We sit down with Formula D up and comer Chris Licup! It was great to meet with Chris and talk to him about the upcoming season and see how he’s feeling about it all!
Drew Fishbein: What are your plans for the upcoming 2011 season?
Chris Licup: My plans for the 2011 Season is to run in the Formula Drift Series, try to compete in all of the events, if not, as many as possible. And build the car up to a competitive level. As well as do some amateur events, such as XDC Just Drift Top Drift just to keep me sharp.
DF: Well, fair enough. Any Sponsors on board yet?
CL: So far I have JimmyUp Clothing and Jeff Jordan Innovations!
DF: What’s in the cards for Licup racing 2011?
CL: I will be driving a 1995 Nissan 240SX aka an S14 with a SR20DET Motor, the motor is built, it should make around 400 horsepower and should be pretty reliable. I don’t want to go too agressive on horsepower, want to try to keep the car as reliable as possible, and still keep it competitive at the same time.
DF: Definitely! Now, you just sold your S13 and as you said your in the S14, what was your reason for moving on from that chassis?
CL: There’s a couple different reasons, my S13 Chassis was the first car I learned to drift in, and it was a great learning chassis. But the S14 is a much better balanced car overall, it’s newer and I think it looks a lot sexier laughs.
DF: What are your current plans for the car?
CL: My current plans are to get the suspension dialed in to my driving style, try to get more horsepower out of it, as to what I was saying earlier, just get used to driving it, finish up the cage, get started on the suspension, dial it in to where I can drive the car comfortably to the point where it gets to be second nature. I definitely want to take it out and get as much track time as possible. The main reason I got the car is I felt it would save me a lot of time, instead of having to go through all the stress of building a whole new chassis as opposed to finishing a car that’s pretty much built and not having the car ready for the first round of at Long Beach!
DF : Yeah, kind of taking all the guess work out of it and being a step ahead of the game
DF: What track are you looking forward to the most?
CL: Definitely Long Beach, I love that atmosphere, the track looks super fun and technical, but a the same time a lot of people say its scary and that the walls are intimating and I want to see that first hand! I also want to try to prove them wrong and show them its not that bad.
DF: What were the challenges in acquiring your Formula Drift license?
CL: Well, I ran the JD Top Drift series for 2010 and and I had just did an RB swap into my S13 and I didnt have the car down and so at round one I didn’t qualify and I did not make it into Top 16 so I didn’t evet to get to compete at all, the car just wasn’t setup. Round 2 was at Horse Thief Mile, I ended up getting 7th place overall, and at Round 3 I ended up getting 4th place going up against Mickey Freil (Note from Drew: I might be spelling his name wrong, if I am call me stupid in the comments and give me the correct spelling, haha) who’s a pretty cool guy and friend! And at Round 4 of Top Drift, I ended up getting second place! So overall it ended up being a good season.
DF: How do you think spotting for Mike Essa and Fredric Aasbo during the 2010 season will help you in your season next year?
CL: Well spotting for Mike Essa and Fredric Aasbo was a great experience. I got to learn the atmosphere of what Formula D is all about I also got to lean the tracks at the same time. I got to see what I needed to know first hand from a spotters point of view and a drivers point of view at the same time. It’s a whole different game at a professional level as opposed to the amateur level and those tracks you need to be one step ahead of the game at all times, so going to each event, learning the tracks, learning where to put the car at, just from watching it above, really helped me focus on what I need to focus on for the future.
DF: Do you have any personal goals for the 2011 season?
CL: Top 8, Top 4, any qualifying would be great. Making it to Top 16 would be amazing for my first year!
DF: What do you think your biggest challenge will be for your rookie year in formula d?
CL: Making it to all the events on a privateer budget, and going out there and competing with everybody. That would be a huge disadvantage. As well as to drive with Tanner Foust, Fredric, and JR. All of those guys have plenty of years of experience in the professional atmosphere and I’m the new guy coming, stepping into their grounds and having to prove myself to all the other drivers that this is where I belong.
DF: Well, that sounds great! We’ve got a couple questions from Facebook if you’re Ok with that.
CL: Oh no, go ahead!
DF: Chuck Uemura wants to know if you’ve ever had feelings for him?
CL: *Laughs* What kind of feelings?
DF: You tell us!
DF: Teddy wants to know who’s styling your car for 2011.
CL: That is undecided.
DF: Sergio Velazquez what will his car look like for the ’11 season?
CL: Uhhhh hopefully I want to go with the JDM look, not so much american muscle, I want to keep it traditional
DF: And finally, it’s shoutout time.
CL: My wife Jody, My Mom, Michael Essa, Fredric Aasbo, The Slide Assassins, Just Drift, The 626Drift Crew, Luke Pakula, Ernie Gonzalez, Luis Gonz, Jimmy Up Clothing, and anyone that has supported me. Thank you All!