Drifter, Drift School WA teacher, motor sport YouTuber, part time commentator and all round nice guy 27 year old DJ Laubscher has been a fixture on the West Australian drifting scene since crashing into it, not literally, in 2017 with an unexpected 10th in the pro class.
Watching him at the recent Drift School WA event you would think this guy was born in the back of a drift car, but his story is much different, a late bloomer compared to most in motor sport but his passion, skill and maturity behind the wheel is of someone who has been doing this for many more years.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST “GET INTO” MOTORSPORT?
For me my entry in the world of cars back home in NZ then motorsport actually started when I moved house and met my neighbor Sean who became one of my best mates. We started out doing burnout as I had a smallish concrete pad on the farm I lived on and then things escalated from there when I found drifting when going to Pukekohe Raceway and have loved it ever since.
I have never been able to afford my own car actual drift car until I moved to Perth. Previous to this I used to simply practice drifting in a cheap VL commodores I could buy for sub $500 and a gravel patch.
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE “GOTTEN INTO” IF IT WASN’T MOTORSPORT?
I would of likely taken up doing a gaming YouTube channel and continued streaming on Twitch TV and pursued my competitive gaming side. I was heavily into the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) both being an entrant in the competition scene as well as a competition coach. I also played Battlefield. Being competitive has definitely always being with me.
WHEN DID YOU GET INTO COMPETITIVE MOTORSPORT?
My itch to start taking drifting seriously started in 2017 when my good friend Sean Travers talked me to into. Hopefully he’s going to be heading to Australia in the next 6 months or so and to join in the drifting scene. Daniel Silvestro and Aidan Friel were key locally to get me going here in Australia.
HOW DID YOU GO ON YOUR FIRST COMPETITIVE MOTORSPORT EVENT?
I surprised myself and I think my family hahaha as I finished up in 10th place overall in pro class for the season of 2017 after only learning to drift in tandem at the start of the year I was SUPER nervous but had one of my mates Dan Silvestro as my spotter to give me advise on where I was going wrong and one of the other drivers Aidan Friel who would give me moral support and hype me even though he was also competing at the time.
HOW IS YOUR MOST CURRENT SEASON?
My current season I am sitting middle pack at the moment but have not been 100% focused and it is showing sadly in my driving. I’m hoping for D1WA Round 3 and 4 to put all my attention on the task at hand and step on the podium.
IN TERMS OF ESTABLISHED COMPETITORS, LOCALLY, NATIONALLY, INTERNATIONALLY, WHO HAS BEEN AN INSPIRATION FOR YOU TO KEEP DOING WHAT YOU DO?
Aidan Friel, Chelsea Denofa in Formula Drift, Regan Curtis and Mitch Larner
WHAT ABOUT YOUR SUPPORT TEAM, WHO ARE THEY?
Firstly My wife Penney and Daughter Carmen – she’s recently gotten this new found passion for drifting and its awesome to see she’s always right by my side In and out the car
My Dad – always helping me get my car going and keeping it running and ensuring I’m having fun out there
My Mum – always making sure my heads in the game at hand and that I make my events and then screaming like a mad woman from the sideline cheering me on.
Drift School WA’s Ken Leong – for taking me under his wing as a driver and helping me progress in leaps and bounds and giving me a place, and group of likeminded drivers I call family
DIY Garage WA – for being my first real sponsors and supporting me in every way they can
D-SPEED – again another small business sponsor but has done wonders for me and assisted whenever possible
Daniel Silvestro – Being my spotter and person that would always keep my head in check with I couldn’t focus
Regan Curtis – Being the one solid driver to ALWAYS push me to get better we practice on Asetto Corsa and whenever we are on track we are driving together always learning from each other and never afraid to try things
And lastly to the Drift School WA Family – We continually push each other to get better providing advice and taking feedback on board and ALWAYS strive to drive better each time and everytime.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Haha to be honest finish off the tow truck Dad and I are building and then start traveling around AUS for events and taking my driving to a national level then from there progressing to overseas but that is but a dream at the moment.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOTOR SPORTING MOMENT SO FAR?
My best moment for me to date is battling my one best mates Daniel Silvestro in a competition round (d1wa Round 3 2018) and pulling off a crazy dive onto his door which from what I was told sent the crowd into a Frenzy and to this day still have people tell me it was one of the best battles they have seen in WA
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR WORST MOTORSPORT MOMENT?
My 33 engine becoming an oil pump when the rings finally were too far worn and that I had to sit on the side line while everything was rebuilt.
I HAVE TO MENTION YOUR CAR HAS A BIT OF A UNIQUE LOOK ABOUT IT AT THE MOMENT, WHAT ARE YOU PLANS FOR IT? I MEAN IT MAKES IT EASILY RECOGNISABLE THAT IT IS YOUR CAR WHICH IS BOTH GOOD AND BAD!
Haha, yeh it is a little rough at the moment as I’ve been sinking money into the motor. But I have a whole new body kit coming for it and its getting painted and a decent livery done.
LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING IT DJ!
DJ will next be competing in the D1WA Round 3 on Saturday September 28th 2019 at 5PM AWST. You can catch the live stream for the event on D1WA’s Facebook page!