Jaron Olivecrona reveals Hartley Engineering–built V12 weapon
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Olivecrona’s car underwent a major overhaul during the off season, which included fitting a new V12 engine, twice the amount of cylinders he’s used.
The Toyota-based naturally aspirated V12 has been given an overhaul by Hartley Engineering. Indeed, the same Hartley as that of Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley who races for Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Olivecrona took the engine to Brendon Hartley’s brother Nelson Hartley. He redesigned and rebuilt just about everything in the engine, keeping only the Toyota block and head castings.
Olivecrona said the shift away from more traditional engine platforms wasn’t a hard decision to make. He found inspiration in another drifter and a desire to make his engine known within the drifting scene as the ‘Mad Mike’ of piston engines.
“Everyone does the typical Chevrolet V8, Toyota 2JZ or Nissan RB-powered cars. So when the V12 came up in an auction in Japan we thought ‘hey, lets build this’.
“We were lucky that Nelson Hartley wanted to build a V12, so we took it to him and that almost fulfilled his dream in many ways.
“We’ve pulled it off, it’s awesome, and it’s just so different. That’s what drifting is all about. It’s quite an individualised sport in how you feel when you see your car.”
Olivecrona wanted the new look to match that of the ‘90s era with wheels that suited the car. The colour scheme, he said, is like something out of a Japanese cartoon.
The rainforest livery features a Huia on the side, a historically significant part of Olivecrona’s family history. His grandfather Carl Olivecrona is believed to be one of the last people to have seen a Huia in the Manawatu Gorge in the late 1940’s, despite being believed to have been extinct since the early 1900’s.
Olivecrona heads into 2018 for what will be his fourth season of the D1NZ National Drifting Championship.
“Last year we improved, but this year we want to improve again. Our long term goal is to get to the United States and base the car there. We’re lucky because Partstrader is in the States now and I think with their backing it’s definitely possible and within reach.
“Building a Formula Drift-specification car was always on our mind. I think that we’ve got a couple more changes and then I think we’d be well on the money for the car to be competitive for the likes of the States.”
For the Feilding based drifter, the opening round of the championship at Max Motors Family Speedway in Wellington will be like a second home round. He said he hopes bringing the series to the bottom of the North Island will do the region some good.
“I definitely think we’re going to see up-and-coming drifters out of here. We do run drift days at Manfeild where we try to inspire the younger guys to bring their cars along, have a skid, and have that interest in drifting.
“I probably have about 15 guys who come up just about every event. It’s just showing them that drifting is within reach for them. It keeps them off the streets too. There’s nothing worse than seeing black marks all over the road.”