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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.