all works compared to some of the newer drivers.
Source Am Drift by David Karey
5. You have one of the nicest cars in all of drifting, Tell us about why you chose the BMW platform?
Thank you! It really wasn’t about BMW but more about the E30 itself. I loved the car, I loved how they drove and how they looked. I knew I wanted to build a car from the ground up after owning the Z and I didn’t want something half assed. The E30 was a cheaper option that I could use to test the waters on building a real FD car. When it comes down to it, I picked the E30 because I love those cars, plain and simple.
Source Nick Quigley
6. Now that your back in FD Pro2 what can you tell us about how different it is from when you ran Pro1 and do you feel its a better stepping stone for the drivers.
Pro1 and Pro2 aren’t drastically different. The cars are about the same caliber, some of the team support is even better then some Pro1 teams. The skill level of some drivers are the only thing that is different from Pro1, some guys are as good or better then their Pro1 counterparts. I feel its a good stepping stone but there should be more rules that don’t allow Pro1 level cars into Pro2. If the cars are the same and the drivers(some of them) have the same amount of skill as Pro1, whats the real difference?
Source Valters Boze
7. Tell us about your sidekick and drift dog Gonzo. What is your favorite drift related story that involves him.
Gonzo is 75% timber wolf and 25% Alaskan Malamute. He is my partner in crime, he comes to all the FD events and travels with me everywhere I go. He ate a whole pizza at FD Long Beach in 2014. It was left on the table, we came back and it was gone. The box was still on the table and a fat, happy gonzo was taking a nap. That was our pizza for later, bad dog Gonzo! Find him on Instagram: @gonzothewolfdog
8. Now that you have competed in 2 rounds of the 2017 Pro2 FD events. What can you say was your best and worst decisions?
Best decision was probably putting the quick change diff in the car before the season. We were replacing diffs after every round last year so it was a big weight lifted off my shoulders to not have to worry about the diff breaking. Worst decision was jumping the car in reverse at FD Orlando. Boom! Reverse was shredded and we barely made our second qualifying pass. A simple mistake can cost you everything. Weeks of work, late nights, 3000 miles of driving, hotel rooms, 6 plane tickets… All down the drain. This is the life we choose, it sucks sometimes. But sometimes its awesome...
Source Andy Hateley
9. Assuming you earn your pro1 licence this year will you be bringing the same platform to 2018.
Yes, I will continue to use the E30 chassis until I feel we have used it to the full potential. I have yet to even try changing the sweep angle of the trailing arms and I truly believe that will make it a competitive Pro1 car when we can really dial in alignment changes throughout compression. Once the E30 has been maxed out, I will build an E46.
10. Whats your end game with drifting? How far do you want to take it?
I will be drifting as long as my body allows me too. This is what I live for. If I can’t do FD I will work for a team and keep drifting as much as I can. I can’t get enough of it, I have a few RC drift cars and a full sim setup with a fanatec wheel on Forza. If you put a toy car in my hand you better believe its about to drift like crazy. When I’m old and can’t move I’ll probably play drifting video games until my hands stop working. Nothing on this planet has given me the feeling drifting does, and until that stops, I'm gonna keep doing it.
For more info about Andy's 2017 FD program follow his VLOG on youtube.
Thanks you again Andy for doing this interview with us. We will catch up at the end of the season for a season recap.
BONUS: 5 Things you didn't know about Andy Hateley
1. He was a child actor and played in over 30 commercials and movies.
2. He has also drove competitively in China.
3. He is a spotter for Pro 1 Formula Drift Driver Jeff Jones
4. He is a very good drone pilot.
5. He loves online gaming and can probably kick you but in FORZA..
FIND ANDY HATELEY: Facebook: Andy Hateley Instagram: @hatetleydrift