It’s been awhile since I’ve been down to the Longhorn State, so I reached out to pretty boy Stewart Leask for some news on drivers down there. He mentioned a fourth generation Toyota Cressida driver by the name of Dewayne Ramsey. Who? I had never heard the name, so I reached out and scheduled a time to speak to Dewayne.
Dewayne Ramsey has been going sideways since 2008. Originally from Panama City Beach, Florida Dewayne Ramsey recently relocated to Houston, Texas. He was a military brat that was spoiled by the Japanese drift scene. Dewayne attended his first event as a spectator at the Ebisu Drift Matsuri in 2007 and was instantly hooked. Fast forward a couple of years, he returns to Florida where the Cressida and a 1JZ motor swap sounded like a great idea.
Edgar Sarmiento: Dewayne, thanks for taking the time to sit with me dude!
Dewayne Ramsey: No problem dude!
ES: So I’m not very familiar with drivers that don’t drive the East Coast or Midwest, but I really want to find out more about Texas scene and the drivers down there. My dude Stewart Leask mentioned you, and said you were ripping it up last year during the Fabricated Motorsports Pro Am Series. I am really interested what’s going through your head as a driver. Do you want to be a Formula D driver or something?
DR: The only thing really running through my head is the amount of money I was spending traveling from Florida to Texas for each round. I recently moved to Houston so that should save me some money. I would definitely love to drive the FD Pro Series with amazing drivers on awesome courses, who wouldn’t?
ES: I also see you are rocking the four door Cressida. Any reason why you aren’t driving a 240SX or RX7 like everyone else?
DR: My decision to drive the Cressida was due to me wanting to run a JZ series engine in a car with a longer wheelbase. I really like how the car transitions and keeping a Toyota engine in a Toyota certainly keeps things simple. I have no problems with other chassis, obviously the S-chassis proves to be solid drift cars every year!
ES: What’s all done to your car? Looks super sweet by the way!
DR: The car has a pretty simple setup. I really focused on the fine-tuning of the alignment settings and spring rates instead of a big crazy engine build. I’m running an internally stock 1JZ with a precision 5858 turbo, big injectors, AEM EMS V2, Spec clutch and flywheel on my built R154. BC Racing coilovers, Excessive Manufacturing mounts, control arms, and changed out all the bushings on it. The car makes 460hp/440tq on VP Q16 race fuel. Excessive manufacturing knuckles, tie rods, Mishimoto Radiator, a dual caliper setup that I made work with my Powered By Max Hydro E-Brake. I’m sure I’m missing some other boring drift car stuff though.
ES: That’s pretty sweet dude, seems simple! DeWayne, what would you say it takes to be a competitive driver at a Pro Am level? Have you thought about being a pro driver?
DR: In my opinion, I think to be competitive in any organized racing series it takes the commitment of spending a lot of time and money traveling to events. A reliable drift car is very important to me and I feel like it’s key to being competitive! Tires are very important too! I switched tire brands mid-season so I had to adjust my driving and learn a tire that had entirely different characteristics!
I think it will be very challenging to make the jump from Pro Am events to Pro events. For 2013, I saw a few friends compete in their rookie year of FD, and seeing them fight issue after issue was pretty rough. Pro Am events are typically one or two days long, while Pro events are over a weeklong when you account for the traveling, prepping, and everything else. The new Pro1 Pro2 series should make the transition easier. Someday I plan to drive in it.
ES: Thanks for the honest answer! What would you tell drivers that want to get into driving competitively? Any advice?
DR: Stop sucking and actually drive events! Seat time is very important!
ES: Thanks a ton for the sit down Dewayne, and I can’t wait to see you at an event sometime in the near future! I’ll make sure to keep an eye on you during the Fabricated Motorsports Pro Am season. Do you have any shout outs you would like to send out?
DR: First my mom, she has helped me more than I could ever ask for. Also all my friends that helped change tires, repair the car, and drive the truck/trailer to events: Chris Neiheiser, Brian Beattie, Hannah Mahan, Sean Williams, Ryan Harrington, Mike Fowler, Aaron Conley, Erik Brooks, Will Little, and so many others! Aaron Losey for throwing these sweet events that allows me to drive nearly as often as I want. And an old friend, Robbie Nishida for always lending advice on driving!
Photos by Jason Scott