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ABOUT RHYS

Starting at the ripe age of 4, Rhys has loved cars, drifting, and the scene in general. During a career day in kindergarten, Rhys explained to his teacher that he wanted to be a drifter. Since that young age, his passion for the sport has been there. With loving drifting for a such a long time, at the age of 11 Rhys bought back the Conklin family’s old car. Learning how to drive a manual transmission and practicing at a parking lot in his dads’ shop, Rhys learned how to do donuts, and figure 8s.

Once he was ready, his family went to a ReadySetDrift event 6 days before his birthday, and Rhys was ready to shred. His first time on track, the event coordinators told him to do donuts and figure 8s; exactly what he had practiced. Once he had proven himself, they brought him out onto the track. With 10-15 runs of practice, he linked the entire track on his first event.

 

Knowing this is an expensive sport, Rhys created his own lawn mowing business, and sought out partnerships with companies to help with the costs. Signing with partners to help with the build, he was able to get the parts needed to get back out onto the track.

 

With Rhys’ Fun-Haver teammate Chelsea Denofa running The School of Drift, Rhys was invited to go out to Portland and participate in the school. Rhys was very excited and had tons of learning experiences at the school. With these new skills, Rhys made improvements to his own driving .

After another full season with ReadySetDrift, Rhys had learned to drift in parking lots, and on a racetrack. High speed entries and learning how to hold drifts were challenging, but Rhys persevered and made sure to complete his goal of linking the courses as well. Signing a partnership with Fun-Haver, a brand founded by 2-time Formula Drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jr, Rhys was ecstatic and ready for what was next. With getting signed under Fun-Haver, Rhys got mentorship from Vaughn, and along came more opportunities.
 

During the winter of 2019-2020, Vaughn recommended for Rhys to get an upgraded motor for the e36. The stock motor was not enough at that point, and he needed more horsepower to progress. With an established relationship with LeeCparts, they reached out and offered Rhys an LS3+TR6060 motor and transmission to help him. Signing with LeeC, Rhys was able to find the team at AJF Racing to help him and his dad swap the motor and transmission in.
 

Finishing the swap around April of 2020, Rhys was ready to move up. With covid hurting the drift season and essentially cutting it in half, Rhys was not able to run for a while and didn’t get much seat time in 2020. Once 2021 started, Rhys was back out on track and ready to go. Rhys was brought out to the Freedom Factory with Vaughn and was able to run his first banked track and do his first tandem drifting with Vaughn.
 

Since then, Rhys has done multiple events with the Fun-Haver team as well as local events to tracks nearby. Rhys also competed in Round 3 of Klutch Kickers $100k Drift Series at the Freedom Factory in June of 2022, where he placed 14th out of 80 drivers, only getting knocked out by a former Pro Formula Drift Driver Jonathan Nerren. With doing events like Hyperfest, GRIDLIFE Midwest, MPACT, as well as small local events, Rhys is pushing to earn his spot in the sport as much as he can. 

Earlier this year, Rhys drifted at Hyperfest with his mentor Vaughn Gittin Jr, as well as other big names in the spot such as Chelsea Denofa, Nathaniel Chen, Dan Sommer (Danger Dan), as well as other great drivers. He also did his first ever GRIDLIFE event at the Midwest Festival, where he stacked up with Vaughn Gittin Jr (2-Time Formula Drift Champion), Chelsea Denofa (Soon-To-Be Formula Drift Champion), and James Deane (3-Time Formula Drift Champion), which ended up being a phenomenal lap for him, being that he has some of the best drifters in the world right in front of him to drive with. With more and more events popping up in the future, Rhys will continue to excel and follow his dreams of becoming a professional Formula Drift driver. 

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