Mikey Skelton Interview
Mikey Skelton is one of the biggest characters of the national Supadrift series in South Africa, and one of the organisers as well. He has thus played a massive part in growing the series into what it is now.
ATJ: Tell us about your drift car?
MS: My car is a Nissan 350Z Chassis, the car has Tein Superdrift suspension and a LS2 Chevrolet 6.0 litre V8 engine running a Spitronix engine management. It has the original gearbox. Turn 1 Wheels and Achilles 225/40/18 tyres fitted.
ATJ: How did you start drifting?
MS: I started drifting after I had bought a drift car for the use of activations and events, to do rides and demos at various motorshows around the country. I used to hire other pro-drifters to drive my car and to assist me with bookings at these motorshows; I got used to the sideways feeling after driving in the car for a while with the other drivers and then after a year or so managed to get the hang of the drift skill; locked it down and then started drifting myself. Every time I drift in the present it is still a learning curve
ATJ: Did you do any motorsport prior to drifting?
MS: I rode superbikes for a while and off road motorcycles. The 4 wheel action is where it’s at in my opinion and where I have entrenched my passions.
ATJ: In your opinion is drifting a sport or an art?
MS: It’s both, it’s a sport as it has a competitive element and it’s an art due to the fact that it has a certain grace to it – angle, speed and smoke, and because it’s a judged sport and not a race, it certainly lends to being artistry…similarly to Idols.
ATJ: What makes drifting so popular for spectators?
MS: A spectator gets to watch the entire event and gets the whole story without leaving his/her seat, it’s an interactive spectator sport at the very same time. Big impressions create hype and applause which generally leads to a higher score and impression.
ATJ: If you could go drift overseas, where would you go and why?
MS: Europe, I like the scene there, similar to SA and starting to get the same momentum as with the USA – Drift AllStars.
ATJ: What is your advice to wanna-be drifters keen to get involved in the sport?
MS: My advice is simply this: where there is a will and a passion, there is a way! Get a rear wheel drive car and start drifting. If that’s unattainable at the present time, then get involved in the SupaDrift Series as a marshall or with a team and entrench yourself in a place whereas you are able to learn the entire sport.
ATJ: Where is favourite track to drift?
MS: Dezzi Raceway, Port Shepstone. The North circuit is certainly Japanese in many ways because of the turns, bends and the elevation changes. It’s also very challenging for new and experienced drivers and the options are endless.
ATJ: What other sports do you follow?
MS: Formula 1, NASCAR and Australian V8 Supercars.
ATJ: What are your ambitions for the season and for your drift career?
MS: I am going to enjoy the season as it is. It was a trying season in that I blew 2 motors and had various dynamics work against me. I aim to end on a high note in Mahikeng and Durban alike and set a solid run for the 2015 upcoming season.
ATJ: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
MS: The highlight has been to be able to drive in a Series I organise and co-own, full stop! It’s my career and hobby all rolled into a passion – I love it!
ATJ: Which drifter do you inspire to be?
MS: The famous Mikey Skelton…with the skill of a Daigo Saito!
Images by Imraan Gallo from HoodRideSA