Firstly, for those not-in-the-know, D1 is the Japanese Drift Series. There is an American series called Formula D. This is the professional drifting
series birthed from the sport that took over Japans snowy mountain roads decades ago.
D1 Grand Prix
Moving on.. Despite originally being a Japan only event, it is now a world wide event. This year competators represented 10 countries including Japan,
USA, UK, Malaysa, and New Zealand. One American driver, Vaugn Gitten Jr. has beaten the Japanese in a D1 exhibition event.
The winner of the 2006 D1 series went to a first time series winner - Kumakubo in his Team Orange Subaru Impreza GDB (RWD conversion). It was such an
emotional win the anouncer said Kumakubo was crying during his final race (he had won by points when his only competition, 'Nomuken' lost a tandem
battle). Nomuken "the monkey man" eeked by a first time series competator, Darren McNamara from Ireland, but came in third. Kumakubo lost his tandem
battle to his Team Orange teamate, Taniguchi(?), in his twin Impreza. And Teniguchi won the days event. (not sure where he was in points, but not top
If you are unfamiliar with drifting, crawl out from under your rock and read this:
www.d1gp.com... "What is D1GP?"
What is drifting?
Drifting is a high-skill level motor-sport in which drivers control a car while it slides from side to side at high speed through a fixed course. It
is similar to Rally racing on ice barn, but is done on a tarmac and judged on speed, angle of attack, execution and style rather than just who
finishes the fastest. Drift cars are typically compact to midsized, rear-wheel-drive sport cars. The goal is to apply enough power to the rear wheels
to break the tires' traction and initiate a slide while accelerating the vehicle forward, or "drift" Once a drift is initiated, it must be
maintained through the turn using nearly a full power, a tap of braking and precise counter steering.
History of Drifting
The Japanese towns of Rokkosan, Hakone, Irohazaka, and various hill climbs in Nagano are all steeped in legends of the origins of drifting. No one can
really pinpoint drifting's actual birthplace but the movement started in the mid 1960s. Like many forms of professional racing today, the modern
interpretation of drifting evolved from a form of illegal street racing held on windy mountain roads called touge (pronounced toe-geh). Touge was
practiced by extremely dedicated enthusiasts known as rolling zoku (pronounced zoe-koo) whose only goal was to trim precious milliseconds off their
time between two points. Eventually, some of these rolling zoku began to adopt driving techniques used by rally drivers, techniques to clear a corner
quickly without sacrificing too much momentum. As touge drivers started to emulate the rally racers techniques, they discovered that not only did
their driving performance and times improve, the rush was much more intense. From touge, drifting was born.
The Drifting Movement Evolves
About the same time touge evolved into drifting, some of the rolling zoku came off the mountains to bring their new sport to the urban jungles of
Japan. The urban drifters added their own flavor to the sport with their flamboyant driving style and outrageous vehicles. Eventually, word of the
spectacle spread and fans began showing up to witness drifting's amazing drivers and machines. But as popular as drifting had become, it was
relegated to underground status by the risks and image associated with illegal street contests.
Eventually, the popularity of drifting propelled the sport into the mainstream and competitors started to organize and take their home-grown trials to
the track. The gatherings were originally just for fun until the cars and driving skills became so refined that things started to get competitive.
From the initial organized trials, regional drift contest open to the public and professionally judged, known as ikaten (pronounced ee-kah-ten)
created by Video-OPTION, were began all major cities of Japan.
How it is judged today:
Drifters go one at a time and are judged on their line, speed & style as they hit 3 clipping points within 3ft of the markers. Then Best 16 is
narrowed down to first place through twin-battles (aka: tandem, tsuiso), judged on skill and ability to cut in on the line of the lead car, or pull
away from following car, while drifting with a good line through the tight corners. There is no checkerd flag, and an 89-horse-power Toyota Trueno
from the 1980's can beat a 400hp to 770hp late model car.
When you go to a drift event you can walk the pit where all the teams are. You can grab a used tire or a part of a broken bumper and get it signed by
your favorite drifters. You can sit in the cars, pull on the throttle from under the hood, singe hair off your leg by standing next to a 3ft. flame
shooting out of the exhaust.. it's much more personal than (what I imagine) a more mainstream motorsport is like. Actually there was an event where
some Nascar drivers competed in an drift exhibition against the Japanese and it was also the only drift event I've been to where the pit was closed
Anyways, if you like clouds of tire smoke, tiny bits of rubber sticking in your hair (I have some stuck in there now!), beautiful exotic cars sliding
around and bumper killing impacts; you will like drifting.
[edit on 12/17/2006 by ViolatoR]