Darren Kelly is a professional drifter in the D1NZ Drifting Championship Series. For several years he has competed in a R32 and later a R34 but for the new season Darren dreamed of building something that would separate himself from everyone.
Darren’s love of Nissan runs deep. So while talking about future drift projects he joked to a friend about using a R35. By chance his friend had a R35 shell laying around and after some encouragement Darren went head first into building it. One company that helped Darren reach his dream was TTT Auto Engineering with all their fabrication work.
Powering the R35 is a stroked 3.2 L RB-series inline-six made from a RB30 block with a RB26 head. To handle the increased power and strain it has been upgraded with JE pistons, Eagle rods, HKS camshafts, HKS valves and springs, six ITBs, Garrett GT3582R turbocharger, and a Ross Performance dry sump system.
Why did he choose to go with a RB-series engine? It simply came down to cost and knowledge. Darren was able to build several RB engines each producing around 737 hp (550 kW) for the price of one VR38. He also has a lot of experience with the RB engine compared to the VR-series.
Behind the engine sits a TT Industries six-speed sequential transmission with a 7.25″ Tilton Engineering twin plate clutch. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a Winters Performance quick change differential held in a Sikky Performance R35 quick change subframe kit.
If looking at the finished product isn’t enough validation maybe Nissan New Zealand’s factory sponsorship is. Darren’s R35 also happens to be the first factory sponsored for drifting.