The Future of Drifting is Big & Global!
If you've read our blog post, The Story of Drifting, then you are well aware of its Japanese origin. In that blog, we spoke about a talented ex-motorcycle rider by the name of Kunimitsu Takahashi. His impeccable technique, now known as drifting, helped him to repeatedly surpass his competitors and win a plethora of auto-racing championship awards. Soon thereafter, his technique was used by the Japanese mountain-road riders who would race illegally. There emerged a street kid by the name of Keiichi Tsuchiya who became the drift king, competing in official racing events by the day and illegal races by night. It is safe to say that drifting has come a long way since then. Still winning records and inspiring young drivers across the world, one corner at a time!
Drifting really has caught on all across the globe. Talented motorsport enthusiasts meet up across many states and communities, to show their skills and spread their passion for the sport. It has become an unstoppable phenomenon and with it's rapid increasing in popularity, one thing is for sure: The Japanese founders will be so damn proud!
It’s crazy to see how far drifting has really come. With its first-ever US-based event held at the California Willow Springs Raceway in 1996, and soon later, in 2004, the well-known Formula Drift Championships emerged. This really helped showcase the sport in the Western region and allowed it to be adopted on a grand scale. We now see drifting represented in all forms of entertainment: from movies to games to social media platforms, where it continues to dominate.
California Willow Springs Raceway, USA
Asides from the United States and Japan, the drift scenes have grown all around the globe. The British Drift Championship, Norway Power Drift and Swedish Drifting Championships, are just a few that prove the fact that sliding sideways has now become the new way to race.
In Japan, the rapid growth of the D1 Grand Prix spread to places like the UK, US and Malaysia and was adopted there. The D1 Street Legal created as a spinoff of the original D1 appeals to grassroots and novice drifters. It is also heavily supported by the community and in events.
D1 Grand Prix Final at Fuji Speedway.
In the United States, the holy grail of drifting series’, Formula Drift, is held in states all over the country and showcases local as well as international drivers. There is no stopping for this series as millions of people come to watch the sport live, and the events are also broadcasted on national television raking up tremendous views (Over 40 million from their 2020 events!). This is of course no surprise as it features many of the most eccentric and breathtaking cars. Really everything under the sun, from the traditional Japanese performance motors cars to American muscle cars.
Formula Drift: the holy grail!
The NOPI drift and Just Drift! series are also well known in the states. They showcase drifting on an lower scale and have provided a kick-start for many of the drivers we see today in Formula Drift.
NOPI Drift Miami
In Canada, the drift scene is also rapidly growing. The Drift Mania Canadian Championship (DMCC) established in 2004 is one of the biggest series held in the country. It is also heavily supported by Formula Drift and regularly features many professional international judges and drivers. The Western Canadian Drift Championship is more geared towards Western Canada but is still a huge hit!
DMCC 2021 Season
All over Europe, the drift scene has been rapidly growing and expanding. The Drift Masters European Championship (DMEC) is recognized as the biggest and most known across the continent as it features many Japanese classic cars and popular D1 stars like Kuma. Asides from the DMEC, the British Drift Championship is also held around Europe and showcases its amateur drift scene. Another big one, the Prodrift events, are also very popular in places like Sweden and Finland.
Besides the Prodrift events, there really is a lot more to see across Europe. The U.K-based series, JDM Allstars, celebrates the sport extremely well and in all its talent. The King of Europe series with events in Russia, Serbia, Dubai and the Czech Republic showcases some premium-level European cars. Another series with a wide collection of cars is the Nordic Drift Series that shows pro-level drifting in states across the Norden. In Greece, the Hellenic Drift Championship has developed into a large community of Japanese, European and classic drift car lovers.
The Aussies are also on the trend (of course!). Hi-Tec Drifting Australia is one of the biggest events of them all and is televised on national TV. Super Drift and Initial Drift are also other events that are trending in the Australian drift scene. New Zealand is also home to a huge community of drift lovers. Their biggest drift series, D1NZ operates a number of events around the country and features some really rad cars. Stil Vodka Drift and Drift Revolution are also some of the country's most popular drift events.
Drifting has really grown since the 1930s. Globally, asides from championships and popular events, enthusiasts and aspiring drivers meet regularly at local drift tracks to test out and showcase their skills. Drifting really is a true phenomenon that shows no signs of stopping. So if you're thinking of getting into drifting, you would be in good company. There’s a large and growing community right with you. We'll definitely be cheering you on! and supporting you in the sport any which way we can. So in the meantime, stay safe! smoke it up! and shred some tires!