Do you know where Curaçao is located? We’ll tell you. It’s a small Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela. That’s where Ryan and his friends live, work, and drift. OMG. They have some sweet rides. Here’s a look at what it’s like to be a drifter in Curaçao.
Tell us a little bit about the cars and culture there, Ryan.
All JDM cars here on the island are from Japan. In total you would pay $6500 (vurrency $1.00 = 1.82 Guilders) for an Altezza. There’s a lot of Skylines, a few GTRs only one Skyline R34, and the list goes on. My Altezza is the only red one here on the island. I was lucky to have found it.
I was planning on buying a blue one, because there are so many white and grey ones here and its not normal. When I set my eyes on the blue one, I suddenly saw 10 blue ones. And that I didn’t like because I wanted something unique. The day I was about to order my blue Altezza (website I use to order cars is www.tradecarview.com), I went to look one more time at all the Altezzas they had and saw a beautiful red one! I fell in love right away with it and got it on hold until I payed for it. It’s a 2000 model fully-equipped with sunroof. It’s an automatic, but that will soon be replaced with a gearbox and a 1JZ or 2JZ engine. It’s a perfect daily car at the moment and everyone likes it.
Drifting in Curacao is something that is growing. Last year we had an international even where a few American guys came here to drift with the locals, that was the biggest event so far. As you may have seen in the pics on Keepin’ It Sidewayz, every Sunday, all the guys that are into drifting gather at an abandoned go kart track to practice. That is the only are area were we can practice.
Plans have been brought upfront to build a proffesional drift circuit behind our local drag strip, but that’s going to take its time because it will cost a lot of money, and everything here has to do with money. You can say someone would build it, but if there is no profit for them, then we can forget it. And that’s the only thing that in our way. I’m glad that we are being recognized by international folks. We are doing a favor for Curacao, which is to let the world know we exist and we can drift. With that done the government could take the initiative to get involved and help the drifting process.
Tell us a little bit about your club and the people in it.
Keepin’ It Sidewayz started 31st Januaty 2011. 10 friends with a goal to make drifting big. We made a Facebook channel so we could reach out to the world, letting them know that there’s a lot of drifting action here on Curacao. Our goal is to become a big organization to encourage drifting in a safe way and to make Curacao the Caribean island to host international drifting contests. But all will come due time.
We had set Milestones for our team: at 250 Facebook likes, we would give away 5 T-shirts, and at 500 likes we would give out 10 T-shirts. We are currently building our website to ease access to everyone that doesn’t have Facebook. We will be making stickers for our local and international friends, too. I already got a request from someone in Canada for Keepin’ It Sidewayz stickers. These little things are what we are all about. We started this team as a group to have fun with what we do and it should stay that way. Money should not be an issue. To be specific, if we have sponsors and getting money, no one should get greedy, because there is money involved because that’s not the deal we had at first. That’s the main reason why so many teams here breakup. Money issues!
At the moment, for like a year now, drifting is getting special attention. It’s getting there, but the guys here need to get perfect gear and parts for the rides we do have; JDM models like all S type body series (Silvia) Skylines, etc., etc., etc..
The parts will always be a point that we can change, it always has to be ordered, sometimes even from the far off Japan. Mostly I order my parts from Japan.
I really love drifting. I started out with an S15 and now I have my S14. I really love the car. Drifting is something that’s well known here in Curacao but we really need a good drifting track to really drift well. All we have here is an abandoned go kart track. In due time anything can happen. My car, which is Keepin’ It Sideways project drift car, is our sweetheart. We learned a lot when working on the SR20 engine. I didn’t know a lot before and now I can work on my own car!
We’re going to keep in touch with Ryan and the crew at Keepin’ it Sidewayz. If you’ve got any questions for them, or would just like to talk shop with a more international drift community, definitely look them up on Facebook.