It’s official now! We are going to be Tinna Riis (RIIS DRIFT)‘s supporter from today and so onwards!
For you who don’t know her, Tinna is a new female drifter from Denmark, driving a 2JZ powered BMW E46.
So we thought of starting our partnership with an interview of her:
Q: When was your childhood and when you realized you definitely need to go into drifting?
A: I don’t know really.. I just recently got into drifting and I haven’t ever heard of the sport before 3-4 years ago.
Do you remember the first time feeling good because you were in a car:
When I was a little girl, I was driving with my father and I would always tell him to race the other cars on the highway, because I liked the speed and the feeling of being in a fast car. And when I got older my mother bought a motorcycle, a Honda CBR600. And I loved to ride with her – the feeling sitting on the bike with her, speeding through the beautiful landscape is one of my favorite memories with her.
Q: Your first time trying to drift?
A: It was at an event at an old airstrip in Denmark. I was only drifting an hour or so, because my cooler broke, so that wasn’t a very successful day.
Q: Why the E46 BMW 3 series?
A:Honestly because it was cheap. I didn’t know anything about RWD cars at the time. I knew that a lot of rookie drivers was driving in BMW’s – E30’s and E36’s but I didn’t and still don’t like the look of those cars. It’s to square for my taste and the E46 fits my taste better. And that’s really why I bought that car. If I had the knowledge at that time as I do know, I would have bought a Nissan S14. I am just in love with that car.
Q:Tell us something about your first event ever. Do you remember the feeling when you had to start the car and put it into the first gear?
A:The first time I tried the car was at a local racetrack. I wasn’t allowed to drift, but that didn’t matter. I was just there to try it, see if everything was working and most of all – to have some fun. I were there with some other guys who was driving formal cars and legend cars. I remember when I first got into the car and started the engine I was nerves but excited at the same time. This was the moment I had been waiting for all winter. First, second, third, fourth and fifth gear. I was driving as fast as I could. And it was pure happiness. When I was at the track nothing else was on my mind – it was just me and the car. At first I was a little bit nerves, because I didn’t want to bother the other drivers and as soon as I saw another car in the mirror I made room for them to pass me, but as the hours went by, I began to trust myself a little bit more and began to race the other cars. It was so much fun and I loved it.
Q:Tell us the greatest moment of your career so far:
A:It was first in the middle of the second season at an event in Norway, that I started believing in myself again. Rudskogen is the largest and most exciting track I have ever been on. The layout of the track and the event itself is simply amazing. Gatebil is an event where drivers from all over the world are drifting on the track, partying at night and just having a great time. 40.000 people from all over the world. When I was there I was chosen to compete in the World Powerslide Championship alongside 80 other drifters including Fredric Assbø, Vaugn Gittin Jr, Kenny Moen and the awesome Russian guys – Failcrew. 80 drivers was chosen out of approximately 1000 drifters. I was so proud to be invited to participate in the championship and all I wanted was to go to bed early and be ready for the competition the next day. I was sleeping in the front of the Van and after about an hour or so I was woken up by someone knocking on the window. I was a bit pissed at first because the other guys new that I wanted to sleep and be ready for the WPC, but when I saw who was knocking, I couldn’t believe it. Mr. Vaughn Gittin Jr. All of my mechanics know, that Vaughn is my all time favorite drifter and I have wanted to meet him for so long! One of them found him in the pit and convinced him to come say hello to me. I was so happy and felt like a teenage girl the whole time he was there. The next day I trained to whole day and prepared myself for the WPC later that day, but unfortunately something broke on the car that we couldn’t fix, so I didn’t get to compete. But I didn’t care – I was chosen to compete and that was what mattered to me the most. I was so proud of it.
Q: Do you remember any funny situation while on racing, preparing the car or while in the garage working on the car?
A: I have a lot of funny memories, but I don’t think anyone besides the people who were there at those moments would find them funny.
One of those times was my first drift event. I had tried the car a few weeks prior to this event, but we haven’t welded the differential at that time. So when I was about to leave the pit I thought something was wrong with the car. Because of the welded differential the back wheels are “connected” and are always driving with the same speed. I put the car in first gear and drove off. When I had to turn right the car was making a very weird sound from the back wheels and I couldn’t quite get it to move right at slow speed – drifters with welded differentials knows what I am talking about – I flew out of the car and ran to my mechanic explaining him, what I thought was wrong with the car. And then all of a sudden he burst into laughter (and approximately 8 other boys as well) . He told me the car was suppose to make that sound and act that way, so I got back into the car and drove to the track. How was I suppose to know?
Specs of the BMW:
Luckily the car had been used as a trackday car and was already stripped in the cabin. It had useful coilovers, antirollbar and big brakes all the way around. The engine was a strait 6 with 230 horsepower (The original M54B30). It had good potential.
I bought a Sparco seat for the driver side, and moved the Type R seat to the passenger side, then fitted the OMP 6points seat belts. We also mounted an E-brake, replaced the AirMassMeter among other small things was did on the engine. Finally the rear diff was welded and I was good to go.
Then the season of 2013 could begin.
In January 2014 I bought a 2JZ GTE VVT-i twin turbo engine as base for the race engine I wanted. Other items were purchased and installed. GT35 turbo, blowoff, wastegate, turbo manifold, injectors and a complete fuelsystem with fuelrail, fuelcell, swirlpot, pumps, filters and all other things I needed to build a system that could deliver every time. Intercooler, radiator, oil and power steering cooler was the 4 coolers I needed to get a stabile setup, with no problems on the temperature. With the coolers I had 2 Spal fans. One in front of the IC and one behind. I needed a new gearbox, and decided to go with the BMW 530 Diesel box. For the clutch, I chose an ABC-Clutch adaptorkit with a Tilton 900nm 2-plate clutch. Engine and gearbox was now in the car and the rest could begin to take shape. 3” stainless steel exhaust, 3” intake pipes, hose, driveshaft and a custom engine wiring harness was made with a lot of other things. In my quest of finding the right ECU, I came by the Ecu Master EMU, which is a relatively new ECU in Denmark. It is a “stand alone” ECU that had just the right system for my setup.
It currently has 415 bhp and 560 newton meters of torque – I am getting it remapped (now actually, I am on my way to the dyno while I am writing this) And I am hoping to have 500 bhp when it’s done.
Q: Is it hard to be a female drifter in motorsport?
A: It is super hard to be a female in this male dominated world. A lot of people are hating on me, because they think I am getting everything for free and getting special treatment because I am a girl. I have to deal with a lot of comments and rumors all the time. I think some of it is jealousy, and most guys can’t handle the fact that I am living the dream. And they can’t. I don’t know – it’s just my theory. A lot of guys are contacting me on my personal Facebook, telling me to stay away from the track and that I don’t belong there. I am wasting my sponsors money because I can’t drift. That sorts of things. When I first started it bothered me every time I heard someone talking about me, they didn’t even know me. But know I just think it’s funny when things like that happens. Of course some of it still gets to me, but most of the time I am just thinking that if it makes them happy, then they can do whatever they want. My friends and family knows me and how I am, so if anyone else choose to believe a rumor or have an opinion about me, without knowing me, then it’s their choice. Not mine. And I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, because I knew what I got myself into when I started, I just didn’t think it would be this bad.
Q: Was it hard to find a sponsorship in the beginning of your career?
A: Yes it is. It’s very hard. Drifting is not that big in Denmark and a lot of companies doesn’t know what it is. Most guys assume it’s easy for me to get sponsors because I’m a girl, but I am working just as hard as any other driver. People just notice when I annunciate that I have a new sponsor, but they don’t see that work that is put behind it. I am sending out e-mails all the time, out knocking on doors and contacting companies. Sometimes it’s a yes and most of the time it’s a no. Just as any other guy in drifting would get.
Q: Any plans for the future?
A: My future plan when it comes to drifting is building a new car. The Nissan S14 or a mustang and then my baby sister who also loves drifting will have my BMW to drift in. But that’s not for a few years. Other than that I would love to attend more international events in the future and competing in the Queen of Europe Championship.
Q: Your perfect roadtrip?
A: A perfect roadtrip for me would be a roadtrip through Europe during the summer and have the BMW with me. I would go to Ireland, England, France, the Nederland’s, Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. I would attend every event possible during that summer and just having the time of my life going from one event to the other and just hanging out and having fun with friends.
When that’s said I would absolutely love to do the same in the US. Roadtrip with the driftcar and attend a lot of events in America – but that’s not really realistic to do, but most definitely a big dream of mine.