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Watch a Nissan S13 Nail a 138-MPH Drift Entry Into Laguna Seca’s Hairpin

It's called kansei dorifto, not kan'tsei dorifto.
Peter Nelson

There are some of us who can only manage a drift half the time, when it’s wet, and nobody’s looking. Then there are people like Formula D driver Matt Coffman, who can huck it sideways at 138 mph through a blind corner an eternity before the next hairpin—and keep it on track. All in front of a crowd, in case the pressure wasn’t overwhelming enough.

Coffman achieved the mother of all look-at-mes just over a week ago, at Gridlife Laguna Seca. He was driving his Formula D car, a post-facelift first-gen Nissan 240SX (a kouki S13 if you’re in the know) that MotorTrend reports is powered by a dirt modified’s V8. Specifically, a 6.7-liter Roush Yates 410. It’s an engine literally designed for spinning tires at length, which it’d have to be to survive what Coffman put it through at Laguna Seca.

Going through the Turn 1 kink on the pit straight, Coffman yanks his hydraulic handbrake to initiate a drift from what he says is 138 mph. This sets him up to enter Turn 2—the double-apex Andretti Hairpin—sideways, a risky high-speed entry that could pitch the car into the gravel if mishandled. An ugly rollover was on the table, but Coffman’s a pro drifter. This is his job, and he judged his entry to perfection.

Not only was the perfection filmed from the stands by an appreciative crowd, but it was recorded onboard by one lucky passenger. How they didn’t choke to death on tire smoke, we may never know, but it’d be the experience of a lifetime to ride along on such a drift—never mind the rest of the brilliant lap that followed. Maybe Coffman should sell tickets to ride shotgun, no?

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