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Kyle Pollard Brought A Hachi To inMotion

by Kyle Tomita on Wed, Oct 3rd, 2012 | Motorsports

Kyle Pollard did not just bring any Hachi, but the purpose built drift F20c Hachi that he earned his Formula D license.  

Kyle Pollard - PARC 3-11-2012 - 002

Photo: Not from inMotion but a previous grassroots event at PARC.

He brought the Hachi back to the 5/8ths bank at Evergreen Speedway and took home a victory in the drift competition at the inMotion show presented by NWMotiv.  Earlier this week, I had a chance to sit down with Kyle Pollard over a bowl of pho and talk with him about inMotion.  

Chop: First off, why did you choose to bring the Hachi over the Silvia?

Kyle Pollard Options

Kyle: The Silvia is still broken from the last time I took it out to PARC (Pat's Acres Racing Complex) for some testing. It was also too risky to use in a non-Formula D event so close to Round 7 in Irwindale. I also wanted to see if I could still be competitive in the Hachi. I wanted to test my versatility and go from the 500+whp RHD Turbo Silvia to the 200+whp LHD F20c Hachi.

Chop: The Hachi was a good choice, you won the event.  What were the preparations to get the Hachi ready for the drift competition?

Kyle: - We did a few things to get the car ready for the event. I modified the cooling system to help with the hot temperatures out on the track. I knew I would be running the car hard and heat would be an issue. It has been hard to find cooling hoses that fit perfectly so I made a custom hardpipe kit.

F20c Hachi

I haven't taken the Hachi out to Evergreen for awhile so it needed a little tune up. Jason Oefelein retuned the car with the Hondata K Pro. We also installed a new set of lower control arms in the front. Brian Hartsock then did an alignment and the car was ready to go.

Alginment for F20 Hachi by Brian Hartsock

Chop: We heard you had some issues with the truck, while heading to the track. What happened?

Kyle: It was nothing that serious, their was a slight issue with the brakes sticking on one side. We just drove a little more cautious and made it safely to the event for practice.

Chop: Speaking of practice, how did that and qualifying go?

Kyle: I had to actually relearn how to drive the Hachi. The Hachi and the Silvia drive differently so I needed to get into a different mindset. The last time I drove the Hachi was at a grassroots event at PARC and the last time I drove it in a competition was at a Formula D ProAm event in 2011.

Photo by Danny Sullivan for NWMotiv.com

My mindset going into qualifying was to gain as much speed as possible and to do this, getting a good launch was important. Being a N/A four cylinder, I had less power than I was use to in the Silvia. I did well and qualified fifth out of seventeen drivers.

Chop: During practice and qualifying, you got to see the competition. How was the competition?

Kyle: To be honest, coming into this event, I totally underestimated the competition. I was not expecting this high caliber of both drivers and cars. There were about four or five other Formula D drivers with their FD competition cars. The cars overall were more developed than the ProAm cars of previous years. The Hachi definitely felt underpowered on the track.  I knew the competition would be tough and it would take everything I had to win.  

Chop: You just mentioned that your car was underpowered, how was it like competing in it?

Kyle: It was very different than the Silvia.  The Silvia that I use for FD competition makes over 500 whp, which puts me right around the level of power of most of the competitors. When I drove the Hachi in ProAm competition, it was competitive power wise. At inMotion, I felt I had to give 120% to be competitive. I knew my car was not as fast as many of the others so I had to sacrifice a little angle to keep up speed. On my lead runs, I went as fast as the car would go and ran a qualifying run. I was unable to use the hydro e-brake much because it would slow the car too much and would just use the angle of the car to slow the car at the end of the bank. On my chase runs, many of the higher horsepower cars would pull on me. My only advantage was the lighter weight of the Hachi and I used this by going deeper into the power alley and keeping up as much speed as I could. This allowed me to close the gap.

Chop: Breakdown your progression toward the finals.

Kyle: In each of the rounds, it was a challenge. All the cars I went up against were faster and would pull on me on the straight. In Top 16, I went up against Michael Tweak in his LS1 powered FC RX-7.

In Top 8, I went up against Galen Callahan in his JZ powered Toyota Cressida. We went one more time, and I managed to get the win.

Photo by Mad Mike Productions

In Top 4, I went up against Matt Vankirk in his turbo SR S13.  Matt finished third.  

Photo by Mad Mike Productions.

In the finals, I went up against Victor Moore, a fellow Formula D driver, in his turbo SR S13. That was a tough match and it went one more time.

Photo by Shooting Through The Fences

Once it was announced that I won, I was really excited and did a victory lap.

Chop: What does this win mean for you?

Kyle: The win was definitely a boost for me.  It keeps me motivated to work on the Silvia more and get it fixed.  My focus was not the money but to prove to myself and the NW scene that I can still compete and show my adaptability.  I feel that I proved that I can still be competitive and can adapt to different cars.   I can't wait to take the Hachi out again.  I hope there are a few more grassroots before the rain starts.  

Chop: Thanks for talking with me and recapping the event.  Sounds like the inMotion drift event was one of the best of the year.  Congratulations again on your win.