History of drifting – how and when the magic began!

history of driftingHistory of drifting – how and when the magic began! We know that everyone who reads us is very familiar with drifting! After all, we are huge drifting fans and we have a drifting category here on this blog! 🙂 Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control for the entirety of a corner. A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle, to such an extent that often the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn.

History of drifting – how and when the magic began!

As a motorsport discipline, professional drifting competitions are held worldwide and are judged according to the speed, angle, showmanship and line taken through a corner or set of corners. It is known that Japan was one of the earliest birthplaces of drifting. It was most popular in the All Japan Touring Car Championship races.

Keiichi Tsuchiya, known as the “Drift King”, began practicing his drifting skills on the mountain roads of Japan. He quickly gained a reputation among the racing crowd. In 1987, several popular car magazines and tuning garages agreed to produce a video of Tsuchiya’s drifting skills.

history of drifting

Keiichi Tsuchiya is also known for touge (mountain pass) driving.

History of drifting says that we have the Japanese to thank for that. The Japanese played a very important role in ushering the technique’s popularity, so much so that it has become one of the most popular forms of automotive competition. Unlike other forms of ’racing’, drifting is different in that it’s not so much about who comes in first as it is about who can smoke their tires the most.

history of drifting

Tsuchiya, together with the help of Dajido Inada, the founder of the Tokyo Auto Salon, organized the D1 Grand Prix, the first organized car drifting series in Japan in 2001.

While drifting was fast becoming a popular sport in Japan to the extent that several different grass roots drifting events were being held around he country, the sport found its way to Western shores, particularly in California where one of the first drifting events outside of Japan took place in 1996.

The site was the Willow Springs Raceway in Willow Springs, California where Dajido Inada, one of the founding fathers of the D1 Grand Prix, hosted the competition. At the event, future drifting stars Rhys Millen and Bryan Norris were two of the entrants. Since then, drifting has exploded in the West to become one of the most popular forms of automotive competition.

And nowadays drifting is huge! You can see festivals, competitions, and whole movies dedicated to drifting! The most popular cars for drifting are Nissan Silvia, Mazda RX-7, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Altezza and Toyota Supra.