We are delighted to announce that Naoki Nakamura, one of the most prominent names in the world of drifting, is part of the Hardtuned team.
Nakamura, who finished 1st in D1GP 2022, is known for his aggressive driving style and technical precision, will be showcasing his skills behind his growing collection of cars - now including a new Toyota GR86, an S13, and 2 S15's!
"Not many know this, but I love painting cars. I am also always practising drifting, it is my life!"
Naoki and his cars
The new Toyota GR86 is an absolute beast of a machine, boasting a 900 horsepower 2JZ engine, a Quaife gearbox, and a Winters quick change diff. Nakamura has been working tirelessly to fine-tune this car to his exact specifications for his unique driving style and we can't wait to see what he can do with it on the track.
His S13 is another car that Nakamura has been piloting for a while now. Equipped with an LS-based V8 engine that puts out another 900 horsepower, with a Samsonas gearbox and a Winters diff, this car is known for being nimble and quick.
Last but not least, his S15's are a statement to Naoki and his team. One powered by an SR20VET engine and the other, a 2JZ (proving an engine of choice amongst our athletes)
These are both paired with an OS-88 gearbox, they are both a true testament to Nakamura's technical expertise and dedication to his craft and driving style.
We at Hardtuned are thrilled to be supporting Nakamura on his journey, and we can't wait to see him dominate the competition(s) in the 2023 season. We have no doubt that his exceptional driving skills, combined with his unparalleled knowledge of these vehicles, will make for an unforgettable season of drifting.
Nakamura is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the world of drifting, and we are proud to be supporting him as he continues to push the limits of what is possible behind the wheel. We are confident that our sponsorship will help him achieve even greater heights in the years to come, and we look forward to watching his career continue to soar.
An insight into Naoki's personal life
Here at Hardtuned, we love to get to know our athletes on a personal level - so we thought we would dive a little deeper and find out some interesting facts about Naoki!
How / What made you get into motorsport?
In school, I used to race 50cc scooters around. Once I was old enough to drive, that racing obsession quickly change to the Touge track, which is where I saw my first drift cars and thought to myself " I have to try this!"
What was your first race car?
My first drift car was CA18 180SX that lasted an entire 3 nights before I blew it up.
What is your favourite Circuit?
Meihan Sportsland is my home track and of course, my favourite.
Is there any drivers you look up to (and why)?
I grew up and enjoyed watching Yasuyuki Kazama drifting, mainly because of his incredible control!
Most memorable Battle?
Personally, my battled against Kitaoka'in his Mark 2 in 2010 at Setonkai Circuit. We battled so hard that we did 3 OMT's! (one more time)
What have been the highlights of your career?
Winning D1 Street Legal series 3 times, as well as coming back to D1GP after losing my licence, to win the series in 2021.
Also travelling the world to drift professionally is something I am very proud of.
Favourite Driving Technique?
Weight transfer for aggressive entries is what I am most comfortable with, and would consider my trademark.
Hobbies outside of racing?
Not many know this, but I love painting cars. I am also always practising drifting, it is my life!
Japanese Kaisen (also known as rice bowls)
In true Japanese form, Lemon tea!
Your Dream Street Car?
"A BADASS sileighty!"
Any Driving Tips you can give us?
Practise comes before everything else, this is why I practise so much!