What do you do when you’ve just won a Formula Drift championship? Buy a Porsche, apparently. Reigning FD champ Chelsea DeNofa just bought a 718 Cayman S to turn it into a drift car, and it is one of the coolest things we’ve seen in a minute. A mid-engine Porsche may seem like an unlikely drift car, but with some modification and DeNofa’s quick hands, it works extremely well.


DeNofa is detailing the build on his YouTube channel, and it’s fascinating. The Cayman is surprisingly well suited for a conversion into a drift car. DeNofa was able to maintain the stock rear suspension geometry, and simply installed new arms that allow for more adjustment of roll center and anti-squat and ditch the stock rubber bushings for heim joints. 

After dropping the gearbox, DeNofa installed a stronger clutch, beefed-up 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears, and welded the differential, all of which was surprisingly simple. He chose to go with a Cayman with a turbocharged flat-four rather than a naturally aspirated flat-six for the huge power potential for the boosted engine. Right now, they’re running about 400 hp over the stock 350, but the goal is to get closer to 600. That should require a new exhaust, which is already fitted to the car, and a new turbocharger.

This won’t be a Formula Drift car, so DeNofa is trying to keep as many Porsche parts as possible. Aside from a cage, seats, harnesses, and naturally, a hydraulic handbrake, the interior is being kept stock. He’ll likely get rid of the small radiators ahead of the front wheels for a larger unit to be mounted at an angle in the front trunk a la the new 911 GT3 RS. That’s to keep the radiator less exposed to impacts. DeNofa assumes it’ll need cooling upgrades too.

There was also the matter of electronics. With any modern car, all the systems talk to one another, and when you start messing with one, the rest go haywire. DeNofa doesn’t go into details, but it took a lot of work to essentially “unlock” the car for it to be used for this purpose.

We’re excited to see this build unfold. DeNofa dives deep on all the aspects of the car here, and there’s so much beyond cool sideways shots of the car. Though, we are happy watching drift shots over and over.


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