Motor Sport Catches a New Drift
Part Zen and part science, learning the art of drifting appears quite intriguing.
The Drift has arrived!
The new season of Formula Drift Racing was launched last weekend at Long Beach International Raceway in California, across an impeccable live stream splashing all over the world.
Heard it Somewhere
Most of you have heard of the drift, but may have compartmentalized it as one of the many Fast and Furious sequels you tuned out. Nonetheless, F and F faithful, and all others who bothered to watch the movie, know how good that film was just because it explained what drifting was.
So What Is Drift?
Drift is a motor sport where the driving goal is not to finish first, but to perform best.
The Rise of the Drift
While the origins remain unknown, the sport blossomed as a subculture from drivers learning the technique riding down the steep and curvy mountain roads outside Tokyo. This led to the first pro racing series in Tokyo for drift driving way back in the 1970’s. Since then, drift drivers have been honing their skills on whatever kind of track they could find.
Start Your Calculators
Now with the sport about to blossom, it’s most amazing feature may be unpredictability.
Unlike professional drag racing, you can’t even tell who wins the two-person elimination races until the judges vote! Performance is based not on time or order of finish, but left to the discretion of the judges deciding how well the driver handles the curving race course.
This brings in a whole range of factors for punters, with state of mind of the driver at race-time being more than likely the most important.
Finding the Groove
Another element of unpredictability is the art itself. The drivers are attempting to pick up speed not to outrace each other, but establish the momentum necessary to glide effectively: they actually brake and counter-steer at top speed, while they are being judged on their ability to turn sharp corners in this traction-less state.
For those interested in catching the drift for real, the next event takes place in Orlando Speed World, Orlando, Florida April 28-9.
About Formula Drift
The Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship launched its fourteenth season last weekend March 31 to April 1st. Presented by BlackVue Dash Cameras, the O’Reilly Auto Parts Round 1: Streets of Long Beach took place at the Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Course, and was won by Irish driver James Deane.