The FIA Does Drifting
Taking On The World

Had you just been a casual observer, this past weekend’s drifting competition in Odaiba, Tokyo may have looked like any other D1 Grand Prix event. In fact, the way it was set up, with the familiar booths, the layout of the competition, and even the ¥3,000 (US$27) entry fee for media – it was all pure D1.

For a fleeting moment, I thought I was right back in 2004 when I covered the first Odaiba round of D1, three years after the Japanese pro series started. Back then, and ever since the mid-’90s, the whole idea has been to shift the drifting movement away from the streets and into a safe and legal environment. With progression, drift competitions and finding a way to judge them followed.

Fast forward close to two decades, and now with so many fully-fledged drifting series around the globe, the next step was to bring the best drivers together for a true world series. And that’s where the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile – otherwise known as the FIA – have stepped in with the Intercontinental Drifting Cup.

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The long-awaited inaugural event, held in Odaiba over the weekend, could be seen as a taste of things to come, a first go at doing what has always been regarded as the single hardest thing to do in drifting – create a well-structured global championship. It goes without saying that the FIA wanted it to begin in Japan as a respectful nod to the country where the sport was born and came of age.

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As I mentioned in this month’s editorial, there was no way I was going to miss this; I had to see it with my own eyes. After so many years covering numerous D1 championships, I was curious to see how the FIA’s control would change things. And it all started early on Saturday morning as I walked the carpark-converted paddock in Odaiba, taking my first look at the various entries from around the world.

Along with familiar local cars, there were a number of unexpected entries. But in theory, that’s the whole point of this series, hand-picking the best out there and giving the established names in the sport the opportunity to make an appearance and fight for what may well become the most sought-after prize in drifting.

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As I walked around, the first big question popped into my head: How are the logistics of a full series going to be handled? While we aren’t sure how the Intercontinental Drifting Cup will run yet, wouldn’t the cost of moving cars and teams around the globe for different rounds be ridiculously expensive? It may work for F1 and WRC where there is huge money involved, but drifting?

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Then of course there’s the need for drivers to have proven themselves time and time again in local competitions, but also be up to par with performance. Gone are the days where you could enter a D1 event with a naturally aspirated AE86. Now you need horsepower levels that are four digits deep, at that was very much proven at this first event. We’ll talk about all this more soon, but for now let’s enjoy what drifting is all about: the cars, the fun and the entertainment.

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For a week and a half prior to this event, I dropped by Do-Luck’s workshop in Yokohama almost on a daily basis. After having finished sorting out the fuelling on Project GT-R (which you’ll read about later on this month), Ito-san and his team took on the monumental task of building a brand new VR38-swapped Toyota 86 competition car, which Thailand’s Daychapon ‘Pon’ Toyingcharoen was scheduled to drive.

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The car was completed just hours before it had to be transported up to Odaiba, but with no time to set it up on the dyno and shake it down properly, Ito-san opted to do the smart thing and left it on static display in the Toyo Tires booth.

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Instead, Pon drove Do-Luck’s 650hp turbocharged Nissan Z33 which was all ready to go. I’ll have a full build post on the 86 once the car is finished up, and hopefully I’ll be able to join Ito-san and the team for the car’s first shakedown. 1200hp in an 86 is something I really have to see!

Two of the drivers representing USA were Michael Essa and Matt Field, and both drivers put on a real show with an entertaining series of runs.

The Action Unfolds
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The morning kicked off with the solo runs, which not only would serve to reveal the Best 16 that would make the actual tsuiso competition in the afternoon, but also dictate the top three placings for a ‘single run’ prize, something I’ve never seen in D1 before. Above is fellow US driver Aurimas Bakchis’ stupidly loud and impressively potent V8-swapped Hyundai Genesis.

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When built properly, the SXE10 Toyota Altezza is a car that’s well suited for drifting – Nobuteru Taniguchi proved that when he ran the HKS Altezza in D1 after the HKS Nissan Silvia S15s were retired. Malaysian driver Muhammad Zaiham Hamdan had his example in Odaiba over the weekend, and it was properly annihilating tires.

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Throughout the day, I was constantly moving to new vantage points to shoot from, and as I made my way into a small cordoned-off area next to the judges, I saw a familiar face in the crowd. In fact, Tamura-san, also known as Mr. GT-R, is probably the most recognized Nissan executive next to Carlos Ghosn. With Saito and Kawabata both piloting R35 GT-Rs, Tamura-san had come over to Odaiba to check out all the competition before jumping on a flight to the UK. It’s so cool to see true passion in those that are helping steer the future of performance cars.

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And Saito didn’t disappoint, that’s for sure.

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With 1200hp under his right foot he was easily creating the biggest plumes of tire smoke. By this point I was really enjoying being so close to pro drift cars again; it’s been a pretty long time!

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The point system was quite confusing, and the ability to score over 100 resulted in much head-scratching from some of the teams. I’ve seen this at D1 in the past and have always wondered how it’s possible to exceed the maximum…

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As the tsuiso runs kicked off in the afternoon, FIA President Jean Todt grabbed a seat next to the announcers and took in the battles. His presence alone is all you need to know: drifting has now been taken to the next level. How it will all unfold and progress is something I don’t think anyone could predict, but the fact that it’s now a proper FIA-sanctioned form of motorsport says a lot.

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Another driver doing very well was our friend Charles Ng, representing Hong Kong and piloting a V8-swapped 180SX. Here he is battling against Joao Barion from Brazil in his Chaser. Charles ended up taking out third place in the single run competition.

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Not surprisingly, Japan had the biggest showing with four drivers entered. Here is Fujino in his 2JZ-powered 180SX against three-time D1 champion Kawabata in the continuously evolving Trust GT-R. These guys went hard in a beautiful show of skills with clean and accurate driving. Kawabata took the win and moved one step closer to the final.

Road To The Final
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In what probably could be put down to optimal gear ratio choice, Saito’s HKS-tuned GT-R was on fire. Or at least the rear tires were; I swear the smoke this car generates has to be seen to be believed.

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Here he is again in what turned out to be an extremely tight battle against Georgy Chivchyan from Russia in his capable S15. It’s when you see a run like this that you totally get the pure essence of drifting. The controlled aggression of each driver was a pleasure to watch, but ultimately it was Saito that moved forward.

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One of my favorite cars was Arkady Tsaregratsev’s R34 Skyline. It’s been a while since we’ve seen an ER34 in pro competition, and this RB30-powered beast built by the Fail Crew sounded so good.

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Tsaregratsev went up against fellow Russian Chivchyan in possibly one of the best tsuiso runs of the whole competition while battling off for 3rd spot. Their combined smoke trails eclipsed Odaiba’s sunshine and momentarily turned day into night. Tsaregratsev really killed it and was able to get up on the podium in front of the crowd.

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And so came the final: Two of the best Japanese drivers in two ultra-powerful R35 GT-Rs built by two of the longest-established and most respected names in Japanese tuning, going head to head. The first run with Kawabata following ended with the HKS GT-R suffering a ripped-off rear bumper after a small nudge from the Trust GT-R.

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After a quick fix, Saito and Kawabata were back out again, just as close, and running just as hard.

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All the way around the course, too.

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It was one hell of a close battle, but for some strange reason Kawabata was announced as the winner even before they went out for the last repeat run. It was confusing to say the least.

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Following the single run prizegiving where Daigo took first, it was onto the crowning for the actual competition, and Kawabata walked away rather happy that he had secured the first win of the weekend. I didn’t attend the Sunday as I was quite content I had seen enough, but Kawabata ended up coming second and securing himself as the overall champion of the first FIA-backed drift event.

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After the event Jean Todt released the following statement: “I was very happy to be at the very first FIA Intercontinental Drifting Cup. To see many fans in the grandstands and also to have so many drivers from around the world – it’s what we wanted from the first FIA-sanctioned drifting event. We have here a strong foundation from which to build. Drifting is a discipline that is growing from the grassroots level and it’s exciting to see it growing. Of course drifting was born here in Japan, and clearly there is a lot of passion for it. It’s also exciting to speak to drivers from many other countries who will go home and share this experience. We have learned a lot this weekend, there are many things still to improve, but it is a positive first step.”

Taking drifting to a world stage cannot be an easy task and this is going to be a huge challenge for the FIA. While this first event proved to be a struggle on many levels, there is obviously still a lot to learn. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how it all develops in the coming year and if the many expectations out there can be met. Let us know in the comments section below if you think the FIA are going the right way about it…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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78 comments

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1

I'm pretty sure the Trust GT-R just drove past me on a trailer about an hour ago. Neat.

Author2
Dino Dalle Carbonare

D1 in Odaiba this weekend. Probably going from Chiba to Tokyo? Wangan?

3

Not sure, still new here. Trying to figure out where I can rent a seat for some track time!

4
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Dino, I am pretty sure Arkady Tsaregratsev’s Skyline is the 2-door coupe, not sedan. LOL!

Author5
Dino Dalle Carbonare

WTF, I have no idea why I wrote that! Must have had images of Nomuken in my mind, you know, Odaiba and all that lol

6

Yeah that sky is actual BNR34 GT-R, he also used to drive BNR R32 before 2017

7

yYet another reason to stop following drifting.

The FIA can only being involved can only cock things up further than they already are.

Author8
Dino Dalle Carbonare

There is definitely a lot of this going around. Do you really think it would kill the sport or split it? I mean if the real, big pro drivers don't commit how could it ever call itself a world series right?

9

The FIA does seem to impose silly rules everywhere to make the sport their sport. I could call on the F1 fans out there to back me up I think. What's killing the sport is the monster logos and 1500hp. There are gonna be teams with money that just tick all the boxes for mods. It'll be like nascar for drifting sooner or later.

10

the FIA have managed to all but ruin their 2 flagship championships (F1 and WEC) to the point that 1 of 2 teams can win any given F1 race (in the very rare occasion 1 of 3 teams) there is only 10 teams and you can more or less pick the start and finishing order before FP1 has started. As for WEC LMP1 is essentially doomed seeing as it'll be a 1 make class next year if its around at all.
Let alone DTM loosing BMW and Mercedes, in favor of the utterly retarded Formula E.

At the moment everything the FIA touch is turning to shit.

As for the "world series" I dont really care, drifting lost its charm / spark to me a few years ago, yes the drivers are better, the cars are better engineered, faster etc etc But when you have a little Toyota hatchback running at the top of FD that should be cause to take a step back and have a little think and ask yourself "what the hell is happening here"
Spending $50k - $100k on chassis prep before even thinking about the engine and driveline is completely absurd to me....

But i guess i'm just a grumpy nostalgic bastard.

11

They'll get the pros with $$$. Always happens. The biggest problem is that the FIA doesn't listen to fans and drivers as we have seen in F1 with the halo bar. I see drifting going the same way.

12

I don't think the halo is a good reference as the opinions of drivers are divided. It is ultimately up ensuring there are fewer deaths in the sport thus I don't think fans opinions on aesthetic values should be considered.

13

If the halo wasn't a thing, would a single driver not return to F1 next year???

of course they would be back.

Jules Bianchi was the last death in 2014, which the halo wouldnt have stopped (was a marshalling error), prior to that it was Senna and Ratzenburger in 1994, Prior to that it was 1982.........

seems plenty safe to me. Theres always going to be a degree of danger racing cars at 300kph+ thatswhats exciting, where do we draw the line? Autonomous racing? Remote control?? NO THANKS

14

I was silly to think I could reason with you. I've done my reading which suggests that Bianchi's death could have been avoided with the halo and you've done yours. I think putting in simple measures to avoid death is a fair call and far from any lines such as RC. When it does come to that then there would be a real reason to be pissed.

15

You guys are both forgetting politics in F1. Most drivers from what I have read in credible articles / interviews say they don't like it and it obstructs their vision. Those saying they like it are probably less established drivers who may be afraid of backlash from the political side.

Either way if they are going to do something a closed canopy would look much better and futuristic. It's racing. Shit happens.

16

From what I've read Vettel wasn't a fan of it, "For sure you need to get used to the halo, but at least it didn't impact on the vision." Then younger driver Verstappen said he thought it was ugly. Maybe I wrong about doing the reading because of all the different stuff in journalism. Anyway, most of the drivers who don't like seem to on the basis of looks and speculations which the FIA have busted. Don't know why there is an argument against 17% chance of survival in a crash.

17
foxboyhunter@insta(DarkShadowFox)

skeeerrt vroom pssshuu stuu stuu stuu skiiirr *smoke tiremarks* skiirrrt

Author18
Dino Dalle Carbonare

A few pops & bangs in there too come on!

19
foxboyhunter@insta(DarkShadowFox)

*pop!*

*snap*

*Crackle*

*bang*

*bouncing rev limiter noise*

20

does your car have a Rice Crispies livery?

21
foxboyhunter@insta(DarkShadowFox)

yes its currently the toyota cereal bowl mark x 2jzgte version with optional jdm only contents or as a base model empty.

the produced only one it is regarded as the finest piece of motoring machinery in history.

*insert picture of cereal bowl*

22

This may be the best comment in all of SH history.

23

First step done right! Super close battles in Japan! I just wonder where all the Kiwis and Ausies were?

Author24
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I think there was a lot of wondering where a lot of people were...

25

I hope the FIA doesn't cause drifting to become to political or something as they have done with things like formula one

Author26
Dino Dalle Carbonare

That could very well be a possibility

27

Dino, You've really got to stop staking Tamura-san like this!! Either that or go over to him and say hello.

He's a great guy who'll surely talk to you about all things GT-R. You'll eventually find yourself making excuses to get away!!!

Author28
Dino Dalle Carbonare

He's the one that's always at the events I go to lol Oh and I've known him for over 15 years so I've heard all the stories ;) Must do a feature on his R32...

29

"Must do a feature on his R32..."

Please please do. I'd love to see his interpretation of a 32.
I've talked to him about it in detail, (as he does), but never seen it.

30

Unfortunately, as long as drifting is "judged" it isn't a Motorsport. Don't get me wrong, drifting has got to be a lot of fun and takes skill. But it's more like gymkahna or just messing around. There's no factual winner, it's all subjective. This means it can't progress as anything more than a fun hobby

31

Agreed. It's like event based sports. They're judged subjectively by people who don't matter.
JTB, yes I would say that. They're subjectively judged sports, not sports with a scoring system.

32

Would you say the same of diving, gymnastics or ice skating? All of which are Olympic sports...

I understand what you are getting at but to say it's just a hobby is so far off the mark.

Which puts me onto this discussion of FIA involvement.

I freely admit to being a very casual observer of drifting. However, I see a lot of fans worrying it will stop being grass roots etc. I would argue that it already happened. These pro level events seem to have big budget builds on lots of sponsors to answer to.

Just like all other forms of motorsport there's still grass roots drifting happening everywhere. It's safe.

What remains to be seen is whether the FIA understand the sport and can create a global championship that is feasible for the teams to ensure strong entries and also enjoyable for the fans. Not an easy task.

33

Bill - it is motorsport, but it is NOT racing. That is the biggest difference.

34

DOS system of judging leaves little room for error and human biased. The only time human judgement intervenes is to address penalties.

35

so was Tsuchiya san one of the judges or was he only making an appearance there ?

Author36
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Just a guest. Even spotted Akira Iida wearing an FIA Official t-shirt so they tried to have as many personalities there as possible.

37

There's definitely a lot more to improve on, but it was a good start! If FIA pulls this series off, the budget for pro drift will sky rocket unless teams are willing to outsource cars designated for the world competition like how Mad Mike has the Humbul specifically Japan competitions. I'm looking forward to the evolution of pro drift. Hopefully more manufactures jump in on it like Nissan and Toyota to promote and encourage the use of more modern vehicles because I'm honestly tired of seeing hero cars from the 90s that I saw way back when pro drift first started. It would create opportunity for new cars to get more aftermarket development and support much like the cars in the 90s.

Author38
Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's fine for Mad Mike to keep a car in Japan (I don't think it's actually his BTW, it's TCP Magic's car), but if this series is global what will drivers do? Keep multiple cars in each continent or something? Hardly cost effective... I really do hope manufacturers jump on it, it would make it really fun, but here in Japan they are all concerned with electric cars, hybrids and vans so I don't see it happening

39

Yeah cost is the main concern unless drifting gets the same budget at touring or even f1 cars. That will really take the sport to the next level that people hope it evolves to, but at the cost of it being more grass roots by shifting it to a wealthier demographic.

40

I really like your thinking there.

41

Awwww. No Re Amemya... when I visited them in Japan they had it sitting in bay up front. Ken let me get up close to it. Super nice guys... the famed gt-300 rx7 wasn't on site though... sigh I miss Japan.

Author42
Dino Dalle Carbonare

REA guys are awesome and Ken is a dope guy. There should be a rule in FIA IDC that there must at least be 1 rotary powered car! haha

43

Honestly, from what I've seen, it's pretty disappointing.

This wasn't something that just happened on a whim, there were years of meetings and consultations and that this was the best that they could come up with, is disheartening. Why they chose Sunpros to run the first event is baffling, D1GP hasn't been relevant in years and their computer based system - which results in boring drifting, IMO - is a huge step backwards.

I'm not trying to shit on things, I just find it very disheartening. Going by the half empty stands, it would seem that even the Japanese drift fans turned their back on it.

Author44
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Same question everyone is asking? Why Sunpros? They've @#$%ed up D1, they have made this first IDC pretty crap. Maybe that's what Todt-san was hinting at when he said a lot was learned...don't used these guys again lol

45

Year !!

46

They honor drifting by having it in Japan and by D1 however FIA messed up choosing d1. It’s easy to do well in d1 with that Drift box, and no tire rules plus your line can be anywhere. D1 is like the circus of drifting while fd is the serious professional top level. Now that they got the intial event over and honored drifting by having in Japan now it’s time to truly be serious and professional about drifting and have it at the top level which is Formula Drift USA

Author47
Dino Dalle Carbonare

All the Formula D organizers were there. I'm sure the FIA hasn't committed to anything or anyone quite yet. I hope. FD would smash it if they were tasked with organizing it all...

48

Ultimately what I would desire from getting the FIA involved and recognizing drifting as a Motorsport is that huge companies and brands will invest large amounts of money sponsoring drivers from grassroots to pro drifting

Author49
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Define sponsoring? You either do it to all the talented drivers or you alienate the rest. Think about it from various perspectives? Is making pro drifting even more unobtainable for the average skilled grassroots drifter dude the answer here?

50

I feel as if this was what drifting needed to get a bigger expansion from a fan standpoint, however the FIA will now sanction the sport. It fears me to think that this would become less of what it was created for, fun. The thought of the FIA entering drifting could be a double edged sword for the sport due to the fact that the FIA has changed many motorsports in the past for safety, ruining the true meaning of the sport. One such example would be Formula One, and I'm pretty sure many of us would go to some far lengths to see a V12 Ferrari scream down the front stretch of Monza again.

Author51
Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's started already. The fences keep getting higher, less cool vantage points to shoot from. Media counts for zero so we have to shoot through fences and walls like your average joe that buys a ticket (we have to pay to enter too btw which is just nuts)

52

That's ridiculous Dino. I don't think the FIA is going to be good for the sport and I stopped following it after attending the first D1GP event. I liked it so much more when it was Option video and Tsuchiya screaming like a maniac with no subtitles. Used to have to go to Little Tokyo in L.A. to buy the VHS videos.

I don't see this as being good, but I digress. Also just read about the sad karoshi incident with that young woman. While vantage points may be hard to come by at least you doing something you love to do! Very sad news.

Author53
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes that incident has changed a lot of things safety wise in Japan. Fences and keeping people safe and so on. But every racing series does this yet still allows media - the people actually working their butts off to promote the sport/series - a chance to do their work well. After Tsuchiya left D1 I didn't bother covering it any more. It's a farce, the organizers are incredibly arrogant and their official shooters are more like a mafia with absolutely no skill whatsoever. I didn't and still don't want to have anything to do with all of that. I'd rather go to Nikko and Mobara and shoot some grassroots stuff or better still hang with Naoki Nakamura for a day and see actual proper drifting.

54

Wow, thanks for the info! I had no idea D1 basically kicked the can from that perspective after he left. Unfortunate really. It is very important to allow journalists to do their job (and skilled ones at that) without coverage even big series like DTM would be a distant thing you heard about. Very good points.

55

The first ever FIA sanctioned drifting event...was held in a parking lot. Way to drag the sport back ten years. Also really bummed that it was held in a time frame that prevented a lot of US FD drivers from bringing their competition car from the US to compete. I would rather have watched any round of FD, IDC/BDC over this FIA event.

Author56
Dino Dalle Carbonare

^ what he said!

57

Well
I see 2 options:
1: since you already mentioned the 4 digits HP then big teams are involved now and could be like F1 and WRC or more like WRX.
2: it could be like Red Bull Car Park Drift here in Middle East. 1 or 2 champion from each region and then 1 battle in between the regional champions to get the "Champion of the Champions"

Author58
Dino Dalle Carbonare

But will that be actual drifting? Drifting is as much about style as it is skill and performance. If you start taking the possibility to drivers/teams to express themselves...it just screws up the whole point of it all

59

Going international has its own consequences.
For me, I still enjoy local race event and retro racing that watching an international event in any kind of sports specially Motorsports where regular guys with limited budget can dream "BIG" and the men under the spotlight will interact with fans whom major of then will be relatives and friends supporting the dream, even if you did not win you will be the best for them and never shift to cheer the winner and forget you.
So YES grassroots always win and the local rules will be always better than international standard rules for locals to watch and enjoy since it will be adjusted to their taste.

60

No love for persian drifter shahab pishanidar

Author61
Dino Dalle Carbonare

This post wasn't about giving love to a specific driver or not. It was about discussing if the FIA is/will do a good job with this theoretical world series they are trying to sell to us

62

There's something about those 1000+ hp monsters that just isn't exciting, can't pinpoint it. I mean, there's got to be diminishing return to THAT much power. Also, is it drifting if there are no NA Carollas in the vicinity? lol

Author63
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Now that would be fun. Most current drivers would no longer be able to drive hahaha

64

If you came to Russia our car scene would surprise you

Author65
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Like I keep saying, I REALLY REALLY want to! Next year I'll make a point of it. Just need to start researching the scene and see where I actually need to go!

66

You should visit Royal Auto Show in Saint-Petersburg, it's more of a static show with lots of stanced cars, but imo that show covers entire car culture of the country in all of it's diversity.

67

Saint-P + Moscow + another D1 Asia Pacific in Vladivostok :-)

68

Dino! You better tell us why were KT there? was he a judge or something?.......I hope Dai Inada was there too.. was he?

Author69
Dino Dalle Carbonare

KT. He seemed more like a display piece. Like an award you hang on the wall for everyone to see. If he's there it must make the series seem more credible right?

70

Wait a second.
Have you seen the calendar of the 2018 King of Nations?
Like 2017 King of Nations it look like real world championship, but without fia badge hype.

Author71
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Indeed it does. I guess it now has competition!

72

I wish Forrest was there ); He would've dogged that track!

73

As someone who enjoys doing drifting a lot more than watching it (all the stop - starting between runs makes it a chore)
I just wish rather than doing this point A to Point B on 3 or 4 corners they made it 1- 2 complete laps of the whole circuit. Tyre smoke is lovely and all, but the fact you are wheel spinning pretty much constantly with these big power cars, it's all a bit daft when they could be going faster. Big long drift trains need to be included in comps too coz that IS good to watch!

The FIA will hopefully bring some chances of driving some previously off limit tracks to some lucky and well funded drivers, but let just see which direction they take it - If it's anything like F1, it'll be a yawnfest.
Do the average 20 year old dude even like cars? Hope so, otherwise motorsports future will be bleak

74

FIA is poison. Look at F1, WEC, WTCC, they can't govern shit. Every series they run, they let budgets get out of control, manufacturers take over, and it becomes a farce. And it's not new. Sportscar racing has been absolutely ravaged by the FIA's piss poor leadership, again and again.

The FIA is responsible for setting the safety grades at circuits. You know, all those FIA grade 1 parking lots that host F1 events. It's actually a little comical that the first FIA drift event was held in a parking lot - it's what they do. These clowns are going to push circuit owners for upgrades and safety standards that are unreasonable. In many ways, they're like FIFA or the IOC, the way they come to town, make demands for insanely expensive facilities, and then hit the road. The more tax payer money spent, the better.

Aside from ruining racing, the FIAs main objective is road Safety - kind of a conundrum in the context of Drifting. Not saying I support Drifting on the street, but knowing where the sport comes from, what it represents, having the sanctioning body of the top level drift comp also be about promoting road safety; is a little like the UFC promoting non-violent conflict resolution. The two things just don't belong in the same room together.

The FIA is also about being green, as witnessed by their push of FE, and hybrids in F1 and WEC. I can't even imagine what the greenies at the FIA are going to do with Drifting. It won't be good. Get ready for fuel flow limits, MGUKs, PUs, ERS KERS and DERS.

In conjunction with road safety, the FIA is also interested in promoting autonomous vehicles, evidenced by their creation of Robo race.

So I ask, what in the sweet fuck does the FIA, a green organization that is focused on promoting safety and autonomous vehicles, have to do with Drifting - a sport that at its very core, is the direct counter culture to what the FIA stands for.

If this actually goes anywhere, they're going to do 2 things. 1, they'll homogenize safety, meaning that any drift car will need to have an FIA approved safety cell. It'll start with comp cars, making pro drift cars even more expensive, but it will trickle down to grass roots cars via circuit insurance. Basically, any local track you drift at, their insurance won't cover them if you get injured in a car that doesn't have an FIA approved safety cell. The days of taking a reasonably inexpensive, unmodified street car to the track for some Drifting will be over - certainly going door to door, or next to any obsticles (pilon Drifting in large parking lots might be ok).

2, they will turn the sport over to the manufacturers. The manufacturers will build the motors and suspension, which they'll attatch to the safety cell they buy from the FIA. It's a way for the manufacturers to stop Frankenstein engine swaps, while being able to sell you a purpose build drift car, similar to what we see with GT3 cars, or TCR cars.

People in the Drifting community need to do their research on the FIA. Look at the history of F1, and it's junior catagories. Look at sportscar racing, and Touring Car racing.

Drifting doesn't need a hogonized world championship, scored by computers. Seriously, what the fuck is this. Let the regional comps stand as they are, the top comps in their areas, with their different quirks and different interpretations of what Drifting is. Then, once a year, host 1 tournament, just like the NCAA, and invite all the top drivers from around the world to come. Host the event in a different place each year. Offer financial support to get less funded drivers from far away to the tournament. And invite drivers based on merit, on who's been exciting over the last 12 months, not just based on who's ticket the right boxes.

Look at what the FIA has done to the WTCC. That's really all that needs to be said.

75

MONEY - a single word that means so much to so many people and when it comes to the FIA and the people who run it, it means power. And they don't like giving that away, don't they? Yes, it is sad that this day has come, but it was unavoidable. The FIA is desperate to look for new source of income and Drifting has a huge potential for it. This however is very bad for the sport itself because FIA is a huge Serpent eating it's own tail, becoming too big for it's own good and destroying everything it touches, regulates.
F1 with all the Formula series is dying, Rallying is dying, Endurance is dying. Why? Because of the many rules that imposes on the teams who run it. It is only a matter of time where Drift teams will have to run a limited HP, less smoking, polluting, Green, Hybrid, energy friendly solutions, tires bla bla you get the gist of it. This will force the smaller teams to back off from the sport because the lack of funding to invest in this sort of research, innovation. So big name manufacturers will step in that have the resources and they will build a common chassis, engine and so on. Big money people will buy themselves in to the sport by just buying the platforms, engines without the need to have their own Race-garage that builds, engineer the cars.
The locations will be regulated because of pollution, noise - not every city will welcome this art of sport. Ticket prices will sky rocket, Television rights will hinder people to watch it without subscribing to whatever service provider slipped in bed with the FIA dogs and I would not mind it that much if that money would go to funding, sponsoring the teams which part of it will, but only the ones who already have big financial backing and will be favored by FIA.
The "people's" sport will eventually become a big money corporation sport and in time losing it's charm, appeal to fans and to racers, teams slowly and painfully dying.
Truly a sad day.

76

This is probably an unpopular opinion but wouldn't Touge make more sense as a series than drift, just a thought but Touge seems more traditional and easier to manage than drift. That said lets kick back and see how this turns out.

77

I think it was a good first step but a terrible track choice. There are so many iconic drifting tracks in japan but they decided to use a parking lot. It was a venue that was designed to cater more to the fans/sponsors rather than the driving and sport.

78

If you're interested, Georgiy and Arkadiy are very great best friends, almost like brothers and has a lot of experience in drifting together in lots of lots of RDS Siberia final battles, even joking about what should one make if he loses the battle. They know each other's driving style and technic, are both extremely professional worth saying two of best Russian drifters, that's why they can drive so fast and close together, ultimately mirroring each other, and that's why it's always very entertaining to see these battles. Also Arkadiy joined drifting when he already has numerous Russian Time Attack champion titles.

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