Kenny Lam is affectionately known as the 'Grandfather of UK drifting' by his Flatout Factory team mates due to the amount of time that he has been involved in the sport. Here is a summary of Kenny's lengthy drift career!
Kenny first discovered drifting way back in 2001 watching drifting videos on the internet and on 'Option' DVD's he had purchased, he was fascinated in how the Wangan (Japanese street racers) were starting to get into the sport of drifting. It wasn't long at all before Kenny decided that he wanted a car of his own and this led him to purchase a Toyota Corrolla AE86. "I started looking for a car, only Japanese cars interested me, I asked my friends who have Toyota Corolla 86 for some advice, some of them had owned them over 20 years ago! I found one in Cornwall and that car was a road rally car previously, it wasn't a very good set up but I bought it and started modifying it for drifting" Kenny said in his trademark calm and collected voice. "I quickly found there was limited supply of parts on the market so I took to the internet and found 'Club 4AG'. They had a forum for UK members and I joined up and went on there to ask questions. Two people answered my questions, that was Paz and Jay..."
As Kenny, Paz and Jay started to exchange conversations they found out they were all very local to each other. They were building a 20v Turbo Corolla so Kenny went to meet them and to look at the cars build for inspiration. "This was my first interaction with the drifters 'Team Night Spirit' They are members in the UK, that's when I met more people who were drifters and got more involved in option motor sport. I went there to watch as my car hadn't been finished yet, this was all around 2002!"
In 2003 Kenny finished building his car, a Corolla with a 4AG engine as its heart. The cars first run out was drifting was at Elvington Airfield, Kenny loved it and started to do more with the Night Spirit guys, it wasn't long before Kenny was drifting morning and night!
2004 saw the start of the Driftworks forum. Kenny was appointed as a moderator from the start and spent a lot of time helping people with questions and welcoming people into the sport.
In 2005 Kenny met Terry Collins when he hired Silverstone for running drift days there, They found a guy up north with 4 corolla's in a barn that he used in his rally team. Terry teamed up with him to run the very first drift school with Kenny, Paz and Jay being instructors. Some of the first customers were EP Racing and they brought 10 people down to the drift school, it only ran for a couple of days but everyone had a great time! "I kept practicing night and day at tracks, Silverstone and airfield days were just some of the places I went too. Then one of the Night Spirit members met up with someone from japan and they started to import cars and shortly afterwards the European Drift Championship was born. Night Spirit were now holding events and the group was expanding. "
The team got invited to Santa Pod to do some demos and at that time there was only few teams, 'Team Demon', 'Team Night Spirit' and the 'Option Team' (which was a small team). They helped out on these days which was good practice for them as they were doing the basic demo stuff, donuts and figure of eights. "Some of the Silverstone organisers were Japanese, they organized for Ken Nomura, the famous Japanese pro driver came to Birmingham wheels and he judged a competition. In 2006 UK Demons teamed up with the Japanese group, D1, the drift king, Keiichi Tsuchiya, was bringing many professional drivers and cars over. D Mac (Darren McNamara) came down in a metallic black K70 and Keiichi really liked him. D mac was a go-kart champion when he was younger, I really enjoyed watching and drifting with these guys!"
By 2006 - 2007 Santa pod was getting very busy and Kenny and his team were encouraged to run a proper practice day. "I was always there instructing practicing and doing the drift demos at shows. I still had the same Corolla but had modified it a lot. Then it blew up then so I went straight out and bought a Corrolla KE70 and swapped all the parts over onto it from my old car. The AE86 shell eventually found its way into the hands of Mark 'Sweeps' Buckle, the man behind the British Drift Championship, to once again see a life of sideways action!."
In 2007 – 2008 Kenny realised that he wasn't progressing as much as he would of liked, he needed a more powerful car at this point of his drifting career! He decided to start importing Toyota Chasers as they were much more powerful and had the style and street presence that he liked. With this more powerful car Kenny started progressing a lot more. "Now I had involvement in setting up many teams and was busy on the Driftworks forums answering peoples questions and sharing knowledge with fellow people who were interested in drifting. Driftworks shop was up and running and the team were competing in many competitions where I would go and help with the mechanics and various other things on the cars and team roles."
At this point Kenny's JZX100 was looking like a very capable car, fitted with Driftworks HSD suspension and a KAAZ differential amongst other choice modifications. He was a regular at all the fast drift days with Mallory Park being like a second home to him!
In 2011 Kenny started working for All Stars Driving Academy and that's when he met Tom at Birmingham Wheels, instructing drifting. They had a great time working together and when All Stars stopped trading at the venue Kenny happily joined Tom and the rest of the Flatout Factory there to continue introducing people to the sport of drifting.
Kenny is the most senior instructor at the drift school, passing down his years of knowledge to not only the pupils but also to the staff as well! His teaching style is very patient and thorough, achieving excellent results in both beginners and also people wanting to fine tune their drifting skills! "My aims for the up coming years, is to teach my daughter how to drift and to enjoy drifting the way that I have for the last decade. I have no wish to compete in drifting competitions, I only drift for my pleasure"