Rubber to Burn

Samuel “the Crazy Swede” Hübinette talks about the most crucial part of his Charger Drift car, its BFGoodrich G-Force T/A KDW tires.

Sam, what do you look for in a set of tires when it comes to drifting?
You want something you can push to the extreme, but still have that familiar feel of being on the road. And the sidewall needs to be super-strong. Tires aren’t meant to go sideways, and when they hold up to that, you know you have a well-built product.

I’ve been running BFG KDWs and they give me exactly what I need: traction when I need to go, strength when I need to slide. Plus they wear nice and evenly. Most importantly, they don’t blow out big chunks of rubber like some other brands
do. That’s a bad, bad sign.

Do you swap out different tires depending on conditions like in other forms of racing?
There’s really no room in drifting to have a wet vs. dry set of tires. What you choose to go with has to work well under all conditions. We don’t have time to be swapping sets out like that—just for weather. That’s another thing I love about the BFGs, they’re so performance oriented that they’re great under any weather condition.

We can only imagine you put a beating on tires, how long does a set usually last?
Nobody expects tires to last forever in drifting, but it’s really hard to predict. No matter how well-built they are, they take a beating. There’s so many factors behind tire life. Tracks play a big part of it. Like in Long Beach, I’ll run the same set of KDWs all day long, but in Irwindale, its long distances all in 3rd gear, with tires spinning at 120mph. Factors like that will eat up the best of sets in 4-5 runs. So you can imagine how quick you’d be in trouble if you ran something inferior.

So when you ain’t sittin’ sideways, what do you roll on the street.
I actually run BFG KDWs on my personal cars, too. My Charger, M3…I even have a set on my wife’s IS300. For a tire to be good for drift, it has to be good for the street first­—so you run what you know and trust!