Is Drifting Racing?
Champagne & Challenges

Motorsport never fails to amaze me. When you’re so dependent on mechanical equipment, there is an extremely fine line between success and nightmare.


One weekend you’re standing on the Formula Drift podium and enjoying the spoils of success.


The next, a broken engine means you might not even be able to qualify for the event.


That’s why you need a solid crew.


When I blew the head gasket on our 2AR competition engine in Florida a couple of weekends ago just as qualifying was about to start, our worst case scenario became a reality.


But my guys, the Papadakis Racing crew, proved they are the best in the business by swapping the motor in just over an hour. That included pulling both manifolds off and pulling the transmission out, and then mounting everything back on, as well as filling up on coolant and motor oil. The new motor fired up right away.


And the legendary team got me out for both of my qualifying runs!


We qualified in seventh place.


Back in the pits, Steph quickly tore apart the broken motor. It turned out to be a melted head and lost compression on two cylinders. We believe the meltdown was caused by a faulty water temp sensor that made the motor run lean for a brief moment.


When everything was said and done after Saturday’s tandem battles, we ended up in sixth place after getting knocked out by round winner and fellow Speedhunter, Vaughn Gittin Jr.


We are currently sitting in fourth place overall in the championship.


Shawn, one of the crew, summed it best when he said, “There’s success and there’s heartbreak out there all the time. That’s why I love racing.”

What’s Your Flavor?

He’s onto something that’s been discussed since the break of dawn – or at least since drifting’s inception. Is drifting mostly a show, or is it flat-out racing?


There’s traditionally been two camps. For the OG drift fans that may or not have been there since the start, a typical viewpoint is that style is the most important factor of drifting as a sport, and that drift cars in general looked the best back in 2001.


The other camp is the culture surrounding today’s competition drifting – be it in Formula Drift, the various European championships, the series in Australia and New Zealand, and possibly MSC and other series in Japan and across Asia. It’s more of a traditional sports mindset where competitors and fans alike are focused on one thing: winning. They all crave tighter battles, bigger shows and more spectacle.


I appreciate both camps and hope there will forever be room for both. And while the first group reminds me of the snowboard freeriders, the other camp is clearly where I belong. I enjoy the competition part the most. I’m always focused on improving my driving and work with my team on increasing grip and speed. I expect all my competitors to also be thinking along these lines.


What is interesting here, though, is how drifting is changing. Are these two camps growing further away from each other, or are they getting closer?


Who thinks the competitive side needs regulations in terms of grip and power?


And who, on the other hand, would like to see more power, speed and sheer badassness?


Do you like the competitive side of Formula Drift the most, or does your heart beat for events like Gatebil or East Coast Bash?


Do you believe there are more opportunities to build a career in drifting now, or less opportunities than before?


In my eyes, the Speedhunters audience is the perfect crowd to ask these questions. You’ve seen it all, and I know you’re all in this scene for different reasons.


So, what does drifting mean to you these days? I’m really looking forward to seeing what you guys have to say. Thanks in advance!

Fredric Aasbø
Instagram: fredricaasbo

Photos by Larry Chen, Matthew Jones, Henrik Thorstensen and Aleksander Istad.

Cutting Room Floor


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there is no clear answer for this vague question. there are different aspects of the motorsport. I for one, enjoy traditional "street" and mountain drifting, over formula d.


I find drifting to be a really interesting and varied form of motorsport and is definitely a great series for spectators. However I don't believe it to be racing. I think of racing as all out competition for position or in the case of rally and hill-climb fastest time. Drifting seems to me to be more about the style and the spectacle, there is nothing wrong with that infact it's great but it not racing in my mind.


If motor racing is the Grand National then Drifting is dressage. Competitive, but encompassing appearance and technical prowess rather than split-second measured timings.


It's figure skating no?


Larry Chen I agree 100% its the beautiful art of skidding like on ic.


It is a great motorsport, but it is not racing. Racing implies being the fastest. Drifting is a competition, but not racing.


I personally think it's more of a show and style kind of event.
But who cares if you're having fun?
To be honest, I reckon that the absolute grassroots guys have more fun than Formula D. Sure they (the actual grassroots competitors) don't have 1000+hp cars that accelerate while going sideways, but I find it very hard to believe that you're having more fun than me and my mates hanging around a roundabout.
And that's what drifting should be, fun. Not rule bound or anything. A good show, with some awesome cars and a laugh with your mates.


as long as the fans love the competition and the drivers are having fun, then it's all good, but i hope they put out some "balance of power" regs lest the HP wars really run wild.  dunno, maybe hp to weight ratio, or torque to weight ratio?


Larry Chen ummm, I believe its called skid racing, sir. ;)


Subjective judging discredits the sport as "racing" in its traditional sense.... because of this, the answer to the question that has been and will be asked a million times is also subjective. Paradoxical at best. That being said, regulating motorsport typically does not go over well initially, but is needed for the sustainability and great good. Drifting I think will start to get to the point that ALL motorsport does eventually (if they aren't there already), in a cost control capacity. Never an easy subject, but always necessary.


yellowhatchback nah rallycross is the Grand National, circuit racing is Flat racing.


Race (rās) verbto compete with another or others to see who is fastest at covering a set course or achieving an objective.
I'm not trying to detract from the sport, but it's definitely not a race. Like speed skating and figure skating. Enjoy it for what it is, not what it isn't.


No, drifting is not
racing. It is a stylized competition based around judging competitors.
Although this statement is
true, it does not mean the drivers are not immensely skilled, the events are
not exciting or hugely popular. Any specific Motorsport that gains success/popularity
helps the entire genre as a whole.  Professional Motorsport translates to the streets in products we buy, how our cars look and
maybe aspiring to competition ourselves.


Who cares what it is.  It is a hell of a lot of fun, and I couldn't think of a better way to kill tires.


This is motorsport, no doubt, but i don't think it's racing. You have all the typical motorsport drama (crashes, engine problems, hot drivers, points battles, etc.) but there's no actual RACING per se. Don't get me wrong, I love going to Formula D and watching guys go head to head, but part of me is a little sad when someone gets eliminated; I want to see them keep on running. My favorite thing is those marathon battles with 17 more OMT's because it means I get to see more of those guys drifting. I like ECB and Club Loose too, seeing everyone throw down. The last thing drifting needs is a bunch of rules and regs - we don't want another NASCAR or F1. That's part of the whole ethos - no-holds-barred, anything goes, rung what ya brung driving.

At the end of the day, it's cool as shit. Who gives a crap?


WHy didn't Scion/Toyota build the Scion D1 car as an production car as rear wheel drive ? because it would of been an hit


Drifting is not racing, but as mentioned it is motorsport (and is fun to watch).


AceAndrew2 yes I agree but for people that love drifting more than racing its an life choose its bring an special feeling into your spirt that you just know your not the only one that enjoys the feeling of going sideways


Scania 4 life


well.. for starters.. i got hooked on drifting because of initial d. the fact that it was an "uphill/ downhill 'race'" points out that there is indeed racing in drifting. i feel that drifting can take many forms whether its for show or racing. either way, its an awesome motorsport and much respect to those who take part in it.


Its a fine mix between Racing and art competition.
The challenge between angel, raceline, speed and show realy shows how hard it is.

Back in the day, drifting was cool, medium fast and delicious.
Now its hard, fast and awesome!


While not disputing the skill set needed to accomplish this, it's more about how you cross the finish line than when. Great form of entertainment though!


Drifting shouldn't be classed as racing. Nobody gives a crap about entry speeds, we want to see you guys close to each other for the entire course. 1200hp sounds impressive until you see drivers struggle to control their cars in qualifying, let alone tandems. Keep it simple, keep it close. It shouldn't be a matter of power, but more of technique. Too bad most of the layouts cater to high hp racecars.


its freestyle for cars not racing.


While I appreciate the spectacle of the sport, my fear as it grows ever bigger is that it will become impossible for new talent to enter the arena without big budget sponsors. Part of the charm of drifting is that the driver's skill plays a larger part than the pricetag of his car. I would hate to see drifting reach the level of Nascar or F1 sponsorship. That would take a lot of the soul out of the sport.


It's more like a car version of ballet or ice skating. It's about style, not hard numbers. It's definitely not racing, it's a performance art or something of that nature.


Markus P. I agree! They need more technical courses with hairpins and the like. Not more HP. They need to focus on technical skill and not the pricetag of the car.


I don't see it as racing. As I'm sure other people have pointed out, it's like comparing figure skating to speed skating. There's fierce competition in both sports, and both take skill, but only one actually involves... racing.


IMO Competitive Drifting is getting harder and harder to get into. The price to play keeps going up. However, with popularity still growing there is an opportunity for more traditional grass-root events. 
To say one could have style without substance doesn't work, the two work hand-in-hand, a driver cannot simply have one without the other. Now, this doesn't mean that you need a NASCAR-sourced V8 in your RWD platform, nor does it mean that you can't compete without it. I believe regulations keeps the "racing" close and the fans happy. Nevertheless, take a good hard look at Formula 1... Regulations have (IMO) crippled the sport.
Drifting needs to continue on its path - We need those "Bedroom Room Poster" sort of Athletes to encourage the next generation to get involved.


The red headed stepchild of motor sports. A competition but not a race. Being as subjective as it is I don't see it ever growing to the hights of nascar/f1. Much like rally it's hard to market with so much downtime between action but it does have the benefit of door to door being expected and contact inevitable. Having sat in the lineup at a comp it's hard to not want it to be taken seriously. We can only hope it maintains it's roots like NASCAR dirt leagues do for that organization. It's hard to beat grassroots to keep your sport alive even when it's ignored.


Is it racing?  Absolutely not.

Is it a competition?  Just as much as car show trophies are.

Is it fun?  Absolutely.


Nice little article cheapened by a provocative title.


RotaryNissan thats the situation in Japan where their courses are short an technical. US tracks are large with high speed banks. Formula drift usually host their events on Nascar tracks which are more common than short technical road course everyone is trying to mimmic  in Japan.


Is definitely not racing, that's for sure, but it is competition non the less. But today it's more about bringing the biggest checkbook and less about real talent. As an Ex-F1 engineer I can honestly say that racing is no different. Budget capping would be the best idea in my opinion. You don't have to limit anything what you can and cannot do (so long as it's safe). But capping overall cost would be interesting. Only things excluded should be safety equipment such as belt, helmets, overall's, but also tires and brakes. Other stuff you break should be left in the budget. That way there should be much more strategy involved. And leave how the money is spent up to the teams. Broken down to much and out of budget: Better luck next year. Bodywork should be in working order all the time, so no more budget for a new bumper (try not to break it next year. Not the best driver but have a great mind: Keep costs down and start thinking outside the box to make the car better then the competition. That way drifting becomes more accessable and intelligent at the same time.

Thats just my 2 cents ....


Formula drift is derived from the eagerness of the ppl from first camp to RACE and this is very well done and it's taken for granted.
Both venues should be held. But the mix of design, power, aerodynamics and stuff needed in Formula drift helps the technology and local art to promote to the edge.


I've had a few drinks tonight and maybe it is concerning to some that I check SH in this state however.. that Truck is freaking awesome! 

Also thank goodness for these pronunciation correcting things!


All I wanna na know is what model scania r series v8 that is! Its fuckig badass!


Drifting isn't racing because it's not about who crosses the line first, and it shouldn't try to be racing. It should embrace the style side and fun side because that's what it's all about. As for competitive drifting, I feel the same way as I do about snowboarding. It goes completely against the spirit of it. It's not about doing it best, because who's to say what's best?


I'm inclined to say; Does it matter?
In the grande scheme of things does being in Formula Drift, Nascar, F1 or V8 Supercars take anything away from what you do? You are in the professional autosport industry. Whether drifting is racing or not is about as arbitrary a question as would Ken Block's car be faster with red wheels or green? It's all motorsport and it has it's fanbase and period of popularity, that's all that matters.


The competitive side all ready has regulations in terms of grip in formula drift based on your weight that determines your tire size and power doesn't matter if you can't put it to the ground. I want to see more power, speed and lots of smoke, I'm a mixture of both groups I think style is the most important but also winning is important too including close battles, high hp, lots of smoke and badass looking cars and in my opinion they look much better nowadays and they perform much better since there is better suspension, angle kits, tires and turbo's etc. I do think the competitive side is very important to progress the sport but it's not all about winning. There is less opportunities in drifting as far as formula drift goes because it is so competitive but you can start as pro am and work your way up or you can compete in the other drifting competitions. Formula drift is where my heart is, I love how it was grassroots back in 2004 and each year has progressed. One thing i'm disappointed about is that it's become all about the money and not about the fans, the judges are very biased and there is favoritism rampant in formula drift. They care more about money than they do the fans and here are some examples they got rid of the third place battle so they could be on live tv which means more income for them. Also there are some drivers who could have horrible battles and yet still win because certain drivers promote fd more than others and bring in more money and sponsors and if certain drivers don't win there will be less promotion of fd etc. Also it has become about drag racing, the judges they say they want proximity but promote when the other driver pulls ahead and creates a gap on the other driver and it ruins the battle completely.


Drifting is basically like skateboarding. Drifting is nothing more than a driving style. The "competitions" are just a way of translating that driving style into a competition.




Is drifting racing?
Racing is a contest of speed, to see who can get to the target fastest.
Drifting is not that in any way, shape, or form.  It's figureskating with cars.


the confusion is in the word usage and phrasing, not the nature of drifting itself. "Racing" or "to race" immediately implies that the goal is to swiftly arrive at a set finishing point before someone else. While passing does happen in drifting (as you so awesomely showed in ATL) the tandem battles are about so much more than just who finishes first (i.e. proximity & angle etc for the chase car). For this reason drifting is more accurately described using the word "competition" or "a contest in which a winner is selected from two or more" through "a test of skill or ability". However, the verb "to race" or "racing" most definitely applies to the guys swapping out your motor in an hour, and also to my heart rate and blood pressure! So, perhaps we could say that the "competition drives us to race?" But you sir already know this, since the competition is what you enjoy the most right? (and what drives me to watch and support)!


autophiliac Well... Running away from the lead driver, or staying close in chase position, has a pretty significant impact on the outcome, right?


Drifting is not racing, it's judged by opinion. Where as racing is about who finishes first. "Ask any racer, any real racer. It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile; winning's winning" defined by distance not points.


Kevski Style If that's the case... Could you say that (part of) the challenge is bringing the biggest checkbook? Like it or not, but it seems to me that the people that are good race car drivers also happen to be great networkers, strategy thinkers, people-persons and visionaries.


Ealoken I really like this comment! I pretty much agree 100%.


Drifting is a form of racing but unlike any other it is judged by criteria and not just who crosses the line first.


It all depends on how you define racing... If you use it to imply "a sport in which the winner is the first across the finish line" then drifting is not racing... But I like to personally think a race as any sport where the competitors have the goal of being in first place, no matter the criteria for winning... Drifting, in my eyes, is a very competitive sport, maybe even one the most competive out there, so there for it is racing... Part of racing is also who has the best tools to help them win. So personally I think limits on power etc, would make drifting less competitive since there would be less completion for the engineers to make the most bonkers, yet purposeful, car... Thanks Fredric Aasbo for opening up this discussion to me, I'm a big fan...

Fredrik Sorlie

Is it racing? Well, to a certain degree it's at least a bit more traction related than it should be, but that's simply a judging choice. They still seem a bit too hung up on stuff that shouldn't matter in FD, but hey, what else is new? It's easy to see when a driver deliberately sacrafice angle to get traction. Stop rewarding it. Simple...
The problem (and I think it is a problem) with competitive drifting in the US and Europe is that the organizers refuse to accept that drifting as a concept can never be compatible with a fair, non biased competition format. By forcing everyone to chase some kind of predifined optimal run, they leave very little room for what drifting should be all about, which is style and flamboyance. All these silly clipping points and stupid course layouts makes FD boring, predictable and dull to watch.
It's as if F1 should be decided on who get's closest to an ideal laptime set by a commitee.
The solution is simple. Get rid of the complicated judging system and reward whatever looks awesome. Let the drivers have their own style. Make them push themselves and their cars to the limit, and reward whoever shows the most skill. If you can't tell who that is, you should not be a judge. Simple as that.
They had this nailed in D1 10+ years ago. Why change a winning recipe? Sure, let the sport evolve, but not by making it less awesome...


It all depends on how you define racing... If you use the word racing to imply: a sport in which the winner is the first across the finish line; then no, drifting is not racing... However I like to think racing is any sport in which competitors have the goal of being the winner. In that sense drifting is racing... In my eyes drifting is one of the most competitive sports in the world. Of course I love the smoke and the sound of ear blistering 2JZs and supercharged V8s, but I also love the competition. You can sense it from every driver that behind their smiling faces, they more than just want that podium... So drifting is competition which means in a way it is racing... Thanks Fredric for sparking this discussion that I hadn't really thought about earlier... Btw I'm a huge fan


I think drifting could be racing. Drift cars are definitely race cars and the drivers should be considered race drivers. The layouts of top tear drifting doesn't really seem to be a race though. Touge racing, dirt racing, ice racing, rallying etc all can include drifting into the elements of the race. Drift racers deserve the same respect for all they and there teams do, but if finishing first isn't the main objective I don't consider it a race


Is drifting a form of motorsport? Yes.
Is drifting a form of racing? No

Any sport that requires judging, immediately because an exhibition rather than a race.


Beny 10 AceAndrew2  I get it, I was a glorified ski bum for the first two years out of high school.  This kind of thing can become a religion.


When i said here a few months ago that drifting wasn't racing i almost got crucified by the drifting fanboys, racing is trying to be number one, get to the finish line first, no judging, no opinion, no bull****, it's a fact, not an opinion of whoever did the best run, the best clipping point, the most smoke, the wildest angle.
But i do like drifting and the concept of the thing, but as allways when something as the potential to make big money to the organizers, it got lost along the way, today drifting is more like a circus show, i can accept it as a sport, but not racing.
Drift is mad mike and asbo riding the wall at gatebill last year.


@Johnjusto Agreed with the last sentence. I will even highlight that drifting was meant to be a show for the fans. The only driver that delivers a proper show for the crowd in professional level is Mad Mike Whiddett. In simple words, he is the king of style from every aspect. Aggresive driving style in combination with aggressive 'street style' looks on his competition cars. Drifters used to have the most stylish cars that were customised to reflect their personalities. Current drift cars look like monster trucks with the front wheels exceeding the front panels. Daigo Saito is the current drift king (FD, D1 and FD Asia champion) and Mad Mike is the king of style. Racers or not, I would rather watch those two than watch F1 with Maldonado, Chilton and their V6 lawn mowers.


Drifting is a display of skill at the ragged edge. 
Speed is a very important element but not the defining one. I'd say control is the defining aspect of drifting. Control of many external (and internal) factors. Speed being one of them. 
Drifting (as I enjoy it), is not racing. It's bull fighting without the murder. It's getting as close to disaster as possible, then avoiding it by the narrowest of margins, over and over again. Then turning to the crowd and saying "what do you think of that!".

Viva La Drift!


Hmmm, What you're saying is true but it's a shame. The race actually starts when you're knocking on sponsors doors. When you are trying to eek out tyres for another session or event. But a race should be about driving skills (and possibly engineering), not a test of bank balances or charisma.

Legend Racer 92

FredricAasbo Kevski Style Some times they are, but not always. I know so many great race car drivers that could easily be successful in professional motorsports if money wasn't an issue. They have more talent than many professional drivers. Money is keeping the truly great drivers out of professional motorsports and it is a huge issue, not just in FD, but in all motorsports.
Just because someone is a great race car driver doesn't mean they are great networkers, strategy thinkers, people-persons and visionaries. It means they can wheel a race car around a track better than everyone else.
I say all this as a racer who knows many drivers that have raced in NASCAR, Indy Car, Grand Am, you name it, and ran up front and were successful but could not take their talents anywhere because they weren't "good looking" enough or bring enough money to the team. Teams don't want somebody if they can't make their product look good and can't bring money to the table. That is what it all boils down to for the most part in the modern era of motorsports....


Fredrik Sorlie Yeah that is lovely. Whatever looks awesome is awesomely vague. Tangible solutions are best. VBOX from Racelogic could help drifting. It measures angle and lots of parameters that can be objective criteria. On the other hand, judges could be useful to determine who has the best looking car. Mad Mike would win it every year, but I miss those days when Haruguchi and Koguchi created competition cars that were really stylish.


Drifting could be a race in my opinion but only if it was more like a sprint like initial d and the winner would be decided by the overtake or the gap between cars by the time they reach the finish line. Who could drift through the corners the fastest with smooth transitions. A mentor once told me fd is more like the ballet of motorsports. Which is sorta true since it relies more on style compared to who got to the finish line first


In some senses it can be labeled as both. For racing it's more like cat and mouse. Taking more skill to overtake your opponent. It's more challenging, but you don't need an ample amount power. Majority of the time drifting off the track is all about showing off by how close you can get without touching either the wall, sidewalk edge of the road etc. It really varies though. As for drifting around a corner faster than grip racing depends, but in actuality your compensating your rear tires for shedding down time.


Of course it's not racing.   Drifting is a precision car-control exhibition.    Requires some of the same skills as racing but it is clearly not racing.


Hmmmmm, this is a tough one.  I definitely feel that Racing, as a motorsport has evolved from more of a drivers sport to a spectators.  Drifting brings the crown in and keeps them on their feet.  Yes there is no last lap, or checkered flag, but that just shows how motorsports have changed.  Its about the Race/Drifting that's going on, just cause its not timed or doesn't have a finish line doesn't make it less of a Race.

        Now power,  this for sure needs to be limited.  At least one team, if not more each race, has had mechanical issues,  you can only ask for so much out of the engines.  Whats gonna happen next year when everyone needs 1200+hp.  Seems like nonsense to me,  750hp cap sounds reasonable?  Then the teams could concentrate and get more in depth on their chassis setups.  Seems like the fight for horsepower is stronger then the ideal suspension setup.  Or maybe the power is outperforming the suspension? I have no idea honestly, just my two penny's.


haragucci except downhill longboard - that's a "race" first to the finish line, no judging


Drifting is not racing because it isn't time/distance based. It is motorsport though. Still takes skill, concentration, coordination, and training.

Synchronized swimming is not a racing competition, but it is still a watersport. Still takes skill, concentration, coordination, and training.


It's not a race if the guy across the line first doesn't win. 
Race- Noun - a competition between runners, horses, vehicles, boats, etc., to see which is the fastest in covering a set course.

That is not drifting. Not that there is anything wrong with drifting.


Keep. Drifting. Fun. Period. No matter what the outcome or situation. Keep it fun as it always have been fun.


Rather than wining or losing ,its a matter of whether you can enjoy it or not.......

most drifters have fun with cars... 

you cant perform well by using negative emotions as motivation , get rid of all negative emotions,anger, jealousy, grudge,self glory,and sadness....

those negative emotions will not guide u in the right direction ....and each time every year the skill level rises on the big stage .... 

Drifting is simply the soap opera of motorsports....... 

they should be grudge talk to hype the fans up and expand it further like wrestling ... each driver with a mic in car hearing them battle ..........with that in mind it will develop a new meaning of motor sports if done correctly ..... 

its almost 2015 time to step the game up one more notch!!!


FredricAasbo autophiliac Thats certainly true, those can effect the outcome, however aside from the lead car in a race being given a time penalty, how often is the driver who crosses the finish second declared the winner of the race? I think in most racing, crossing behind the lead car determines your finishing position. Don't get me wrong, I love to watch drifting, but its a motor sport competition, not racing in the traditional sense of the word. Just my two cents


Oh my, that race car transporter truck looks amazing. It would be cool to see a spotlight or feature on the truck itself, as I'm sure it's decked out with drool-worthy tools and gear.


I would say less opportunities for drifting now, competitvely at least. Before you could have rung what you brung and be competitive. Then it got to full roll cages, then fire suppression, then bigger motors more hp, then bigger brakes and better suspensions, better tires and a full team to help you with all of this ect ect. Its so far outta most peoples price ranges its disheartening. Its alright if you got into the game when it was on the rise up, but for those starting out now, its a pretty big mountain to climb. I still prefer watching the grassroots instead..

Fredrik Sorlie

@TROLLS ROUCE Fredrik Sorlie Well, you obviously missed my main point. By using data logging and attempt to remove the human element from the judging, you also remove everything that makes drifting cool. Everything! Sure, it will be more fair from a competition point of view, but that's the kind of attitude that kills drifting for the true fans. When I watch FD I could not care less about who's winning. Not even when my mates compete. I just want to see them at their best, putting down amazing runs. Not solid, good runs that will get them safely through to the next round. I want to see the drivers get rewarded for pushing just a little bit too far, and making an awesome recovery. I want them to reward skill. Drifting through the course with a 1000bhp car with a 75° steering angle kit, staying well within the limits of both car and driver takes little skill and is boring as f*ck, no matter what the VBOX says...


you guys need to drift the truck in the opening photo! it already has all the sponsors! anyway... drifting is a type of automotive motorsports rather than just lable it 'racing.' to call it racing is difficult just as many have pointed out due to its scoring system and that the person in front isn't always 'winning.'


the power is kind of crazy now but you see guys with 7 8 hundred horsepower performing best, so no. but maybe a little more variety, but i still love where the sport has gone.


Where I live in Quebec, Canada, if you ask any local drifter what's his favorite event of the season the answer will be our yearly bash event. The MapleLeaf Bash to be exact. I think people like competition and feel like if you want to get somewhere in the drifting world you gotta prove yourself by doing competitions. But as people like competiton, they mostly love bashes or festivals where they can practice what their sports without the pressure but with a crowd, visibility, party and friends.


drifting isn't racing. But it still in motorsport family. Race is quantitive and Drifting is qualitative. Drifting can be referred as MX Freestyle in MX world. Drifters may have various bg, does it from motorsport or just 'advanced' enthusiast. After all, drifting is about fun and skill honing.
PS: drifitng doesn't need 1000+HP


obviously you didnt watch the Canadian gp but i think youre are pretty narrowminded.


@TROLLS ROUCE Maldonado and Chilton? what a random reference... Chilton is a complete rookie who hasnt even scored a single point yet, and maldonado is only in F1 because of his money. What about the epic battle between Hamilton and Rosberg, or Riciardo outperforming Vettel this whole season, or Alonso always outperforming is Ferrari... U need to watch more F1 my friend. Oh and Ayrton Senna won the 1988 Championship in a turbo v6....


i think the more competitive it gets, the more sponsorship, more power, etc, it all makes more difficult to achieve bigger results
And i could also agree that drifting has an important position in motorsports, like the freestyle motocross has in bikesports. 
The important thing is keeping drift FUN ! i think some more regulations wouldn't hurt , but not powerwise, please, i think one cool thing about drifting are the "free" engines and chassis , i truly love cars like Papadakis/Aasbo Scion Tc (i am finishing a FWD to RWD conversion all because of this car! ), i think regulations could create variety through introducing something like D1 Street Legal

Come on, a Formula Drift Street Legal is all that we want, right? this way the grassroots level can still play the game even without the gargantuan budgets of the bigger teams, at least in my humble point of view


Not racing and no more a Motorsport than figure skating or dancing is a regular sport. You can tell how serious drifting is seen by the Motorsport industry by the type of sponsors and lack of car manufacturer involvement.


A lot of good comments on here, im sure my will get lots but anyways.

The cars now a days are very race like. Thats a positive for me, i love the engineering aspect of all that.
The fun part got lost when people found a way to make money on this and now there is way to much money in it.
NOT all teams can have big budgets so most will get lost in the mix. Only the top teams make it in to the show.
So its not a show for the most because they never make it there, and its not an even racing because the bigger budget and sometimes a little luck wins. 
Bottom line lets take Formula D for what it is and stop trying to define it, it dont fit in any classification.


It's not racing but it is motorsport.


The answer is very simple,it is...ART.


Motorsport? yes. Racing? no. Professional? dear god yes, I like the limits pushed. Grassroots? Love it too, its certainly got its place. 

Fantastic shots in the extras Mr. Chen. Bravo again.


@keolaaina GM backed Rhys Millen with a factory sponsorship back in like '04 ish


@TROLLS ROUCE think you will find Mike Essa is the current FD champ, Kawabata is D1GP champ.....


Definitely motorsport, definitely not racing.


TasosPapazahariou For the definition of ART, i would say WRC driving


I have to agree that on this time, I'm not on your side Fredric. I do believe that FD-D1-KOE is racing because you race each other, not with the stopwatch. But that exposed to media drifting is only 1% from the entirely movement on the Planet Earth. Drifting is the only motorsport in the world where fans are enjoying it as an art and watch the exposed sport as a racing. I don't know anybody with a kart. Or with a rally car. Or with a drag car. Or with professional 4x4. Or with a time attack car. I do know about 30 or so with drift cars. And they are really using them for drifting, as an art, not as an competition.

So, professional drifting is moving apart from the mainstream drifting. But we enjoy it. We take advice from you. We choose our cars because how you choose yours. We modified them how you modified your. But we drive differently. I don't wanna win a tandem with a friend. I want my friend to have fun just like me. We don't care about that. And another difference - we care about how our cars look first. Then function. It's not about the winning it's about the feeling. You don't have that in FD.


Drift is a fantastic thing. But racing can be only with time or with other people (racers). If drift is free style or just show off then I think that this is just driving but when your aim is to catch other drifter performing drift maneuvers then we can call it Drift Racing.


Well, I think that Drifting is a motorsport for sure. After, it is a racing sport or not ? I think there is a part of racing in this sport, for example with the entry speed in qualifying which can keep you on or kick you off the bubble when judges needs to decide who is gonna stay on course. Or in a tandem, when you need the proximity with the car in front of you.
With the "Horsepower war", I believe that drifting is more and more a sport focused on racing, when you're going sideways as fast as possible to shake off your opponent. 
There is a part of racing in this sport. Even if the show is maybe less intense than in a grassroots event, when you just have fun with your car and your friends. In this case, I'm believing that drifting is not a sport anymore, but it is just a show and a reunion between friends and guys who just want to take a good time. 
PS : Sorry if my English is bad, I'm French, that's why.


Drifting is a form of motorsport, its not racing!
Its the Red Bull X fighters of the 4 wheel sports world!

Power/Grip has kind of taken the shine of FD in my opinion, limit the cars to a 265 width tire that everyone can easily afford over the counter and lets see who wins then! Works in Europe doesnt mean any big budget team can put on the biggest size tires they can get and suddenly make there car heavy! We run 3 weight class's but most/all cars fit in the mid weight class which is a 265!

Mega power builds are getting too much 700/800hp is enough to win and make a show (look at kenny), yeah cool to have 1000hp but most of those engines are grenading now!Look at Falken 2 x big power cars that havent run right since the start of the season!! More power>more money teams are already stretched on budgets! I am all for progression but 800hp /1200hp in visual difference there is not much!

Build a career in Drifting for a living! You can answer that Fredric ! I know of several top 10 drivers in FD paying alot of money just to be there? Kind of goes against Larrys post that said 90% of the grid did drifting for a living? More like 10% at a push! Compare that with europe numbers are rising not dropping!!


Drifting is a motorsport for sure (its a sport involving motors: how is that NOT a motorsport?!), but I personally don't class it as racing. 
As for the cars I love to see the bonkers big power builds, but as that happens - and as the driving changes accordingly - I fear that the sport moves further away from traditional drifting and, as has been said many times, simply becomes a drag race.


Sidebar: I live in NY just over the border to Quebec where's the maple leaf bash held and when I'd love to check that out


Drifting is not a Sport.  It is a demonstration of skill.
A sport requires that it be judged by contestant's elapse time or distance, a player placing a ball or puck into a goal, a base runner crossing home plate, a weight lifter lifting a measured weight.  Drifting is judged subjectively, placing it firmly in the realm of gymnastics, figure skating, and cheer leading.  NONE of these are sports, and neither is drifting.
Fanboys all chime in with: "You just say that because you can't do it".  Well, most people can't juggle and that doesn't make juggling a sport either.  And, by the way, I can drift just fine.

Now, why is someone foolish enough to ask if drifting is racing, when it isn't even a sport?


I would liken it to skateboarding, it's a sport based on style and tricks. It is not racing, and professionals do exist in this sport.


Drifting is the not "racing" LMAO you don't win by the faster time; you win by the best score overall. Is figure skating racing?


@Seriously Well said seriously no pun intended


Drifting is definitely a Motorsport, but I certainly wouldn't think of it as racing. Overall, I'm on both sides of the fence as far as regulation / competition vs. creativity / wild rides. On one hand, I absolutely love seeing how crazy these cars can get with enough money, but it also becomes harder and harder to relate to the crazier these cars get.
It's more fun to look at a tight competition with cars that could be built in a semi-competent gearhead's personal garage, but when these cars & teams start having corporate budgets & backing it starts to feel like drifting has lost some of that grassroots appeal.
I can look at the way cars are being built this (and last) year, and know that I'll absolutely never be able to personally build something this crazy. This alone makes me wish everything was scaled back just a bit...


FredricAasbo autophiliac Fredric wouldn't that be called tatics?


hypodermic are not the shapest tool in the shed. Surely not.


Fredrik Sorlie Your main point is awesomely vague as I mentioned in my previous post. How do you measure skill? With data logging you measure drift angle and speed. More angle and higher speed equal more impressive powerslides. The kind of attitude that kills drifting for fans are bad calls like the last one between Forsberg and Field.


I will have to agree with these guys by saying yes, it's a Motorsport, but no, it's not a race. Can you argue that it is very close to racing? Absolutely. Are the cars made specifically for the Motorsport? Most are. Is that how it was in its' grassroots? Not really. 

Do people like watching professional drifting? Yes. Do they like the tandem battles? Yep. Do they like to watch the lead car finish 7 seconds ahead of the chase car? Sometimes. Should it happen every time? No, not really a battle then.
My opinion? FD is becoming a little too F1 for my taste, where the technical aspect overshadows the actual race, where the same people get podiums, where it's way too hard for privateers to get a chance.


hypodermic You must be retarded because you seem really special to me. All I meant was that Daigo is the only active professional drifter that holds the distinction of winning FD, FD Asia and D1 championships. Can you point out another drifter with the same accomplishment? Therefore, he is the current drift king.


Professional drift cars look like hammered sack meat, therefore pro drifting is null and void.

Pauline Marois

AlexandreBoyer Sorry mate, but Quebec sucks for cars, you guys have lots of people who like em, but quality sucks and you Q-bec guys have no industry for that. Last time I was in Q-bec the roads looked worse then Baghdad.


I agree with a lot of this, but have some feedback: Remember that the the professionals are past privateers that have proven they can hold it together. They're still the same species.


Well, sometimes you win by gapping the chase car while not putting on the best style, right? Does that mean there's at least a racing component?


Nice try, but have you ever looked up a proper definition of "sports"?


I think one can find ways of holding back the lead cars, but there will always be teams and drivers who figure it out better.


Drifting is defiantly a sport for one, if nascar is a sport then drifting damn sure better be. Drifting is also racing in my opinion, racing isn't always about seeing who's the fastest, it also determines who has more skill. Yes it may be a different form of racing but you're still putting cars together to determine who has more skill in doing what these guys do.


joshwfifty5 Both are :)


I enjoy drifting whenever I get a chance. Unfortunately it's getting harder as time goes on with life's responsibilities. But I do go out of my way to take my car to the track on occasion. 

I have to admit that I'm not a real big fan of Formula D or the current D1 series. I'll watch the live streams if I have nothing to do but I won't go out of my way. I am a HUGE fan of drifting however. The competition cars now are crazy and I have a lot of respect for the drivers in both professional series. 

What I do miss are the old Ikaten events and early D1. Mostly because it was more about the car and driver as one, something that is sorely lacking in professional drifting today. Pro drivers are jumping into new cars all the time. I don't mean to generalize but that's my perception. The cars used to be the stars. Now emphasis is on the driver no matter what car they drive. That's not a bad thing but I'm more of a car lover i guess.

Professional drifting is important for the drifting community as it builds awareness and understanding. I hope it paves the way for more tracks or parking lot owners to allow it.


True, it's not racing per se since you aim for the highest points and not the fastest lap. That doesn't make it any less competitive. Even from videogames I can tell how hard it is to master this discipline.
To me it means something I would never want to do myself but rather enjoy others watching. I just couldn't bring myself to put so much stress on the tires which are expensive and even risk damaging the car altogether when it comes to motorsport. But I can't help but appreciate it when someone takes the effort to master this amazing technique.


Fredrik Sorlie Always the idealist! :) You're bringing up a very important points. Consistency is currently rewarded and perhaps at the expense of excitement. We need more "best trick" mindset instead of fousing on "accumulative points"!


Evermondy Thanks! We are very much on the same page.


reno808 FredricAasbo autophiliac No, proximity is a direct result of speed and hence a core part of drifting. Tactics would be brake checking and other tricks that FD's mostly gotten rid off.


kozi I guess it only matters if you want to gauge what the community would like to see more or less of. Would you like it to be a race mostly based on speed, or are you leaning towards style and other factors?


Legend Racer 92 FredricAasbo Kevski Style "I know so many great race car drivers that could easily be successful in professional motorsports if money wasn't an issue. They have more talent than many professional drivers."

I would say this is not only the case in motorsports, but in life in general. One could argue that the best musicians don't sell the most music, because they don't have the best distribution or support network. The best guys don't get the best chicks, and so forth and so on. Perhaps the world's most promising football talent lives in the Rio Favela, and always will.

My point is that being the best in your field usually means you have a strong combined skillset. You have the package, and not just talent alone.


FastInFastOut I'm also fed up with internet baits, but rhetorics is an old art. :)


RotaryNissan Well, right now and to this day, 20 year old Nissans seem to make some of the best cars in the series.


KevinSzymanski Amen!


milkplus Pulling your leg a bit here, but in Formula Drift's case, isn't the reality that the bigger gap you pull while staying on line, or the your achieved proximity in chase position directly imply the result?

The proximity is determined by your speed.


aussieANON Do you think I wouldn't pour everything I have into this if I didn't think it was fun? I absolutely love the competition side of it, along with the prep, planning and amount of work that comes with it. It's a different kind of fun, granted, but you'll likely find a lot of really competitive people love the thrills competition gives them :)


Considering that you truly aren't moving as fast as possible around the track while drifting, I wouldn't call it racing.


I don't consider formula d as racing but I consider grass roots drifting as real racing. When it doesn't matter how much money you have put in a car. There is no point to point; it's lap and another lap. I respect the guys that that do formula d but that is a sponsor heavy event, it's all about horsepower. Drifting is a drivers sport, to have fun on a track or road. After isn't formula d formula drag?


TylerS13 September 27-28th! Be there! Here's a hint of what it look like:


Pauline Marois AlexandreBoyer  I completely disagree Pauline ! (Except for the Bangladesh roads)

Get your facts strait: 
Look at number 9.

I'm pretty sure that just after California, Qc has the biggest drifting fans/population in NorthAmerica. There is a ton of events, root to competiton (We even have the first FDCanada this year), we have a lot of good drivers, a lot of differents tracks, and a bunch of really nice builds.

BTW I voted for you sorry for you defeat ;)


Apparently more than you have:
Drifting is not a sport.  It is not a motorsport, because it is not a sport.  It is a judged demonstration of skill.  A car show is also a judged demonstration of skill, the skill required to repair and/or customize an automobile.  Car shows are judged by subjective opinion, just like drifting.  Car shows involve cars, proving that everything involving a car is not a motorsport.  Drifting is no more a sport than showing a car at a car show.

Face it, drifting is rhythmic gymnastics with a car.  And ribbon twirling isn't a sport no matter if it's done on a mat or in a moving car.


Oh yeah, it's obviously a shitload of fun, I mean everyone can see that. But sometimes the competition gets in the way of the fun. 
I used to play rugby for my highschool when I was there, in the 3rd grade team. We basically rocked up on a Saturday and ran round the park with the lads having a great time. There was no pressure so we could just enjoy ourselves. The guys in the 1st grade constantly had people telling them that they had to do better, that if they didn't perform they'd be dropped etc and from the few games that I played in there, it just didn't feel as enjoyable.
It would obviously be an awesome feeling to be winning events and stuff, I'm not saying that. But the guys who are out doing skids in a beat up S13 around their local track don't have the pressure that comes with international competition and that to me is a very attractive proposition.

With that said, though, I do really want to give competing a go.


Drifting to me is purely about fun, if you forget that aspect, then it doesn't matter. You've lost already.


FredricAasbo : Figuring it out is good, so long as people have the financial means to do so. In my opinion it isn't fair that 1 team has a $250.000,- dollar budget, and the other has a budget of $10.000,- . That way it kind of resembles the hoonigan motto: #DontCare....



"Could you say that (part of) the challenge is bringing the biggest checkbook?" 
Yes it is, and probably has always been the case. But in my opinion it shouldn''t be the case though. And you leave a couple of things out: the family allready has money to spend, like people with rich parents or businesses where they get funds from. And not all those things are down to good management skills, but also to luck.

The thing I would like to ask you in response to your question is the following: 

"Would you rather win with your people skills by obtaining the biggest budget, or would you rather win by being the best driver/drifter/mechanic/engineer/team?"

I'm a very straight to the point and factual guy in real life. I do have all the people and management skills raise funds and raced and worked for teams with "enough" budget. I know I'm a decent racecar driver, but I know I'm not the best out there by a long shot. Luckaly I am a very good engineer which helps me develop my car better and run a tighter ship budget wise. But when I only raced for a team and didn't wrench and landed 1st place I couldn't help but feel that I didn't deserve the win. The guy next to me had only half the budget and still came close. He should have won in hindsight.

This raises another question:

"Would you rather win by any means necessary or would you be more happy with an equall field and more of a challenge?" 

In my opinion everybody that's not for capping a budget is actually operating above the mass as a whole and would lose an edge that they currently have. I can honestly say thats sorry sportsmanship. 

So that raises the last question:
"Are you or aren't you for placing a cap on the budgets of teams?"


lol.. I almost performed a silent scream when seeing the post title as I can imagine some comments that may ensue. Instead of reading below I'll post IMO as people can agree/or not as they so wish, that's the beauty of why we're here partially anyway...

There is and (hopefully) should be room for both camps I totally agree. I don't think either is right or wrong it just should really be matter of preference. Having been to competition in Europe which on the levels I've seen tends to lend itself to the high powered, all means required, format akin to maybe say FD/D1GP, It isn't racing but money talks and dependent on how skilled/dedicated/lucky you are can depend on how things can potentially go. Skill can prevail certainly don't get me wrong, but when problems ensue, the lack of back up can certainly be the difference between being a 1-round wonder, compared to that of what could be called a successful season.

On the flip side, having seen the grassroots level of D1SL/Drift Muscle in Japan and been track-side there to watch it, you can easily where the rules of their format slot neatly into place, even more so when 98% of the field are running    s-chassis campaigns, the rules dictate to how much you can tune and do place a level playing field, and for me personally ensure the battles are tighter to call, and make for better competition. 

Which ever side of the fence you wish to sit doesn't matter as long as you enjoy yourself and apply yourself. You could always sit on the fence on that line in the middle and be a fan of soukoukai days, just getting out there and smoking rubber until the sun sets.. that's community right there!

FredricAasbo has found his niche, and seeing him talk at the Speedhunters workshop to the group we had formed in the small tent, you could see the lights in his eyes as he explained the needs and ways to attack a weekend and what to look out for.

What ever your preference - enjoy yourself (^^)


@Seriously FredricAasbo

Gymnastics is a complex involving the performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, power, agility, coordination, grace, balance and control. Lets forget the word sport, and focus on the underlying strengths behind of the above - as do these not also apply to drifting?

Whether it be sport or not, much of it competition based, and the question is regarding the tactics/skill/and support it takes to win said competition.


JackBannon theres more than one deffinition of what racing is. Technically racing could be defined as going around a looped circuit in order to beat someone. That means it wouldnt matter how fast your going, because beating someone may mean you must use style to get around the course, or perhaps a "chase event" someonthing im sure goes on somehwere, where a lead car and a chase car would go out on the track. of course the lead car would be doing what you stated, but the follow car wouldnt have the same idea in mind, as he is only trying to follow as closely as possible. 

Basically, all im saying is racing doesn't have to mean going around as fast as you can.


why must you think drifting as racing?


Is figure skating hockey?


Formula D is racing in my eyes, high horsepower, costly builds, some with fully stocked crews and such. I just feel like FD needs to implement a power rule because sooner or later it's going to get to the point where new drivers are going to be more rare and the horsepower level is going to be so high that tandeming will be near impossible because some people won't be able to keep up. Now grassroots stuff is the best form of drifting, no offense to the FD guys but grassroots level is just more fun to watch. A bunch of guys who don't care about how much power they have or how good their car looks. They're just out there having fun doing something they love. The passion about drifting is what makes grassroots guys just more fun.


Roughsmoke FredricAasbo 
"a complex competition involving
the performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility,
power, agility, coordination, grace, balance and control."
And everyone can be happy with those things recognizing that: Drifting And Rhythmic Gymnastics Are Not Sports.  People can compete, engage in, and enjoy lots of things that are not sports.
The question at the top of the page was if Drifting is Racing.  Drifting IS NOT Racing.  And the reason that Drifting Is Not A Sport, is BECAUSE It IS NOT Racing.
People who do race automobiles have a joke about the guy who finished last because he spun out and made a big smokey burnout.  They say "Well, he was last, but he gets one-thousand style points".  That joke is a direct reference to Drifting.
Style Points = Not A Sport.
Style Points = Not Racing.


FredricAasbo milkplus There can't be any caveats to "fastest." Take outlaw sprint cars, a similar sport to drifting, 800hp, proximity, angle, racing line, etc... except the finish line is the only metric used to determine the winner. Philosophically, drifting is closer to a summernats burnout contest (also awesome) than any race.

Legend Racer 92

FredricAasbo Legend Racer 92 Kevski Style I agree. I hadn't really thought of it that way before. I think part of my frustration over this issue is that there are countless numbers of drivers who made it simply because of their name or because they have more money than they know what to do with and are just filling a spot on the grid.
I'm not one to cry that everyone is a winner, I just wish more people with the talent were able to make it even if they didn't posses all the other traits. It's unfortunate that is the way motorsports is...
And I don't think Formula D has this problem as much as other racing series. I remember watching a lot of the current drivers when they were just doing XDC and some other local events. Damn near everyone in Formula D has made it because they knew how to talk to people and they weren't just given a spot on the grid. Now Indy Car, that series is a joke because of how many people are on the grid because of money alone. There is only a handful of drivers that are actually great and deserve a ride in that series....
Anyway, thanks for the response, I understand exactly where you are coming from and agree 100%. I just have issues with the drivers that aren't great but still made it without talent because of the massive amounts of money they bring to the team.


I believe that Formula Drift should be broken down into three different classes to acquire the most appeal from drivers and most importantly, us fans.

Class 1. should be a unlimited class, unlimited power and budgets. I want see tube cars with two v8's with turbos or a rotary engine in each wheel or something crazier that i cant imagine.

Class 2. should be what formula drift is now.

Class 3. should be basically a grassroots style, lightly modified with power and budget constraints.


And drifting is a race by definition.

Race-any contest or competition, especially to achieve superiority: the arms race; the presidential race.


I was gonna comment something around those lines but you made a much better job than the one I would've done myself! I don't believe ther should be super-strict limits that hinder the badassness of it all or that make the sport feel stale in the long term, but I also believe the current format has gotten kinda ridiculous and that it's now a playground for megabucks and megasponsors to burn some really expensive tyres and really expensive, top-tier engines. 
Your suggestion is perfect: Something for each of the camps the author of the post defines. Want sideways drag racing with engines worth thousands upon thousands of dollars? You got it. Want grassroots fun for the sake of it with some japanes rust buckets duking it out with nothing but a mediocrely welded rollcage and a second hand turbo? You got it!


Loving the bonus images! Staying clear of this argument though...


@Seriously -

It's all good bro, its good to have discussion. something we can do until the sun sets. You could look at it another way, the word sport comes from the French word 'Desport' which means leisure, and refers to any past-time and recreation that humans find amusing or interesting.

Do I find it interesting - yes, do I find it amusing (when referring to FD judge decisions - jokes) then also yes. So yes = sport, see what I mean.

There's no right or wrong here, just our opinions, its all good.

Either way I hope you enjoy drifting whether at competition or fun level.


RobPerez  couldn't have said it any better


I like that there is competition out there, because it makes driftting cars and eqiupment evolve.. but peronally I like the freeun "show what u got" gatebil style more, its more relaxed, and you get to see more styles and ways of drifting


@driveCircles Beauty!


I don't believe drifting is racing. Just like X-Games Moto High jump or Freestyle isn't, Motocross is racing. Drifting is competition however, and like many, I enjoy the Gatebil style much more as if allows spectators to see a vast variety of machinery, build techniques and driving styles. However, whenever any sport becomes professional, rulebooks must be implemented and vehicles will always start to gravitate to a single formula.


RobPerez Arms race and car raing are not the same thing.

Car racing is this...

a competition between runners, horses, vehicles, etc. to see which is the fastest in covering a set course.
An arms race is this...
A situation in which individuals or groups compete to be first to achieve a particular objective.
The second definition applies to drifting because drifting is not about who covers the course the fastest. That being said I think whether or not drifting is racing is largely unimportant. It is motorsport and it is competition. While its not wht I'd do if I were to compete in motorsport professionally. It is definitely fun to watch and it requires great skill.


I think its good that its growing so well but, with FD becoming full of massive budget team cars it will eventually turn into a team battle like F1 and no privateer will be able to compete with a small budget. The bigger it gets the more money these team companies will invest and the cars will just get ridiculous. 
I also don't think you see much in the way of character in the cars like you do with the privateer cars, you see a lot more of peoples personalities in there cars and it would be a shame not to have that, thats one of the main things that is great about drifting for me, and you see this way more at grass roots level.
A hp limit would be the way to go if they wanted to keep it open to everyone, a street legal class would be cool too.


It is definitely difficult to classify if DRIFTING is RACING and there will always be strong opinions from both camps but other Sports/Competitions have already gone down this path so lets explore some of them.  You can make the comparison that Drifting is to Racing as Motocross Freestyle is to Motocross Racing. Both are competitive and both use a vessel/implement for competition.  However one is scored solely on style and technique execution and one is purely a race of who can come in first place.  If you ask any athlete/competitor no one is going to say they want to come in any other place other than first.  In all competitors hearts and minds they want to be #1 or they wouldn't be competing in the first place.

Similar comparisons can be made if you look at any sport that attaches the name Freestyle or is judged in a similar fashion.  Skiing, Snowboarding, BMX, and Figure Skating that come readily to mind.  Again these competitions are judged on style and technique.  A competitor is not judged on the shortest amount of time distance is covered or what position they finished as in their "Race" oriented categories.  However the events based on style and technique DO NOT place the competitors head to head like in Drift events.  Drift events showcase 2 drivers/machines drifting in unison however the main goal is not pass or overtake like in other Motorsports.  You may outrun the other driver is his/her machine lacks the capability but you are judged on being able to "shadow" (n terms of angle, line, etc.) whoever is leading at the time.    So this factor/element makes Drifting unique if compared to other Exhibition Sports.  You may use drift TECHNIQUES in actual racing just as demonstrated by many famous drivers and is similar when Motocross riders do their moves while hitting big air.

Drifting is a FRINGE Motorsport.  You may disagree but to the "Professional Racing Community" the shared opinion is it is an Exhibition Sport.  Drifting can be grouped with Monster Truck Racing and other forms of Drag Racing (Sand, Sand Dune Hill Climb, Mud Bog, etc.).  From my perspective it seems to stem from origin of the Motorsport, some may disagree but hear me out.

*DISCLAIMER*  This is off the top of my head and I'm not going to go severely in depth with this unless I have to write an actual research article on it.  Just a semi-drunk "talk story time" ( for all the Hawai'i fans you know what I mean :) .)

Humans are competitive by nature, it is a survival instinct.  Who can hunt the biggest game, who can snag the hottest girl, who can get the biggest house, etc.  we are all competitive to some extent.  When we began domesticate horses we also decided to race them to see whose horse/breeding is the fastest/best.  But many people who owned horses and lived solely on racing them tend to be the "Well Off" percentage of the population.  Fast forward to the dawn of the motor vehicles, cars and motorcycles.  Typically those who owned car when they first came our were wealthy people of certain class (high class European aristocrats etc.)  The average "joe" then could not afford one.  Races are held and a lot of pomp and parading goes on before, during, and after these events just like horse racing and yacht racing.

Fast forward again.  Cars, Motorcylcles, and the early interpretation of motorsports have established a base for some time and are beginning to be affordable for even the middle class.  Now you have a noticeable distinction between two hierarchal groups, the middle and the upper classes, in regards to the types of races and vehicles they race.  For those who need explaining the beginning of NASCAR and most race events in Europe at that time (Grand Prix and road rally city-city type of events).  Remember the cars, the drivers, and their background.

Fast forward to the mid and late 20th and the 21st centuries.  There is a significant distinction when it comes to RACING in terms of the event supporters/funders/backers/fans/culture.  Compare F1 and NASCAR.  You can make the distinction on your own.  Compare Indy and  F1, WRC/Paris Dakar and Baja Racing.  Each individual culture extends it's ideologies to the respective event.  Some in F1 scoff at NASCAR and some NASCAR fans might throw a beer can at F1 fans.
Football American and Football Global, yet another great comparison.

The beers are preventing me from typing and thinking clearly so I'll end it with this.  Time will tell where Drifting on a Professional level will be.  It is too early to tell but yet has made a lot of progress.  That's my drunken STORY TIME. Shoots and Aloha!!!


Forgot my point.  FredricAasbo My honest OPINION drifting is not RACING but it is a form of expression using the car to showcase the expression.  Drifting is highly competitive with highly skilled drivers and crews and with high tech equipment just as any Motorsport.  Just as FredricAasbo mentioned about the free running snowboarders you can make the same comparison to Drifting.  Exhibition VS Race.


Per Meriam Webster's


1 race /ˈreɪs/ noun

plural races 

1  a 
[count] : a competition between people, animals, vehicles, etc., to see which
one is fastest

a bicycle/boat/car/yacht race

b  the races : an event at
which there is a series of horse races

Let's go to the races
this weekend.

2  [count] : a contest or
competition in which different people or teams try to win something or to do
something first 

the race for
governor/a baseball pennant race/the race to find a cure for
the disease

3  [singular] : a situation
in which someone has to do something very quickly because there is not much

It was a race against time
to disarm the bomb./It was a race against the clock to finish the job on time.

2 race /ˈreɪs/ verb races;
raced; racing 2 race /ˈreɪs/ verb races; raced;

1  a 
[no object] : to compete in a race

Eight horses will race
for the cup.

That horse will never race

b  [+ object] : to compete
in a race against
(someone)                                                                                                                                            She's
going to race the champion./They raced each other home./I'll race
you to see who gets there first.

2  [+ object] : to drive or
ride (something) in a race

She races
cars/horses for a living.

3  [no object] : to go,
move, or function at a very fast speed

The people raced
[=(more commonly) ran] for safety.

The flood raced
through the valley.

His heart was racing.
[=was beating very fast]

Her mind was racing.
[=she had many thoughts going quickly through her mind]

The truck's engine was racing.

The dog raced
ahead of me.

4  [+ object] : to cause
(the engine of a vehicle) to go very fast

The drivers raced
[=revved] their engines while waiting at the starting line.

5  [no object] : to try to
do something very quickly because there is not much time

She is racing against the
clock to be sure the assignment is handed in on time.

Researchers are racing
(against time) to find a cure.


Per Meriam Webster's Dictionary:" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">
definition of EXHIBITION

act of showing some quality or trait —
+ of a notable exhibition
of courage
an exhibition of bad manners" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">

[count] :
event at which objects (such as works of art) are put out in a public space for
people to look at :
public show of something There were
several famous paintings at the exhibition.
an exhibition
of early American crafts" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">

[noncount] :
act of showing something in public helping to
promote artists by exhibition of their paintings" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">

public display of athletic skill a fencing exhibition
an exhibition
baseball game [=an unofficial game that does not count in the standings]" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">
an exhibition of yourself
behave in a foolish or embarrassing way in public He got
drunk at the wedding and made an exhibition of himself in front
of everyone." rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">
publicly shown in an exhibition The coin
collection will be (placed/put) on exhibition [=on exhibit]
next week.


For me drifting is art! I still don't understand what you mean with each driver's style, I must do a little research on that, but for me it is art!


It's motorsports, but not racing. In the same way that ice skating is a sport, but not racing.


KillerRaccoon Exactly. Drifting is motorsport and it is a competition but it is not racing. In order for it to be racing you have to... you know... race.


worker bee KillerRaccoon  But that's just it. They kind of are racing. 
If you're chasing, you get points for staying as close to the guy in front as possible.
But, if you don't have the power or grip to stay with him, you're losing all of those precious points.
And the same goes for when you're leading. You're trying to keep the other guy from staying close to you, so he can't score the aforementioned points.
So it's kind of like a weird, twisted form of racing, as it is right now.
At least, in my opinion.