The Will Parsons Project – Getting to know Will
Will Parsons has been all over the United States competing in different series. He has even driven with some of the pro’s, like Daigo Saito and was teammates with Chelsea Denofa. Will has the experience, talent, and dedication to make it in FD.
This is “The Will Parsons Project.”
CCM: Lets start off with, where are you at this moment?
Parsons: At my house in Houston.
CCM: You actually grew up in Bellville, TX and your pops worked on motorcycles? How does that play into your life right now? Is that where everything started?
Parsons: I would say it definitely all started there. Bellville is a tiny town with a population of 3000, so there isn’t a lot to do. It played a huge roll in where I’m at today, mainly because its the only place I feel right at home. My dad is a motorcycle mechanic and used to race them, so I grew up around engines. Dirt bikes, Atv’s, jet ski’s, go carts, airplanes, and anything else with an engine was what i was interested in growing up.
CCM: What year did you pick up your first corolla and most importantly, why a corolla?
Parsons: I picked up my first corolla in 2004 a few months after seeing drifting for the first time. I wouldn’t say I picked it out, it just sort of fell in my lap. Also, my first corolla was a totally disaster because I knew very little about them, or drifting for that matter. It was a 1983 ae72 convertible.
CCM: Did you drift the 83′ convertible?
Parsons: I drifted it on the streets in Tulsa. Only when it rained though because it had so little power.
CCM: How long did that last?
Parsons: It lasted for about 6 months before I attempted my first engine swap and failed miserably.
CCM: Is this when you moved over to the Hachi?
Parsons: I moved to the Hachi a little later. I moved back to Texas in 2006 and started going to daily drifter events as a spectator. I started saving money for another drift car and found the 86 later that year.
CCM: In 2006, how was the scene like in Texas, was it big?
Parsons: It was pretty big back then. A lot of people would come out and drive. I remember watching the competitions and wishing I was driving in them. All the drivers back then were competing for a chance to drive in the first pro-am finals in Nevada.
CCM: Looking at your build thread on 86Garage, you drove Nopi Drift?
Parsons: I had planned on driving in Nopi, but I only ended up making it to one event before they went out of business.
CCM: But you did run the full D1GP USA Series right?
Parsons: Yeah the following year was when D1 started.
CCM: How was it like traveling with that series? Did you gain a lot of experience from it?
Parsons: The series was a ton of fun for me. It was pretty laid back, and all the driver seemed to have a blast. I gained a ton of experience from driving with those guys. They really made me step my game up.
CCM: I heard you even drove against Daigo Saito a couple times?
Parsons: Yeah, I drove against him a couple of times. I remember the first time I couldn’t even hear my car over his, it was so loud. I felt like a gazelle with a broken leg trying to out run a cheetah.
CCM: What’s amazing is that you are doing this all in the same hachi you started off in off with in the beginning? What changes have you made to it by this point in time?
Parsons: Yes I was running the same car that I started in with a turbo charged 4ag. I think it was right around 230 hp.
CCM: After that you ran the full XDC Season?
Parsons: Yeah, ran the first one in 2010.
CCM: So, you drove the complete D1 series, then went to compete in XDC for the full season. What kept you motivated this whole time? Was it to turn pro? Or you were just having fun going to all these events?
Parsons: My motivation has always been having fun and becoming the best driver I can be. I just really enjoy it all, from the traveling, to the competitions, to the practice. Even when I have bad luck or don’t do as well as, I can I still have a good time.
CCM: Well, if it wasn’t enough. You were even teammates with Chelsea Denofa for a period of time while running XDC. Was having him as a teammate a plus side to your progression?
Parsons: He has been around drifting for a very long time and is a very talented driver. It was definitely a huge plus having him as a teammate. Driving with him gave me a good idea of where I was and where I needed to be.
CCM: What have you done to your car to make it FD ready?
Parsons: Well this year I ended up swapping everything to a new shell so the cage would pass FD tech, but for the most part it’s still the same car. The car has gone through tons of changes. When I started it was bone stock. I slowly modded it the first year with simple bolt-ons and a roll cage. I left the engine stock for a while but eventually turbo charged it. I ran different versions of the turbo 4ag for about two and a half years before swapping in the honda motor.
Right now the car is running a turbocharged honda f20 making about 500 whp.
CCM: Where you need to be is FD! You have your license. You have your new car setup. So far this year you made a great showing at Atlanta and made top 32 in the first FD event you ever drove in, and now you have Texas and Irwindale. These are two tracks you drove before, do you feel confident going into these last 2 rounds?
Parsons: I feel pretty good about both of these rounds. I have driven at the Texas track the most so I’m looking forward to not having to learn a new layout and just focus on the fine details. Irwindale has always been one of my favorite tracks. FD runs a slightly different layout than what i have driven, but I’m sure I can hang.
CCM: Alright, best way of ending this off. You have traveled all over the U.S. to drift, what has been your favorite track?
Parsons: I’d say a tie between road atlanta and summit point. Both awesome tracks to drive.