Formula Drift Heads to Japan

The overseas growth of the American-founded Formula Drift series in recent years has been nothing less than impressive and while the series has expanded to include events in many different countries, many have been wondering when FD would expand to Japan, the birthplace of drifting. Well, the wait is over. This week Formula Drift officially announced its plans to start a three-year program of holding events in Japan beginning next year. FD will be teaming up with MSC for its Japan series, with two competition events planned for 2014 and a full championship series planned for 2015 and 2016.

Veteran MSC judges Manabu Orido and Nob Taniguchi should be judging the Formula Drift Japan events, and FD Japan will also feature a weekly television series. More details should be announced at Osaka Auto Messe in February. This builds upon Formula Drift’s previously announced plans to run link together its Asian and American series to form a global championship in 2015.

With the momentum and following that Formula Drift has around the world, it will be very exciting to see how things unfold when the series lands in Japan. We’ll of course be along for the ride at upcoming FD Asia events and also at the official  FD Japan launch at Auto Messe in a couple of months.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike

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will be quite interesting seeing the different styles match up. handbrake entry vs feint....power vs precision....etc. the track layout may play an interesting role as well. wonder if naoki will be competing


Any idea on how it might impact some of the privateers/rookie teams? It'd be sad if it discouraged newer drivers from entering the league.


This is going to be very interesting. If its a good thing or a bad thing I suppose will be decided after the events have taken place. I have to say (even as a non-US citizen) holding championship events outside of the states is a BIG jump, both in terms of organisation but also in terms of budget. I would be worried that FD could lose what links it still has with "grass roots" drifting. Surely it will limit entrance numbers?

For me I would have liked to have seen it grow a bit further in the US and maybe have a lower ranking/formula series run alongside it before they try to expand to this level and risk alienating a LOT of people.

Still, I wish them all the best of luck with it!


Ok , we know speedhunters has no relation to FD (besides friendship), but you guys in the business have enough contacts to answer my question/propose it to the organizes: What about livestreaming? will there be livestreaming?
Livestreaming is the way for us outside the US, europe or Japan, to follow up the most amazing car events that are held on those places, i know overseas fans dont bring in the big bulk of money , but if overseas fans weren't somewhat important for the business, FD wouldn't go from the US to the JP, right?


@prplbeast I think FD Japan would be aimed at local privateers/rookies , right?




FD at Ebisu will be amazing to see.


Robo_No1 They are actually developing a 4-date Pro-2 feeder series in the US.




I would be very interested to see if they "Americanize" it so far as judging and track layout. I had the opportunity to see some of the places where they hold events in Japan and they are astoundingly small by american standards and the judging and style are accordingly different. I'd love to see the top Japanese drivers throwing it in US style. Especially if some of the big name guys who can afford it could have cars in the series. Send VGJ over there in a mustang or something.


mbretschneider I guess I was just a little hazy on the details like how american drivers and teams will be integrated with the japanese league or if this was an entirely separate offshoot/league under a larger umbrella.


Will be quite interesting, as D1GP had Irwindale events for a few years back in the day. I certainly hope that the political way that the runs are judged doesn't carry on though.


Too bad everything racing happens around Osaka and Tokyo area. D1 stops at Nagasaki out of the whole series. Drift Muscle is primarily in Tokyo. 
I hope FD comes down here in the Kyusu Island ^_^


At last finally....




henriquepinePlease YES. How about finally seeing whose better? I'm thinking the drift scene in Japan doesn't need you to judge what it needs.


Ive wondered for years who what gonna finally put up a real world series. D1GP is too inbred to ever succeed and the European series' are too fractured. FD was the logical choice.

Bring it the hell on. Finally, shut up all the fanbois on one side or the other :)


henriquepine D1RGE Pretty much its the Judge who scores you, it is not your time or any of that factor.


Omnigear henriquepine D1RGE I agree, there is no better. The american drift series is painful to endure on television, but that is my opinion. I do appreciate that they are contributing to the sport and pushing the boundaries in their own way. i just think they are trying to change the sport. The biggest problem  or best part with drifting is it is all about participation, watching people compete for a title is irrelevant to the sport. It is all about style and pushing the limits and having fun. I think the whole set up of drift competition is flawed. one on one is boring, yeah it works say if you love Initial D and watching takaumi kill everyone coming up or down a mountain. Tandem runs are only made better, with the one rule. "the more the merrier."  I think competition could be elimination rounds starting with trains, and whom ever doesn't keep up is out. similar to big entry competitions. Or replacing tandem competition with three going at once all taking turns lead middle chase. Just my opinion, I just hope people keep drifting and having fun, would be great to see a more serious competition i just hope drifting doesn't lose it's true sense along the way. At the end of the day i'v always thought that drifting was similar to surfing, and surf competitions. A lot of the same problems are there competition i just hard to place on a sport made for having fun with friends. I hope some one else can see the similarities.


IanBange there is a youtube series of VGJ in japan with a mustang.


Korova milkbar IanBange I've seen that series. It is a fun set of videos. I'd really like to see the Japanese drivers competing in the American style though. I've always wanted to see more of them come over here, but bringing our style over there would be just as good.