October Editorial: Speedhunting Overload

Overload: That’s pretty much what October is looking like for Speedhunters.

We are embarking on a huge month, kicking off this weekend with Retro Havoc in Indonesia. The following weekend we’ll be in Sydney, Australia for the World Time Attack Challenge and Irwindale, California for the Formula Drift finale. A week later it’s the Tokyo Motor Show, and then in the final week of the month we’ve got a large team headed for the 2017 SEMA Show. It’s going to a hectic but epic few weeks for Team SH.

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For me, it all began in Odaiba, Tokyo this past weekend with one of the most anticipated events of the year – the inaugural FIA Intercontinental Drift Cup. Having spent half of my career in Japan covering the D1 Grand Prix series right the way through its glory years, my curiosity was high. For a long time there has been talk of pushing drifting towards becoming a properly recognized form of motorsport, and having Jean Todt, the head of the FIA, checking out the action right next to the judges, was confirmation that it’s actually happened now.

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Whether this is a good or bad thing is something that remains to be seen and probably won’t be known until the rumored full series kicks off next year. What I can tell you is that this first event left me feeling a little confused.

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Having some of the best drivers in the world fighting against each other in a legendary venue like Odaiba seemed like what it should all be about – at least on paper. But in reality it was nothing more than a normal D1 event with a lot more gaijins and an impressive number of FIA officials in attendance.

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You also do have to ask, why Odaiba? Japan has a lot of famous race tracks, so did the first FIA-sanctioned drifting competition really have to be held in a car park? And did the FIA really need to come to Japan for that? Logistically it makes sense, you are at the doorstep of the country’s capital city, which is an inviting proposition when needing to fill up bleachers. But I feel like it could have been so much more.

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I’m going to give Sunpros, the event’s promoter and driving force behind the D1GP, the benefit of the doubt, though. I’m keen to see what might all become of this if some improvements are made. Like the fact that many of the drivers weren’t behind the wheels of their regular competition cars as they either didn’t have the funds or time to make it work. That made for a very uneven playing field; Kawabata and Saito were there with their 1,200hp GT-Rs, while other drivers were struggling to make do with 400 or 500hp. I’ll get more into all of this in the coverage I have coming tomorrow.

I’d also like to hear your opinions; I know a lot of you guys have followed drifting for just as long as we have covered it, and you’re the people the FIA are trying to satisfy with these events. But regardless of whether it works or not, for me drifting will continue to remain a grassroots sport, not a place where you see hospitality and VIP tents…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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26 comments

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1

This event was not as cool as it should. Commentators was really weak point. Quality of translation was awfull, I'm from Russia and in RDS we have so much repeats from different cameras and copters, more than D1, FD or FIA IDC. But the biggest dissapoint was scoring sistem. I think a man who invent it never saw drift. How solo runs can give more points than mail event? How could it be, that Gocha who was 4 and 3 was only fifth in overall list?!

2

quality of broadcast*
main event*
sorry for my English)

3

In my humble opinion, it was an absolute flop. Something felt very off about the runs, like the drivers weren't pushing as hard as they could have. To go from watching absolutely crazy runs in the Irish Drift Championship and the British Drift Championship the two previous weekends to this was a letdown. Really did not show what drifters can do.

Author4
Dino Dalle Carbonare

That's also something I noticed too. I assumed at least some of the Japanese drivers were saving their cars for D1 that's happening at the same exact place this weekend (albeit a mirrored track).

5

So proud of our guys. Hey Speedhunters, you should visit Russia more often :)

6

I still remember that benz w123 with diesel engine drifting. I think it's more that 5 years now since its first appearance.

Author7
Dino Dalle Carbonare

The Russians were killing it! We need to visit Russia for sure!! Wouldn't even know where to stat though...

8
Алексей Устинов

Or you can start from Saint Petersburg, where you can find a lot of russian illegal street drift culture. For example, instagram: xo4y_b

9

You need to visit to Gocha @gocha_chivchyan and Arkasha @tsaregradsev_ark. They live in the same city in Siberia)) Gocha builds the best drift cars in Russia There's plenty to see.

10

I was not able to follow the entire competition but for what I've seen, it was pretty similar to formula D with more obscure rules.
A fellow photographer from French championship was there and he made a small live before the competition to show us the track.
Some of the followers indeed pointed the fact that it was on a car park as a strange fact (and disapointing for an international competition) .
But what personnaly surprised me a lot was the state of the track surface (holes, lot of composition change, etc ...).
I'm curious to see what it'll become in the future but from what I read from friends more implied in drifting, there is still a lot of work to do.

Author11
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Should of at least have been at Fuji Speedway. It's a car park that gets used for a ton of car events and other exhibitions so the holes come from people drilling into the tarmac to fix things down.

12

Even though the event was a disappointment it is still a step forward for the drifting community! The stereotype of some young punk in an s-chassis doing clutch kick entries around a parking lot or on the street will hopefully disappear the more professional drifting gets recognized by the general public.

Author13
Dino Dalle Carbonare

And that's a valid point too, which is why I said I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Let's see how it all evolves I suppose. What I don't get is how drifters are supposed to put together the funds to actually compete in a world series with lots of travel involved. It's not like F1 where everyone has massive sponsorship deals that pay for most of that, a lot of people are still forking out cash privately... Makes you think right?

14

The FIA should have done more to ensure that the best drifters in the world were there competing. To not have the very best American guys there like Forsberg and to not have a guy like James Deane there was just stupid for what I thought was supposed to be like the Drift World Championships

Author15
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Another complaint that was a point of discussion by a lot of the media there...

16

In my opinion the F. I. A event was definitely a step forward for the sport but it most definitely needs fine tuning, to me the whole event just seemed soulless and uninspired like they were just trying to tick the boxes of how the event should look without giving any thought to how it should feel overall. The computerized scoring system was an interesting development and a good idea in theory but it just didn't seem to be able to do the job as well as the tried and true way but again this is something that I think has potential with more development. Also as Dino touched on the fact so many drivers weren't in their own cars didn't help.

Again this is just my opinion and while i really felt it left a lot to be desired I'm very interested to see where this goes.

Author17
Dino Dalle Carbonare

A scoring system that can go over 100 points haha. That had most of the gaijins confused

18
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

The judging system was really confusing. I have no idea how everything works.

Author19
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Tell me about it

20

C'mon guys what is wrong with you). Odaiba is legendary place for drifting like ebisu. You hate doss, but you do not even know that d1 use this system for about 7 years (doss is not perfect but works). Why guys from Brazil and Iran could come and Forsberg, Tuerck, Gittin, Dean are not. Maybe the organizers did not find 20,000$ for these stars, cuz they racing for money, not for respect). There are questions and problems, but they are all solvable. This was a great first step.

Author21
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Entrants pay, the FIA doesn't pay them to enter.

22

The FIA should have gone with either FD, IDC/BDC, or Drift Allstars imo.

Author23
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Totally!

24

This event left me...unimpressed. Any round of FD, IDC/BDC is easier to understand and more exciting to watch. Heck even the HGK Drift Challenge seemed better managed.

25

As usual.. FIA ruin it. Didn't FIA themselves consider Drifting as not a motorsport and push them away? Now why are their ass back in it??? Cause of the money?

26

I have never thought I'll see NGK Silvia of Gocha and Monster R34 of Arkady Tsaregradtsev in the Dino's article! That's where international fame will be boosted!

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