Watch: Drift Nights in Japan

Published May 29, 2024 at 9:11 PM

Drifting's origins trace back to Japan, where it grew into a global motorsport phenomenon.

Drifting, a unique motorsport emphasizing tire smoke and style over speed, has a fascinating history rooted in Japan. Unlike traditional racing, drifting competitions focus on line, angle, speed, and show factor, rewarding drivers who can navigate corners with maximum flair.


Japanese Beginnings

The technique gained popularity in Japan, largely thanks to motorcyclist-turned-racer Kunimitsu Takahashi. Competing in the All Japan Touring Car Championship, Takahashi mastered hitting the apex at high speeds and maintaining control throughout corners, mesmerizing fans with tire smoke and audacious maneuvers.

Keiichi Tsuchiya, inspired by Takahashi, earned the title "Drift King" for his exceptional drifting skills. Tsuchiya's fame surged with the release of a popular video showcasing his techniques, cementing his status as a drifting icon in Japan.


Organized Competitions

Tsuchiya and Daijiro Inada, founder of the Tokyo Auto Salon, capitalized on the sport's growing popularity by organizing the D1 Grand Prix in 2001, the first official drifting series in Japan. This event marked a significant milestone, bringing amateur drifters into a competitive arena and solidifying drifting as a recognized motorsport.

Global Phenomenon

From its humble beginnings in Japan, drifting has evolved into a worldwide spectacle. Fans across the globe revel in the sight of cars gracefully sliding through corners, tires billowing smoke, and drivers showcasing their skills in a sport that values style as much as substance.

Drifting Today

Today, drifting continues to captivate audiences, with events held internationally, attracting participants and spectators alike. The sport's evolution from Japan to a global stage is a testament to its enduring appeal and the thrilling artistry of drifting.

Credit: Redbull
May 29   |   1 answers
Watch: Drift Nights in Japan

What do you find most exciting about drifting competitions?

The smoke and tire burn00 %
The precise control and technique00 %
The adrenaline rush of high-speed turns00 %
The overall show and crowd reaction00 %
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