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Portrait of a Driver: Dave Briggs

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Marie-Laurence Paquin
A rising North American star
Ontario's Dave Briggs is one of the rare full-time drift racers in Canada. That's right: His only job is to spend the summer sliding across race tracks, and then search for sponsors and work with his team during the winter months. Isn't that amazing?!

Briggs has been taking on the best Pro Class drivers in the Drift Mania Canadian Championship (DMCC) since 2009. After finishing in 13th place at the end of his rookie season, he just missed the podium in 2010 and wound up 2nd in 2011. This year, Briggs won the 3rd round in Ste-Croix, Quebec.

Let's take a closer look at his resumé, as well as his goals for 2013:

Marie-Laurence Paquin (MLP): When did you take up the sport of drifting?

Dave Briggs (DB): Back in 2008, I bought a Nissan 240SX S14 equipped with an SR20DET. I'm actually driving the same model, albeit a highly modified version, in this year's championship. The powertrain has been upgraded, namely a 2.4L Mazworx engine that was built in Florida. This thing sends close to 700 horsepower to the wheels!

MLP: So, I assume you did a lot of work this past winter?
DB: Yes, especially on the new mill. It comes with a 4-speed, NASCAR-type transmission, which allows me to shift gears even faster. For me, the hardest thing about frequent venue changes is to find the proper settings for the transmission. I believe this modification will help us considerably throughout the season.

MLP: How much will you be involved in the U.S. Formula Drift Championship this year?

Unlike last year, when I took part in just a few events, I plan to enter all seven rounds this year. That's why you won't see me at certain stops on the DMCC tour, probably three out of eight. I love racing here, in front of the Quebec fans. At the same time, I like to take on the top American drivers. Basically, I'm going to be drifting every weekend this summer!

MLP: What are your goals in both championships?
DB: I'm hoping to finish in the top 16 in the U.S. Considering this will be my first full season there, I think it's a good challenge, and one I can realistically rise up to. There are about 60-70 drivers at any given comp; it's huge!

As for the DMCC, I'm not aiming for the crown since I will skip a few rounds. Rather, my goal is to win each tandem and record as many wins and podiums as possible.

Dave Briggs
Photo: Antoine de Cardaillac

Marie-Laurence Paquin
Marie-Laurence Paquin
Automotive expert