Posted by BurgerFuel


It’s our birthday month and to celebrate, we’re giving away 10 full throttle Hypercar experiences in some of the world's most innovative modern luxury and performance sports cars.

We've been chatting to some friends of the fuel, and legitimate speed freaks, to find out more about their passion for going full throttle.

Meet Darren Kelly, a legendary international drift king on the track with a passion for extreme sports and going fast. With multiple championships under his belt, this thrill seeker is a speed freak at heart.

Tell us about how you became a speed freak behind the wheel. What was the first car you owned, or your first driving experience?

As soon as I could walk, I was looking for anything to get behind the wheel of, which fuelled a passion for motorsport and as I grew, so did the engine capacity. From go karts and dirt bikes, to GT3 and 1000hp drift cars.

Drifting is a very technical skill. What got you into this and what is it about the motorsport that got you hooked?

Drifting for me, like many others, started from watching the sport develop and grow in Japan and rapidly spread throughout the world. The fast pace and requirement for massive commitment and the challenge of making zero mistakes is part of what got me hooked and keeps me coming back.

You’re clearly not adverse to high risk, extreme sports. Do you have any other interests along these lines or do you like to keep things low key outside of drifting?

It’s in the blood - I love all kinds of extreme sports and being active. Dirt bikes is something I have tried to keep in my life as much as I can, although, it's not always a mutual agreement with my wife or sponsors haha.

Tell us about your car and why it’s your current model of choice? 

Drifting is largely about having the freedom to build something unique. There are set rules to work to but mostly free to get creative. For me, I’ve always been a strong supporter of Nissan chassis’s and with years of developing the RB engine, we have built these into a strong combination. The R35 was the next step to building a unique competitive drift car.

Are there any unique modifications you’ve made for the kind of performance you need, or your particular style of driving?

The list is endless. The competition cars of today are often completely stripped down and fitted entirely with aftermarket parts and modifications, and are forever improving as the sport develops.

How would you describe your drifting style?

Give it 110%! Aiming for that 100 point lead run, then putting on the best chase run I can - but always keeping it fun!

You’re clearly well-seasoned when it comes to the D1NZ Champs podium.  What do you consider your career highlight to date?

I can never choose one, so many have been huge highlights in their own way. Winning three Pro Drift Championships and three GT3 Championships all came with their own challenges which made them all unique. Then there’s unforgettable events like RedBull Drift Shifters, Leadfoot Festival and the International Drift Cup where we’ve driven with some of the best in the world.

Putting aside Covid sh*tting on any travel plans, what is your dream international drift track or terrain that you’d like to experience some day?

That has been a big spanner in the works! There is a lot of places I’m looking forward to getting back to or experience but I would love to do another RedBull Drift Shifters Internationally one day.

Do you have any superstitious habits or pre-race rituals you like to undertake before you compete?

Avoiding the number 13…

Ah, classic.

If you could pick your ultimate dream car, what would it be?

Aston Martin Valkyrie or Koenigsegg Jesko.

Do you have any other machines in your garage that we should know about? Working or otherwise.

Lots! I have a huge passion for the car industry and over the years I've tried to collect some of the easter egg cars from my generation before they became unattainable. Most are built for a purpose but some are just to enjoy when going to get bread and milk. A few favourites include:

- Competition cars - R35 and R34

- 4 seater drift taxi - R32

- Track day/teaching car - S13

- Road cars - Evo 5 and 200sx

That's quite the collection. And your favourite nemesis? Who do you love/or would love to challenge in a drift battle?

I hope to one day get to battle against some of the guys I have watched for years like James Deane, Daigo Saito, Chelsea Denofa etc.

We'd love to see that come to fruition! And of course, do you have a favourite BurgerFuel burger?

Ford Freakout, add cheese + jalapeños.

Keep up to speed with Darren @darrenkelly.116 and check out more on his website darrenkellydrift.com