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The fast inside-line with Dmitriy Illyuk

Oct 252017

The Braai of burnouts is closing in fast. Gymkhana GRiD 2017 in South Africa is just under a month away. Continuing our series of announcements in the build up to motorsport’s most rock and roll event of the year, we grabbed some time with Ukrainian Drift Legend Dmitriy Illyuk.

Fresh off the back of an intense season competing all over Europe at the wheel of his infamous 1100bhp Drako, the 36-year old is now switching his full focus to GRiD. That’s not all Dmitriy is switching though. For GRiD 2017 Dmitriy will be back at the wheel of his SR-powered S13, which has brought him notable successes in the EEDC and UDC.

We caught up with Dmitriy during a recent trip to Riga, to chat cars, his career, and his thoughts on heading to South Africa.

Hi Dmitriy, how’s it going?

Great thank you – it’s been a crazy season so far, and now I’m super excited to be heading to Gymkhana GRiD down in South Africa. I’ll be using my #phm Nissan S13 – instead of the Drako. I’m super comfortable in this car, and I think it should go really well at Gymkhana. 

It’s one of your original drift cars, right?

Yes, that’s correct. I’ve owned it since 2003. Right now it is one of the oldest drift cars in the world [laughs].


What else have you got in the garage?

Well… I have lots of cars actually. I’ve got a full collection of Nissan Silvia`s: S12, S13, S14, S15 and 350z. I own a Mazda RX8 and I also have the SUV, but my favourite car, and this isn’t even a joke is my Mercedes Sprinter. It`s so comfortable. It`s like rolling on a sofa all the time!

 

How many tyres do you think you’ve destroyed in your career?
A lot! I think this year we passed the 100 events mark, and if you take the average per event, which would be 24. So basically it would be 2400 tires. But most probably more – because of testing and having fun away from events! 

What was your first regular car? 
Don’t laugh, but it was a Lada; and I had it for half a year. I was already drifting with it in winter drifts!
 

What’s the fastest you’ve ever driven?
Most probably it would be something around 330 km/h, but I did that when I was young. Now I`m 36 and more careful!

 

 

 

 

Name one thing from your bucket list you haven’t done yet?

That’s a big question… I can`t tell you until I have actually done it. I have my list for every day. If I succeed for 70% with the targets for one day, I go to sleep satisfied.

You’ve got a [good] reputation for always having the BBQ fired up in the paddock when you are at events. What’s one food you cant do without?

I can`t name a specific food – there are too many to choose from; which is tough because I have to focus on my diet and fitness a lot. But as you suggested with the question I can make a suggestion too – take any kind of meat you want and just grill it. It`s the best food!

What’s your favourite TV show or movie?

To be honest, since my childhood, when I`m watching TV, I last about three minutes before I pass out. I don’t know why, but it just puts me to sleep! If I start watching a movie it takes me so long to finish it; because I end up only watching a few minutes at a time [laughs!] I couldn’t really pick a favorite. Something about motorsport perhaps?!

If you weren’t a pro-drifter, who would you be?

Definitely I’d like to be a professional Rallycross driver. The cars are incredible – that would be a really cool thing.

Ken Block’s Gymkhana or BJ Baldwin’s Recoil?

BJ Baldwin’s Recoil. It feels more natural to me.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Dmitriy; good luck at Gymkhana Grid!  

Thank you as well guys – see you there!

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