Meet the drifter part 102: Richie Gilbey.
Silvia loving drifter.
Sarah:So,introduce yourself to Drivetribe.
Richie: Hi guys, my name is Richie Gilbey, a U.K. based competitive drifter.
Photo credit: K98 Media.
Sarah: What age were you when you first got behind the wheel?
Richie: I was 17 when I first started driving, doing my driving lessons, never really a chance to drive before then.
Sarah: What was the next step for you after that?
Richie: I got my 1999 Volkswagen Golf, put a nice set of wheels on it and had that for my first year on the road!
Sarah: What first caught your attention about drifting?
Richie: My brother Marc was always interested in drifting as quite a few of he’s friends had ‘drift cars’, eventually whilst I was still in school we went out for the weekend to Lydden Hill circuit in Kent to watch a round of the British Drift Championship and it blew my mind!
Sarah: What age were you then?
Richie: I was 14 at the time, I remember it like it was yesterday.
Photo credit: P.R Phtography.
Sarah: What made you think, I could actually do that?
Richie: Young, full of buzz and confidence! Wasn’t we all?
Sarah: What was your first proper competition car?
Richie: I would say my first ‘proper’ competition car was my sileighty. Definitely more than competitive with the modifications that we have done.
1JZ, lightweight and an all round well set up car for all tracks.
Sarah: Why did you pick the car that you have now?
Richie: I always liked sileighty’s, a cool looking car that was very unique looking and not so common.
That paired with the obvious combination of 6 cylinder S-body being the international weapon of choice for competitive drifting, a real must.
Sarah: So you've been a spectator and a competitor. Has it good side bad sides etc?
Richie: I enjoy all aspects of drifting. I love the atmosphere at events when watching other people drive and they enjoyment they get from it, I love the feeling of driving myself and the buzz you get when behind the wheel inches from the car in front or behind.
Photo credit: Dan Martin Media
Drifting is a fantastic sport and has so much diversity between people with various interests and styles - you can really bring out who you are and feel free through driving.
Sarah: Best aspect of drifting for you personally?
Richie: The events, the community and the support you get from other people amongst it.
Sarah: One thing you could change about drifting what would it be?
Richie: More mainstream recognition, larger MSA tracks and more locations further down the south of England.
Sarah: Whose you best friend(s) you've made through drifting? Why?
Richie: It wouldn’t be fair to mention one. I have a good community of people around me, with a great support bubble. Some competitive drivers some not.
If I was to put a single name for the person who has supported me most with my aspirations and dreams, it would be one of the U.K.’s OG’s, Mark Lappage.
Mark has spent countless hours with me at the workshop and taking me to events and I wouldn’t be where I am without he’s knowledge and support.
Photo Credit: Everything drift.
Sarah: Have you got any advise for anyone wanting to get into drifting?
Richie: My advise to someone who would like to get into drifting would be to go watch at some events first, not just professional level, but grass root events too like D pad.
It’s not just about the driving, it’s the community too - but don’t rush out to buy the fastest most expensive car you can buy. Learn how to control the car and get the basics first.
Don’t get sucked into the idea that you need an expensive car with lots of power and grip because that’s what you see other people driving. Some of the best days out I’ve had were in my earlier times with great friends, having a laugh.
Sarah: Are you glad/happy you got into drifting? Why?
Richie: Of course, there’s no other feeling in life that will ever compare to drifting. Most people will never understand until they go out in a drift car.
I can’t see myself without it now, no release comes as close as being out in the car, it takes you away from your normal life and gives you a release.
Sarah: One thing you hate about drifting from any aspect of it?
Richie: I try not acknowledge anything negative about drifting, so I have no answer for that questions unfortunately.
Sarah: Tell us a random fact about your drifting career to date?
Richie:After watching the British Drift Championship from a young age, it was obviously a huge goal for me to drive in the championship growing up.
To have stepped up the ranks from grassroots level and move into the BDC after just 2 years was a huge achievement for me - most probably don’t realise that.
Sarah: You have drifted and battled with some world famous drifters, who was the best and why?
Richie: The best driver I probably drove with was this season, Baggsy.
Baggsy needs no introduction, a world class Monster Energy Athlete.
He was one of the key drivers I watched growing up, Of course being a local driver too he was in the limelight a lot in my area.
To get a chance to have a run during practice at teeside BDC this season was a great experience for me.
Sarah: If you could meet or battle against one other famous world known drifter who would it be and why?
Richie: For me it would be Tor Arne Kvia.
Both of similar age with sileightys with similar style and a huge inspiration to my car.
Tor has showed great dominance in Europe over the last few years and I’d love to get on a grid alongside him one day.
Sarah: Endless amount of money for a new car and build what would it be and why?
Richie: As a competition car probably a built JZ S15. S15 is definitely a car I’d love to own one day and a great looking car that’s a more than competitive chassis. If it was Demo car and overall fun car? A serious built LSX supercharged tubular space framed 1971 Monte Carlo.
Maybe one day.. see how things go. American cars have always been in my family and are a massive influence from my Dad.
Sarah: When it's time for retirement what do you want to be remembered for in the drifting world?
Richie: A positive attitude towards the sport, charisma and style with a care free mentality. We all drive for the moment.
Big thanks to Richie for doing this interview, if you would like to follow him on social media I have listed his social media below.
Richie Gilbey motorsport, South Ockendon, Thurrock, United Kingdom. 1,043 likes · 70 talking about this. An aspiring 24 year old car enthusiast based in the U.K. A Competitor in The British Drift...