Wrecked Magazine: Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license (please mention Pro Am and/or former drift experience)?
Taylor Hull: My name is Taylor Hull, I’m 27 and I live just south of Atlanta, Georgia. I started racing on oval tracks when I was 13 and competed in various series with that until 2012 when I took up drifting just because it always looked fun, and I wanted something to just “have fun” driving. I didn’t take into account how competitive I am so it wasn’t long before I started going to grassroots competitions and realizing how much I really had to learn. I won my first grassroots competition in 2012 and decided to do Pro Am with Streetwise Drift in 2013 where I ran the first event, then blew my motor and was out for the rest of the season. I came back strong in 2014 with SWD and made all the events, had some great runs and ended up 3rd in points after going into the last event in 7th. All the stars aligned and I had a great event which gave me my Pro 2 license. I had no idea what I was in for.
WM: Can you give us a break down of your car?
Taylor Hull: We have some great new partners onboard this year as well as several returning from years past.
Aloha Green Tea Hawaii is a power based additive for water that tastes great and is very good for you, it helps with energy during the long days at the track as well. Affirm Consulting is a partner that helps business recognize and resolve deficiencies and be more productive, putting more to the bottom line. I know Dennis that runs the company very well and he has an amazing mind for business, anyone that gives him a chance won’t be disappointed.
Next, my wrap designer, installer, crew chief and friend, Sticker Shark is back and making my car look great again. I took the reins off him this year and let him be more creative on the design, I think people will really like the result. Rovos Wheels is back providing a great 18×9 up front and a 18×10.5 rear in their Durban style. I will be back on Falken Tire 615k Azenis again this year for max grip. Magnuson Superchargers provided a tvs2300 supercharger to go on the Daffron Race innovations built 408 LS engine. Driven Race Group is back for the fourth year providing all our safety equipment. Weir Performance got our back with their race spool for the Q45 rear end as well as the conversion to make it work with the stub shafts needed, it’s a very nice piece for higher powered cars if you aren’t going with a quick change. We are back on Feal Suspension coilovers and I look forward to working with Odi Bakchis on setup, especially now that he is also on Falken this year. Our fuel injection is powered by Donkey Power Injection for the 2nd year with 1000cc injectors. ATI dampers provide a 8 rib pulley setup to keep belts on the car. We have a twin disc ACT clutch to put the power to the ground, they are a new sponsor this season. Wiring Specialties is back on board this year as we are running a beautiful race harness that cleans up the engine bay significantly. Sikky Mfg is a great partner that we traveled with last season that we look forward to continuing to work with in the future. Finally, Enjuku racing is our official aftermarket parts supplier. Their team provides a wealth of knowledge and a vast range of parts that we have used on our build at great pricing.
WM: What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?
Taylor Hull- I am stoked to be able to run at Road Atlanta. Since I live about an hour away, this is the first event that many of my friends and family will be able to come to, plus with the fastest initiations of the season should be a great time. I wouldn’t say I am nervous about going anywhere but I feel that Texas was a challenge last year. I have to get more consistent in my runs there and I was born there so I want to have a good showing for my family still there also.
WM: Can you name one drifter you really want to see in a battle in Pro 2 this year?
Taylor Hull: I look forward to all my battles, that’s what makes drifting fun to me. My battle with Brandon Wicknick at Seattle last season was the most fun I’ve ever had in a car I think. I hope to get to battle with some of my friends in the southeast though like Kevin Lawerence, Ricky Adams, and several of the others around here.
WM: Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from?
Last year in Texas Justin took a few minutes to find me and give me some pointers that really helped me with my driving that day and it really meant a lot to me. Having a seasoned pro take the time to do something like that was really cool, so I try to help as many people with quick tips like that as well. We ended up making the same mistake in the competition that weekend so we were able to laugh about it on Saturday. He is a fierce competitor and you can tell how much he wants to win and how hard he works for it. Those qualities coupled with the fact that he’s such a nice guy gives me someone to try to model a career after.
WM: Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?
Taylor Hull: I think this may be the year that Odi Bakchis finishes the way he started last year. Again, he is someone I admire who builds his cars and does so much r&d.
WM: What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2?
Taylor Hull: We had to build a new motor and drivetrain setup this year, but the car is all mine now which is what I wanted. It’s a lot of work to make sure what you’re building and buying is compatible with what you have and falls within all the rules. We had a few struggles but have most of it worked out now. I build my car mostly myself so if I don’t know how to do something I have to learn.
WM: What advise can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?
Taylor Hull: Haha! Expect to spend WAY more money than you budget for each year. The sport is expensive and the competition is greater than you expect. Everyone is good at this level, there are no gimme battles and everyone has earned their right to be here. Also, expect a professionally run series that will top most anything you’ve ever been a part of, being involved with Formula D and interacting with the fans is really the experience of a lifetime.