A while ago I ran into a picture on the Internet of this stupid awesome looking green car. At first I thought it was just another D1 Street Legal car but then I saw it had a “ProAM” banner on it. The car happened to belong to Erich Hagen, a 27 year old from Olympia, WA. I got a chance to sit down and talk to Erich and find out a bit more about him and his green mystery machine.
Edgar Sarmiento: Sup dude! So what’s your deal? How long have you been driving?
Erich Hagen: About 7 years all together and about 3 years competitively
ES: Drifting? Why in the hell did you ever start?
Erich H: I got into drifting after a few friends exposed me to it back when I was 19. The Northwest drifting family was in its very early stages and I was fortunate enough to start with some of the original guys from my area. I picked up an E30 shortly after finding out what the sport was and it has all progressed from there.
As a kid I always wanted to be some kind of racecar driver and loved cars from the very beginning thanks to my dad. He had a rad Jeep when I was growing up and it’s really what started my love of cars.
Once I realized how realistic drifting was to get into I couldn’t say no. Drifting has created some really awesome opportunities for me and I have met some of my closest friends today because of it.
ES: That’s awesome dude! Yea there are some pretty cool people involved in drifting and a ton of nerds but at the end of the day it’s about the fun had on the track. Honestly, your 240 caught my eye one day browsing on Facebook, what’s all done to it?
Erich H: My car has had many lives and forms but this year will be its best by far. I will be switching to an iron block LS setup with a dog box trans and possibly some extra power adders to help get us what I need. The rest of the car is pretty standard as far as an FD spec setup car goes. One thing I like to make sure is that the car still looks good. In my mind, drifting is pointless if we don’t make the cars look right. This year my car will have a little different look but the colors and styling will be close to its 2013 form.
ES: That’s pretty solid! I also noticed your Evergreen ProAm banner on your car and realized you were one of the top finishers in the series. Do you have any big plans for the 2014 season?
Erich H: I will be doing as much as I can with the budget I come up with. The plan at is to at least run the FD West Coast events as well as Texas. I have always wanted to drive Long Beach. It’s been a dream of mine that is finally coming true. I will also be doing as many local NW events as possible. The NASA organization is running drifting at some of our local road courses and I’m really looking forward to that as well.
ES: So who’s your favorite Pro Driver?
Erich H: My favorite Pro would have to be Mad Mike. I always liked that he puts as much effort into making his cars look good as he does driving them. Keeping true to the styling and ideas that got us all interested in this sport in the first place. He juggles his own business, family, runs his program with multiple cars in various places, and is always behind the wheel. I hope to make it to that level someday.
ES: You really surprised me with that answer; I was expecting some D1 driver or someone I’ve never heard of.
Now, if you could drive any track in the world which would it be and why?
Erich H: It would definitely be The Rudskogen Motorsenter the home of the Gatebil. I watched videos from these events in high school not even knowing what the events were. The chaos on track at the events they host there just looks like an absolute blast.
ES: Again, I’m excited to see dudes with such passion doing what they love. I’m sure I’ll run into you soon and we can grab a brew. Any shout outs you would like to send out?
Erich H: I would like to thank my parents, Matt and Diane Hagen, for always pushing me to keep after this dream. I’d also like to thank my crew chief, Rich Farler, for always helping me with setup and maintenance, my teammate and best bro, Dio Ortiz, for always being there, and as well as Ash O’Connell, Russell Moore, and Ian Dillon.
Also my sponsors:
Richies garage/RDE Autosport
BC Racing Suspension
Ct Specialties Powdercoating
Portland Speed Industries
Extreme Turbo Systems
Make sure you check out Erich Hagen as his car preps for a full tear down and rebuilds for the upcoming 2014 Formula D season. Some of the plans include adding a Radium Engineering fuel cell, fire system, and new fuel system for his engine setup. He’ll also be adding updating some tube work from God Speed Fab for the FD tech requirements. Switching to an LSx setup from the current JZ setup should also keep him busy this off-season.
Photo Credit: Ryan Benoit / Andrew Hawkins