MiRO: When did you start racing and how did you get into racing?
Joe: I was born in Germany to Iranian parents and moved to the US at age 5. I started racing BMX at age 7 and have been hooked on competition ever since. I raced BMX at the expert level through age 15. I was well-known for my wild style and was always a crowd favorite at the track. The style and aggression of drifting was a natural evolution. I placed 3rd overall in the Super Am series in 2012. In 2013, I placed 3rd overall in the Sonoma Drift series. In 2014, I placed 2nd at Sonoma Summer Jam. I helped create the Sonoma Drift series in 2009 and am still involved today.
MiRO: Please tell us about your car (race type, specs, mods, upgrades etc)
Year, Make: 2000 Lexus SC300
Chassis: Quarter Tilt Kreations Formula Drift legal roll cage and tubular rear end
Engine: 3.0-liter 2JZ-GE, K&N air filter, Borg Warner S362 SXE turbo, Treadstone manifold, Mishimoto intercooler, Mishimoto radiator, HPS silicone hoses, Flowmaster exhaust, AEM V2 EMS, Fuel Injector Clinic injectors, Torco lubricants, Shipman Performance tuned
Drivetrain: Marlin Crawler R154 5-speed, Clutch Masters clutch, B&M shifter, Nameless Performance hand brake
Suspension: Megan Racing coilovers, Wisefab front angle kit, Battle Version tie rods, tie rod ends, toe links and traction links
Wheels: MiRO Type 398
Tires: whatever I can get, actively seeking a partnership!
Aero: Vertex style widebody kit, Speed Fiendz Garage vinyl
MiRO: What future plans do you have for your race car?
Joe: The car is perpetually (and necessarily) evolving. As drifting becomes more popular, drivers’ skill improves so in addition to regular seat time, I need to do anything I can to maintain a competitive edge. That means staying up to date with the latest parts and tech, as I can afford it at least! The next significant step is a dog box transmission for greatly improved strength and durability. Beyond that, I would also like to eventually upgrade to a Borg Warner EFR series turbo for quicker spool and better transient boost response. Much further down the road, I would like to fully-build the engine with a 3.4-liter stroker assembly to provide better off-boost torque and not have to tach out the valvetrain quite as much to stay in the powerband.
MiRO: What are your racing goals for 2017?
Joe: 2016 was a bit disappointing as a driver mainly because of several unfortuitous mechanical issues, so I am eager to attack 2017 with the many improvements, upgrades and revisions that were made to the car in the off season. I hope to once again compete in the Golden Gate Drift series and finally earn my Formula Drift Pro 2 credentials.
MiRO: What have you been up to?
Joe: I started a new job for 2017, and it has so far been a huge and much-welcomed improvement from my last job. Other than that, I am very excited and proud to announce that I will be spotting for Mike Essa this season in Formula Drift, which is an amazing opportunity. Lastly, I am working on getting my drift school up and running to share my passion with others!
MiRO: What do you do when you’re not drifting? Hobbies, movies etc
Joe: Work, drifting and maintaining the competition car keeps me relatively busy, so any down time I get, I like nothing more than spending time with my family. My wife and daughter always put a smile on my face!
MiRO: What is your favorite fast food.
Joe: Luckily (or unluckily, depending who you ask), we live across the street from an In-N-Out, so love it or hate it, I have relatively immediate burger access. Otherwise, nothing beats my wife’s home cooking, of course!
MiRO: What is your daily driver that takes you from point A to point B?
Joe: I am a firm believer in practice making perfect, so I daily a much tamer SC300. I never drive recklessly on the street, but the more time I spend in the same chassis, the more familiar and comfortable I get with even the slightest dynamics and nuances. All that translates to confidence at the track! Sometimes I take my Dodge Ram Cummins tow rig out for some air too.
MiRO: What’s it like in the cockpit of your car when you’re drifting, does it give you that exhilaration and adrenaline rush?
Joe: For me, drifting is my ultimate release. No matter what is happening in the real world, all those headaches and frustrations get temporarily put aside once I fire up the car. Hearing the turbo spool and smashing the rev limiter simply never gets old for me, and the constant surge of adrenaline is a fun, safe way to manifest my passion in a brief escape from reality.
MiRO: How does MiRO Wheels fit into your entire racing game and what do you like about it?
Joe: I am very grateful for my partnership with MiRO wheels because their company values reflect my personal ones: commitment to character, integrity and hard work. There is a reason they have been making wheels for 20+ years, and that experience and expertise gives me peace of mind behind the wheel when I pull the handbrake at 90 miles per hour.
MiRO: If you had to explain to someone what competitive drifting is like how would you describe it?
Joe: It can be tricky to qualify drifting to some people, because the majority of folks usually see losing traction in a car as scary. I do think most come to respect it once they realize just how much skill it takes to purposefully break traction and not only remain in control the entire time, but mimic the other driver in tandem. Drifting is perhaps the greatest showcase of car control in motorsports.
MiRO: Tell us about your team, talk about Farasati Racing.
Joe: While there are only two hands on the steering wheel while I am driving, there are many more hands in preparing my car and keeping me on the track. It takes a village as the saying goes, and drifting is no different. First and foremost, my wife, who is always encouraging and supportive of my passion without ever casting a shadow of doubt. She is my number one fan! Next, all of my program partners, without which Farasati Racing simply would not exist. Through their generosity and commitment, I am able to think less about the car and more about driving it. I am honored and grateful that they believe in me and it is truly my pleasure to be a proud, enthusiastic brand ambassador of their products and services.