Performance automotive shop and FD Pro 1 & 2 racing team  |  Involved with Gridlife

“We are 100% looking to leave a massive dent in Formula DRIFT as to what we can do as a shop and what we can accomplish.” 

KoruWorks has been around for about 8 years, but those involved have been building and racing cars as long as they can remember. And now, in addition to racing for Pro 2 and qualifying for Pro 1 of Formula DRIFT, they are also helping organize and promote the latest revolution in racing events, Gridlife.

 
We caught up with Team Manager Gregg Bucell to talk about the 2018 season and other factors in the KoruWorks upward trajectory.

2018 Season

How many events did you race in 2018?

“We’ve done seven races now, and we’ll be doing SEMA Ignited this year – a FD (Formula DRIFT) demo for SEMA.”

“Yet another round of Formula DRIFT where our engine was able to run its 100% thanks to ENEOS.”

What is the favorite moment so far?
“For Koru, the favorite event was the FD Dallas event. It was our first time getting the car ready and available for Pro 1. Our First year we built the car up to be the rocket ship it is… is has over 1k HP now. We gave the car all its power, dialed in and tested it all season and really got it where it needed to be. Then we qualified Pro 1 and got to compete. 

“In Texas, we qualified very high (14th?) and placed 8th. Really great for our first go. That, on top of Gridlife, is the best thing so far.”

2018 Races/Events:

  • FD ATLANTA: Atlanta, GA – MAY 11 – 12
  • FD WALL: New Jersey – JUN 1 – 2
  • FD MONROE: Washington – JUL 20 – 21
  • FD ST. LOUIS: Missouri – AUG 10 – 11
  • GRIDLIFE SOUTH: Atlanta, GA – AUG 24 – 26
  • FD DALLAS: Texas – SEP 14 – 15
  • FD IRWINDALE: California – OCT 12 – 13
  • SEMA IGNITED: Las Vegas, Nevada – NOV 2

Grid Life

Tell us about your involvement in Gridlife. 
“I am the Partnership Director for Gridlife, and this is the second year KoruWorks ran it. We ran 5 cars in total.”


What prompted the shift to a lifestyles event, in your opinion? How is it different and why does it work so well? 

“First, it’s a driver event, built for the driver themselves. Gridlife has racing, interaction directly with people in the racing industry and profession, plus the music and entertainment aspect. And camping. It’s a racing festival basically.”

Let’s talk about Driver Engagement at Gridlife. 

“One key element are the HPDEs (High Performance Driving Events) like the instructor classes, where attendees go in non-timed laps with pro instructors to learn the proper techniques in racing. These are 100 HPD cars at each Gridlife event, not pro cars, but stock or slightly modified vehicles they would like to drive spiritedly. Safety companies like Momo go through instruction points with racers, like safety harnesses, tires, etc, which also goes back to engagement of partners with attendees and racers. We sold out of the HPD programs in around 14 minutes this year.” 

What’s changed in Gridlife this year? 

“This year, Gridlife has gotten larger, but it maintains that mainstream “cool” factor. Drivers (who are celebrities in their own sense) are talking about how much fun they’re having.
“Engagement with participants is driving its success. Fun is good, too.”
View 2018 Gridlife documentary 
Revisit KoruWorks at 2017 Gridlife

ENEOS

What ENEOS products are you currently using for racing?
“We are currently using ENEOS RACING PRO 10W-50 in our Nissan 350Z with an LS3, which was custom-built for Formula DRIFT. 
“We’ve used ENEOS products for a while, and have never had an engine malfunction due to lubricants while using them. The new PRO 10W-50 is a godsend.  No internal engine malfunctions PERIOD, all season long.
“We’ve gotten cooler engine temps, which is huge, and more power out of our engine.” 

How did it impact your season?
“We didn’t think we could gain much power off of swapping an engine additive, but it really has worked. We wouldn’t run it in a $60k engine if we didn’t believe it would work, and it does. 
“Yet another round of Formula DRIFT where our engine was able to run 100% thanks to the amazing products from ENEOS. WE LOVE OUR ENEOS!” 

How does ENEOS do for you at the shop? 

“We carry the full ENEOS line and it’s the only product we sell.  We became a dealer for ENEOS before the race team was sponsored. We sought out the partnership because it was what we were using and we believed in it. 
“Every customer in our shop leaves with an ENEOS oil change. Whether it’s an engine swap, upgrade, etc., they start off again with ENEOS. If we break in the engine (with ENEOS) from the start, it will maintain the engine from the start. Our customers like it as much as we do.”

Nissan 350Z Specs & Team Details

Nissan 350z with a stroked 416 LS3 (1000hp+)

 

  • AFR Mongoose Heads
  • Haltech Elite ECU and Harness
  • Vortech Super Charger
  • 4 speed G Force
  • Clutch Masters Twin Disk Clutch
  • MA Auto Quick Change Rear End
  • Fortune Auto 2-way Coilovers
  • WiseFab Suspension Arms
  • Konig Ampliform Wheels
  • Nexen Tires
  • ENEOS RACING PRO 10W-50

“Yet another round of Formula DRIFT where our engine was able to run 100% thanks to the amazing products from ENEOS. WE LOVE OUR ENEOS!” 

Owners: Tyler Clayton and Kerry Brown
Team Manager/Marketing: Gregg Bucell
Crew Chief: Kerry Brown
Tuner:
 Forrest Luster
Tech: Ryan Smith
Driver: Ryan Litteral

Location: Marietta, GA

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What's next?

Formula DRIFT
“We are 100% looking to leave a massive dent in FD to what we can do as a shop and what we can accomplish. Last year, we only attended FD events with Pro 2. Now that we’ve qualified for Pro 1, we plan on attending all FD events in 2018.” 

Gridlife

“Gridlife will prompt more engagement at racing events in general, I think. Of course, we’ll continue the elements that were successful, like the HPDE. It’s been said that drifting is one of the most easily accessible motorsports… it’s Millennial. We’ll continue with the successful elements, and we’re working toward a more “SEMA” aspect, where our partners are getting together and are able to interact directly with their customers.” 

Racing vs. Demo Programs

“We currently operate two separate vehicles: the KoruWorks 350Z FD vehicle, and a demo vehicle that is a “thrill car,” but not a competition car. The two vehicles have traveled separately in the past, with the demo car going working for a particular sponsor (Voodoo Ride) going to retail and other weekend, non-competition drifting events (like Gridlife) to demo the sponsor product. We even had requests to send the demo car to birthday parties. Next year, we’re merging the programs in a sense, where the demo car will act like more of a backup for the competition vehicle, the livery will be similar, etc.”

What other racing sports do you think people need to pay more attention to? 

“Drone racing… remote operators fly using a first person view from the attached camera, flying through checkpoint hoops. It is becoming bigger and bigger, they have spotters with a 2nd pair of goggles. Productions companies putting on the events are multi-million dollar operations. I think we’re going to see more from this sport.” 

 

KoruWorks was selected to be one of our 2018 Enthusiast partners. They have previously been featured in ENEOS People, a series about ENEOS partners, customers, and employees. They also participate in ENEOS garage, a program for shops who sell or provide ENEOS products. 

View KoruWorks profile  |  Be featured in ENEOS People  | Join ENEOS garage