This Toyota JZX100 is a last-minute Goodwood-winning tyre slayer

12th December 2022
Ethan Jupp

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, drifting today is one of the last true grassroots, garagiste motorsports. Drifting, like F1 in the ‘50s and ‘60s, is a motorsport where sometimes the drivers also have to be team principals, chief engineers, developers and financiers. Whatever your thoughts on the sport itself, its competitors deserve your respect for their skill and what they put into their operation. We spoke to one such competitor at the 79th Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport last year, about his journey with his car, his previous cars and through the sport, as well as his thoughts on bringing it to Goodwood. Meet Haydn Cruickshank and his monster Toyota Chaser.


One thing entirely different about today’s DIY cars and drivers is the liveries. The early days of GP racing saw cars dressed in colours significant to the marque, the driver or the country of origin. Today, sponsorship rules, though in the case of Haydn’s Chaser, it has only one sponsor: his company, Colour Sound Experiment. With a rainbow smoke trail billowing up the side, you won’t miss him and indeed, it wasn’t difficult to find him and his car in the paddocks.

“There’s so much cool stuff here. It’s overwhelming. It’s just a treat to be here,” Cruickshank says, once we’ve introduced ourselves.

“We only got the call a couple of weeks ago and it took about a millisecond to say yes. I’d never actually been here before and I’d never driven it. It’s quite hard to build into drifting, you have to commit, so I watched a few YouTube videos and played some Gran Turismo beforehand. But in the end, you just have to do it. It took a bit to learn it.”


And just do it Haydn did, with he and the big Chaser winning the drift competition for the weekend, with his extravagant style and the car’s ravenous appetite for tyres.

To make it in Formula 1 nowadays, aside from having some serious financial backing at your disposal, you need to have been karting from an early age. Haydn’s young son is doing that now but the grassroots nature of drifting requires no such thing. Haydn reckons he’s the oldest pro driver in the UK at 49, but he only got into it ten years ago. He talks about how inspired he is by the old guard drifters in Japan, enjoying the sport even into their ‘60s.

“I think I’m the oldest competitive drifter in the UK at 49 and I only got into it about ten years ago, just through a lifetime love of cars really. The sport is 15, maybe 20 years old here. Over in Japan, it hit the mainstream. You'd see it on TV. It’s interesting looking at how it’s matured all over the world. There’re a few older guys over there having the odd drift weekend in their ‘60s Those guys, they’re an inspiration.”


We quickly find ourselves drawing on the weird comparisons between drifting, drift cars and the nut-and-bolt cars of the historic eras of motorsport we showcase here at Goodwood. Even down to the Lola T70 sports prototypes, which use a distant ancestor of the hopped-up Chevy small block installed in his Chaser. He loves the in-person atmosphere of Members’ Meeting and being able to appreciate heritage motorsport up close.

“The thing I didn’t twig, is how people come through the pits and you’re exposing people to the nitty gritty of drifting. People are here learning about these cars, it’s great to see.”

As for the car itself? It’s been a journey of ten years for Haydn to get here, to this point with this car. He’s been through the usual drifting stalwarts – numerous S Chassis – but he’s found he enjoys the longer wheelbase of a Toyota JZX. 

“This is a ground-up build, with learnings from all my previous drift cars. I’ve had older Chasers, S Chassis and so on. This is a Toyota Chaser, JZX100. The only things left from the original car are the shell and steering rack. In this car, there are similarities with a drag setup, bits of NASCAR, and high-stress components. It’s an LSXR ground-up built race engine from Two Roads Motorworks, putting out 1,050hp thanks to an F1 Procharger. You know, because you can never have too much power. 

“Every other drift car I’ve had, it was a big turbo Japanese engine. I switched because I want the linear power – there’s a lot of debate – but in this, it’s easy, because you’ve got so much torque. It took me a while to change my driving style, as I was used to keeping the revs high, but in this you’re rewarded for keeping it in the middle of the revs. I just enjoy a longer wheelbase and a bigger car. We’ve had this finished for about three years now. It’s a handful, it took a year to get comfortable with.”


Racing by definition is competitive, sometimes to the point of silliness. In sports like F1, while the drivers now are a bit of a gang of friends, it wasn’t always the case. The teams certainly take intellectual property very seriously. Without prior-agreed terms, nothing is shared, no assistance is given. Another way drifting is similar to more localised motorsports back in the day, is that there is that extra bit of pit camaraderie. The goal is to get everyone on track and competing. In his ten years, across a number of different competitive arenas, Haydn’s seen that and been a part of it first-hand.

“We’ve done BDC, Drift League, Drift Pro – bits of all of them – having been drifting for ten years. I actually found this later in life. It’s a lot of fun, as a sport it’s less serious but it’s challenging. That’s what keeps you going back. You never achieve perfection. It’s very addictive. It’s a small community and very collaborative, everyone helps out. People lend each other cars, parts, and tools. I’ve been lent cars by people who have every penny they have invested in that car. There are probably 100 competitive drifters in the UK so it is a small and friendly community.”

There aren’t many rules when it comes to developing a drift car. There are restrictions in terms of safety, some in terms of power and weight – certainly in Formula Drift – but like in the early days of grand prix racing, you kind of just build it, bring it and run it. Haydn loves the openness and the freedom of the sport now, but sees a more formulaic future. Could manufacturers start building purpose-built drift cars, as they do Formula cars or sports prototypes? With the trajectory of the sport's popularity and the eyes it has on it, anything is possible. 

Even now, he wants to keep going and emulate his heroes in Japan. He even sees the possibility of historic drifting coming about in decades to come, as the sport evolves and nostalgia for the cars of the past 20 years grows.


“It’s a good time for it. Given the time it could get formulaic one day. Right now there’s a great variety. Drifting is very free engineering-wise to play and experiment. I’ve no plans of stopping. I can imagine coming back in 30 years and doing historic drifting. I’ve no plans of stopping. If I can come back in 30 years and do historic drifting, I’m there.”

What do we reckon then? Goodwood 100th Members’ Meeting historic D1 drift car demo? Wouldn’t that be something…

Photography by Jordan Butters, Pete Summers, Joe Harding, Phil Hay, Toby Whales and Nick Dungan.

  • Toyota

  • Chaser

  • 79MM

  • Members' Meeting

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