Drifting, for those who aren’t aware, is a driving technique wherein the driver oversteers a corner to make their car go sideways … I only know this myself because I’m a hell of a “Mario Kart” player. And I’m only explaining what drifting is to you, dear reader, because if I hadn’t played “Mario Kart,” I might have thought drifting was just something a person does while lost at sea.
And that road leads us to Ryan Tuerck, one of the biggest stars in Formula Drift (the professional series for drift drivers) and now also the YouTube action sports world. The 28-year-old Tuerck has driven (ha!) “Tuerck’d,” a lifestyle series revolving around — what else? — drifting, to over 7.5 million views since its start in November of 2012. Today, “Drift Garage,” Tuerck’s new web series co-hosted with fellow drifter Chris Forsberg, premiered on action sports network and “Tuerck’d”-backer Network A. The new show teaches viewers how to build a drift missile car for under $5,000, which means there are going to be a lot of online video-viewing whippersnappers in the hospital over the next year — rock and roll, man. Scroll below to read my interview with Ryan Tuerck, who was as enthusiastic about his new show as I am about Yoshi in a turtle shell car.
What was your experience with YouTube before working with Network A on “Tuerck’d”? Did you watch YouTube much?
Ryan Tuerck: Of course I was always on YouTube, I was posting my own videos, which weren’t anything super special. I would go out and film some stuff with the GoPro while I was driving and then upload them. I would edit myself in iMovie and post it on YouTube. I would follow all the major action sports publications on YouTube like the Red Bull channel and so on and so forth, just to be aware of what’s going on out there and what people are doing and athletes’ ideas and just what people are doing on the filming and editing front as well as just to stay current with the times.
How did you eventually hook up with Network A for “Tuerck’d”?
So the backstory to me partnering up with Network A is that the management company that I am affiliated with, Wasserman Media Group, also has an affiliation with Network A. So my manager had a contact with Network A and we talked about this idea of pitching a series to them, because I’ve had a lot of ideas in my head for a lifestyle kind of drifting videos for a long time, and I was sponsored by Red Bull and was coming up with different ideas, so it was the perfect time and perfect opportunity. We put a good pitch together and pitched Annie at Network A, and she took a big chance on us and pushed us through and made it work, and lo and behold, it was super successful, so we’re all extremely excited about it.
So how have you enjoyed working with Network A?
Working with Network A has been great; they give everyone a lot of creative freedom to be able to basically do what they want as far as ideas and production schedule and what not. Basically, as long as you are producing what you’re supposed to and you’re doing your job, you get to do it any which way works for you, so it’s really cool having that kind of freedom and not having to call them every single week and ask if this is cool or if they’re alright with this idea and that idea. It’s mainly coming together on a common ground and working together and just kind of letting the creativity fly and letting it happen.
What kind of effect has your YouTube show had in bringing more attention to Formula Drift?
A lot of the fans of formula drift are obviously fans of “Tuerck’d,” I want to say, but I’m not so sure, because it’s such a different thing than Formula D. It’s a lifestyle side of the sport rather than the competition side. We don’t show a lot of Formula D stuff on the show, so I want to say it’s probably not a high percentage of fans that we bring from the lifestyle side to Formula D, but I wanna say it’s definitely something, of course, but I see us taking a lot of the Formula D fans and bringing it over to the lifestyle side and filling that void that was there before in our niche motorsport industry. For me, it’s been a huge, huge success from a fan-based standpoint, and I go to the events now and I am extremely well known and it’s mainly from the “Tuerck’d” series. It’s really cool to have that massive fan interaction now where I can actually interact with the fans at the events and in social media as well, so it’s really cool to be able to do a lot of stuff.
Tell me about your new show “Drift Garage.”
So “Drift Garage” is actually the brainchild of Chris Forsberg, who is an extremely good friend of mine in Formula Drift as well as outside. He was one of the first guys that I met when I first started drifting, and he is extremely hands on and a pretty good fabricator as well as a very good mechanic. It was just a really cool idea that he came up with to show the tech side, because a lot of the questions that I get, and a lot of the other drivers get, especially on my videos though, there seems to be a whole new fan base of kids coming on board and just wanting to understand and want to know how to build a drift car, and a cheap one at that. So it was kind of a no-brainer for this just to evolve into something and for Network A to dive into the tech side of the motorsport content and trust and hopefully kind of make it fun to watch, and hopefully people take it that way to be able to see the basics of how to build a 5K drift car.
What YouTube shows do you regularly watch and personally enjoy, other than your own?
Honestly, one of my favorite things are the “Epicly Later’d” stuff that Vice puts out, and I’m a huge fan of Vice’s YouTube channel that they put out.
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