We’ve had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with two newly licensed Forumal Drift drivers so far. Now let’s take the time to become acquainted with another talented driver who placed 2nd overall in the 2013 Top Drift Series. This driver driver lives and breathes Corollas (his number placard proves it).
Here’s Daniel Giraldo; an individual who has proven to be one of the more successful drifting purists out there in his Toyota Corolla (AE86). Giraldo was initially introduced into the drift world through Option videos (like many of us). Soon after, he fell in love with a stock GTS and never looked back. During his senior in high school (2007) he bought his first car (his current Hachi Roku). A year later, in 2008, he participated in his first drift event. From that moment forward, every single dime he earned went directly to his car and drifting. Giraldo started out on 99 WHP and now at age 24 has doubled his power (200 WHP) and earned his Formula Drift Pro License.
For all your Hachi gear heads out there, here’s a list of his first (and current) build:
4age 16v head big port with small port intake manifold
4age 20v silvertop block crank and rods.
4agze 8.9 pistons ceramic coated
HKS metal 1.6mm head gasket
HKS blow off valve
Garret turbo dual ball bearing from s15.
K20 coil pack ignition
Powered by max high mount intercooler.
RC injectors 550cc.
AEM ECU. full Standalone.
200whp 165tq. 10psi of boost.
Watch a video of Giraldo’s qualifying run at Top Drift Round 4:
I know what you’re all thinking—is this guy a Tofu Delivery guy on his spare time? Read on to find out.
Daniel Giraldo Q/A
Q: What has been your proudest moment in drifting? What about most embarrassing moment?
A: Proudest moment in drifting would have to be the first time I got to tandem with a group of advanced drivers at Balcony and I was still new to drifting. It was a blast! Best thing was I kept saying I wasn’t ready for tandem but peer pressure works haha! Most embarrassing moment would have to be that same drift train. They made me be the last car in the back because I was the slowest car out there and well everyone would be ahead of me by a good amount and here’s this little slow corolla way back finishing up the end of the train drift. All eyes on me.
Q: Will you be competing in Formula D next year? If so, which events should we expect to see you at?
A: Formula D 2014 unfortunately does not look very possible at this point, but I will do everything I can to find sponsors to make Formula D possible in the future.
Q: Any changes to the car for next year?
A: I am still running a lot of stock things on my little car; I believe some of the bushings may even be as old as the car is haha. My goal for next year’s events will be to have the car adjusted for more rear traction. I know it can be quicker around a corner sideways if I get rid of my stock 4-links and have the rear of the car adjusted properly. As far as power from the motor, I will certainly be sure to push it enough to still be reliable.
Q: What has been the biggest struggle getting to this point?
A: Struggle has been TIME. Deadlines, Full time work. But someway somehow we can manage. Even if it takes staying up really late and waking up early. How bad do you want it?
Q: What was your recipe to success in earning a Formula D license?
A: CONSISTENCY, making sure the car was prepared before heading to track, good night’s rest, and do what the judges want to see.
Q: Do you have any pre-drift event rituals? If so, what are they?
A: No ritual to be honest, I just make sure I’m calm and focused to really step up the level.
Q: What advice do you have to offer for all the aspiring drifters out there? Any advice/shout-outs for the Corolla community?
A: My advice—seat time, seat time, seat time… if you want to drift don’t make excuses not to! And power isn’t going to fix your drifting, so worry more about driving the car than worrying about what HP it made on the dyno. Seat time is everything. Shout out to all the fellow ae86 drivers that drift/road race their cars, keep it up. I hope this accomplishment inspires some fellow drivers to step up to the plate.
Q: You have a unique build. Have you ever felt the pressure to change your chassis?
A: Only upon my accomplishment of receiving my FD license I have thought upon having to get a different platform. But never have I ever felt pressured or ever thought I want or need to change chassis, I strongly feel that the Corolla is a great platform for the amateur/grassroots level of drifting competitively; it can hold its ground. My corolla is a great example of what I mean. My corolla finished on top with the big boy V8’s.
Giraldo currently does not have any major sponsors but would like to thank Rival Auto Works, Jimmy Up, FRSport, Megan, and all the Top Drift sponsor for their help.