I’d met benny a couple of times before I was on track with him, with rumours of “He’s so smooth, so fast” circulating in my head, and here was this guy, all 5 foot nothing, one of the most quiet and modestly spoken person Ive ever met.
Id seen footage of him taking it to the CTS 180sx, remembering this is the same car that competed in D1 All-Stars with Christian Pickering behind the wheel. And here I was, belting down the back straight of Mallala behind this humble Beige KE70. It took every ounce of skill, and a lot of sheer luck I had to be able to keep up with him, let alone get as close as I could. We did quite a few tandem laps that day, and I reckon I learnt more in that hour or so than I have in days before. He got out of the car, with a massive grin on his face… “That was fun!” Yeah. Fun. This guy has skilled in truckloads, so fast, so clean, and it’s all just a massive day of fun for him. How it should be really…
After that, I had to pick his brain a little, and let you people have an insight into the world of the Beige Bandit…. Benny Schumacher.
DK: What got you into drifting? What started it all?
Umm I guess you can credit my sister Samantha for that. She used to regularly buy me car magazines when I was younger, HPI, Hot4’s, Fast Fours etc. One issue of Hot4’s had covered a Drift Comp at Port Gawler. It looked awesome, cars sideways around corners with tires blazing. Sweet! After reading about it for a while, and watching as many videos as I could find, Dad took me to see the second ever G1 at Mallala, when I was 14. And I’ve been itching to be out there ever since.
DK: What do you like the most about the SA Scene, and what would you change if you could?
I guess I just like hanging, and driving/drifting with mates the most. It’s a good atmosphere; everyone is out for the same reason, for good times in cars.
What would I change? Track scene I think it would be awesome to have A.I.R and Port Gawler open again for more events. Street scene, maybe less police attention to car enthusiasts.
DK: Any advice to any younger people just starting out?
Younger people starting drifting, I would recommend getting a cheap car, getting it set up basic, and giving it a go.
Also, Motorkhana/Skidpan days would be a good start for anyone new to sliding. Too many people think you need lots of power, and an expensive import to go sideways, breakages and crashes always happen when learning.
So if your keen, get a car and get out there
DK: What are your ambitions for the future? Where do you want to go with drifting?
Id like to get good as I can at it I suppose, everyone competing wants to win, so it would be nice to, at least once.
I hope to have a nice, neat, reliable car for the future, so I can drive as much as possible and not be let down by it breaking..
I really want to travel around Australia doing events, I have only driven at Mallala, I think it would be fun road tripping interstate and giving a new track a go.
DK: Would you like to head to the land of the rising sun someday? Drive over there?
Fuck yeah! Unfortunately recent plans to enter the Spring Matsuri didn’t happen, but I definitely have to go someday, it would be soooo good, every drifters dream.
DK: What do you like most about the KE70? Any plans for the future with it?
I love my KE70 because it’s fun to drive, it’s reliable (touch wood) and cheap to run. It’s rough and bent, which is fine as I can drive it my hardest and not worry if I come unstuck and clip something.
I don’t have many plans for this particular KE, other than continue to drive it, get some new wheels n little treats from Japan. Hopefully it will be upgraded into a clean shell soon enough, fresh paint, more suspension work, with a new built NA motor so I can half keep up to the faster cars.
DK: Can you give us a run down of the beige bandit?
It’s pretty basic and beat up really, it runs a stock Big port 16v 4a-ge (Pod, Exhaust) Coil-overs up front, with 8kg springs, trd yellow shocks, PS arms, 25mm RCAs, Strut brace, 6kg rear springs, kyb shocks. Inside it has a Full Buddy Parts cage, Bride, Nardi, and a 4-point Velo harness. It has a great colour coded garden edging front lip, corona quad lights, dents, 14×6.5 volk-mesh up front, and assorted 13/14/15inch rears, which ever has tread.
DK: Anyone you’d like to thank?
I’d like to thanks Buddy Parts, for getting the bits for my car, doing the cage and always giving a helping hand.
Jay Duca for helping me out when I was new to track drifting, giving me advice and tips on how to improve my driving, definitely helped me get the hang of things out there quicker and always fun driving with him.
Friends and Family for coming out to events to support me, cheer me on when competing and give a hand at the track
My Dad, Paul, he has always supported me from day one and is always busy working on my car at home or track, towing it out there and keeping it running at its best. He does so much for me; I wouldn’t be out there without him.
Thanks to Drift Kulture too for this interview! It was fun guys, see you out there next time.
Vid courtesy of Sven @ Svenmate Productions
All Pictures from Jay - www.jay019.com