Ernie’s early racing career is different than many other American drivers in that he learned to drift in the mountains of Japan (the birthplace of drifting) while serving with the U.S. Marine Corp. Ernie didn’t become a “professional” driver until he tried out at a D1 Grand Prix “driver’s search” event in June of 2003 where he earned a license to compete in the first professional drifting event on American soil.  After being one of the few to earn a license, Ernie was entertaining a few opportunities, but none sounded as good as a title sponsorship by an up and coming sports brake manufacturing company called Rotora.  Ernie used his personal 240sx drift car to build Rotora’s first purpose built competition drift car with tires provided by Falken Tire.  Rotora provided a budget that allowed Ernie to put the finishing touches on his already competitive drift car.  Many other sponsors were involved with Team Rotora over the next year and a half.  With this car, Ernie went on to qualify in the top 16 and was the last American standing against Japan’s best driver and D1 points leader of that year.  That event in August 2003 secured Ernie’s place in American drifting history as a true legend of the sport.  Rotora, impressed with the first season’s success, decided to increase the budget enabling Ernie to build a more competitive machine.  A right-hand drive 180sx was chosen to accommodate Ernie’s aggressive and unique drifting background.  Ernie’s right hand drive Rotora car build became known as one of the most “true to the sport”, iconic Japanese car builds of all time.  Spawning toy companies to get involved and make RC and models of his car.

Driver: Ernie Fixmer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
Vehicle: S13 Hatchback
Self-taught in drifting during his military days in Okinawa and refined his drifting style back in the US, 26 year-old Ernie Fixmer is considered the first American to stand toe-to-toe against the best Japanese D1 circuit drivers. With his S13 (S15 front mount conversion), Ernie Fixmer is currently one of the top drifters In the US.

Language: Bi-lingual (English/Spanish)
Recent Drifting Competitions:

2003 – US D1 Grand Prix – Top 16 Finalist
2003 – US D1 Driver Search – Top 8 Qualifier
2003 – RSR Drift Festival – 3rd Place
Rotora, Bomex, Blitz, Bride, Falken Tire, Gushi Auto, Koyo, Jada Toys,, Kaaz, Phase 2 Motortrend, Tein, TG RaceDesigns, XS Engineering, 5Zige

In 2008, After finishing his time with Rotora, Ernie struggled a bit to find the right fit for a team and attempted to run a season on his own and discovered that it takes more than driving skill to be competitive in this growing motorsport.  A respected friend in Tanner Foust suggested to Formula Drift that Ernie be a judge for the Series.  The Formula Drift family has been a close friend of Ernie’s over the years and soon contacted Ernie to invite him up to the judges stand.  There he stayed deeply involved in the sport for another three years getting a stronger grasp on the business.  This is a vantage point that many drivers have not experienced.  Ernie was able to influence many decisions made regarding the sport and has had a major effect on the future of the sport.  During this time, Ernie used his GI Bill to go to school for aviation mechanics and ended up getting his Airframe & Powerplant license.  This is an FAA requirement that allows Ernie to maintain airplanes and helicopters anywhere across the nation.  So, in early 2011 Ernie stepped away from the sport to get his life priorities in order and get reset for another round.


2017 has proved to be an exciting year for TEAM FIXMER!! Ernie has made the amazing decision to end his hiatus and RETURN to the fast and exciting sport of DRIFT RACING. Logging countless hours of seat time as well as working with TEAM APEXi on an incredible build on a right hand drive NISSAN SKYLINE. Bringing back the “true to the sport” Japanese machinery!  This includes a return to JAPAN to practice and log seat time to prepare for the 2018 season.