Matt Holder – Behind the Build

Matt Holder – Behind the Build – A serious case of Smurfholm Syndrome

Our new reporter Katt Jarvis is launching a new series for the blog – Welcome to Behind the Build!

We’re taking you behind the scenes with our drivers. Getting to know them, their inspiration, and
their builds.

First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for us can you please introduce yourself, where you’re from, and what car number we can look out for on the track?

My name is Matt Holder. I’m the official Drift Smurf. I’m from Cambridgeshire (but not the posh bit)
321 is the number to watch out for.

How did it all start: What inspired you to get into drifting? And how did you go about following that passion?

I first got into drifting through Peter Hayden, whom some may know from BDC a few years back. We built a basic car together as something to do. I then went ahead and bought it back in 2014 and that started the journey.

An exciting start to what can only be something you’re now extremely proud of. You’ve come a long way since then from what we’ve seen. So, what car is it you drive? Can you give us a full spec breakdown for it?  We want to know how far you’ve come with it since 2014.

The car is a BMW E36 compact which was initially running a 323 engine which pushed just under
200bhp. However, that wasn’t enough, I then decided to put an M3 engine in when I pushed to
compete. This accompanied by a roll cage from GC fabrications was huge for me as it went from a
practice car to a competition car.

Unfortunately, the M3 engine proved to be unreliable which is where the decision was made to build
the machine it is today.
It’s now running a Lexus/Toyota 1uz v8 with a Borg Warner turbo helping it to push 500bhp on
standard pump fuel (v power).

For a few years, I couldn’t afford to go turbo so was running the engine N/A at 260bhp and this
season is the first season with boost. The entire conversion/engine build was done by Willfab
Motorsport also including the custom dash, rear radiator setup, bash bars and wiring.

The power is delivered through a Helix Autosport clutch into an E46 320D gearbox. From there Will
sourced a custom prop shaft to run to an E34 diff and custom driveshafts made by Parkinson’s
Propshafts in order to power the wheels.
As for suspension, I’m running on Yellowspeed dynamic pro drift coilovers with 50mm extended
front arms and modified hubs to give the extra lock. On the rear, being a compact there’s no adjustment for the camber so the arms have been cut, adjusted, and welded up meaning I have no adjustment at the track. (In my case this is good as I can’t make it wrong).

The pretty side of the car, the blue you see on it today was all down to a rush to get the car all one
colour for a demo event. This is when CSA custom works offered to paint the car for free as long as I
supplied the materials. But we had 3 evenings to do it. I saw a cool blue and went with it and I don’t
think it’ll ever change.
I found the body kit on Facebook marketplace, and it was in a poor state when we got it. So the
team pulled together and worked through many late evenings to make it look how it does today. Big
shoutout to my crew Callum and James for that one.
The wheels are 59° North D-004s that I Was lucky enough to win in a raffle from KDKustoms UK.

Do you have any other plans for the car? If not, how do you think you can develop it to a place you feel you’ve got everything you can from it?

The next steps for the car really are just to drive it and get more comfortable with the setup. Being a
fresh build and done to the quality Willfab works to I really can’t think of anything I’d like to change.
I just need to drive it and find out more about the car now.

Do you have any sponsors you want to give a shout-out to? Anyone we can help give praise to.

As for sponsors. I’ve got on board Willfab Motorsport, Helix Autosport and Prestige Construction
Services.

How can people find you? What social media sites are you on?

You can find me on Instagram and TikTok @official_drift_smurf and on Facebook through Matt
Holder – Drift Smurf #321

Thank you, Matt, you’ve been absolutely lovely to speak to. Your car, as well as your matching coloured hair, has been drawing some attention and we can tell you’ve got so many wonderful supporters out there already. It’s been an absolute pleasure and I think I speak on behalf of everyone we look forward to seeing the Drift Smurf back on track soon!

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