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"Drifting" coming to Laguna Seca
Unorthodox event to be part of U.S. Sports Car Invitational
DAVID COFFIN
Pitstop
Fri, Apr. 23, 2004

The latest rage in motor sports, particularly among the younger generation, is something called "drifting."

When Ed Nicholls, the public relations guy out at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, told me this "drifting" thing was a pretty big deal and would be part of the track's season-opening Road & Track U.S. Sports Car Invitational, I responded, "What the heck is that?"

He said guys will go flying down the start-finish straight at Laguna Seca and intentionally put their high performance machines into a slide through the Andretti Hairpin (Turn 2), straighten out and go into a slide again through Turn 3.

I told him that sounds like something I've done accidentally with my life flashing before my eyes after hitting an ice patch on the highway.

Anyway, these guys do it on purpose and they are judged on execution and style as well as speed through the corners.

"Competition is done in bracket, or drag-racing, style, with drivers competing one-on-one, round-by-round, until a champion is determined," Nicholls said. And, the international drifting shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is apparently going to be the richest drifting competition in U.S. history with a $10,000 winner-take-all purse.

Drifting began in Japan in the mid-1960s on windy, mountain roads in the Nagano area. The majority of cars that usually participate in the international competition are from Japanese manufacturers such as Mazda, Nissan and Toyota. The Americans are now throwing their two-bits worth in, however, with modern muscle cars such as Rhys Millen's brand new Pontiac GTO and Samuel Hubinette's 500 horsepower Team Mopar/Lateral G Dodge Viper.

Millen may be the most recognizable name from the American contingent. He is a six-time Pikes Peak Hill Climb champion, son of Pikes Peak record-holder and world-renowned rally driver Rod Millen and nephew of Steve Millen, who is an off-road, Pikes Peak and IMSA champ.

Full Article Here

Monaro race car:
 

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Drifting... pffft <_<


That's even worse than the NBA 3pt contest, a cool display of one good part of the whole pkg. Yet boring once you've seen it. Actually Drifting is about 5 times worse, maybe a better analogy is free-throw shooting...
:pain:

Anything that requries "judging" is NOT A SPORT!!!!

Typical rice, they have a spoiler on there, yet they're attempting to LOSE traction!!!
 

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Originally posted by dawtcalm@Apr 23 2004, 12:07 PM
Typical rice, they have a spoiler on there, yet they're attempting to LOSE traction!!!
:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

Good point!

It's an odd "sport" to be sure.

Mark
 

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Not my idea of a sport or anything I would want to watch. I would enjoy drifting in a GTO since I would not be spending any money of my own.
This is also good news. Drifting can only be done in RWD car. Domestic car companies will have to build more RWD cars to enter this competition. Look at Drifting in the same way Sport Compact and the Tuner scene. Good move on GM's part to enter at the ground floor as opposed to entering late and playing catch up
 

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Just my .02 This drifting when you think about has come around cause it's cheap, it's probably fun to do. And it's not really a sport as it is a competition. Don't get me wrong, it's not my idea of 'cool' things to do but it's about as comparable to burnout competitions and hydraulic stuff.
 

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full power slides thru turns...cool..but only one-on-one!? Sounds like World of Outlaws for the weak-knee group. Wanna impress us, put all those drifting ricers on the track at the same time....that'd be cool :drevil:
 

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drifting is cool, but as a sport..... I dont know. Hell, if the kids watch the GTO power slide around and are attracted by the car, maybe they will come in to pick up a Vibe. G6 or a Solstice.
 

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Drifting != a motorsport.

It's an attempted excuse at having a ****ty car.

But then,

Should be fun to see what a car with torque can do.
 

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I think it will be interesting to watch and see how it unfolds. Drifiting is perhaps the ultimate expression of the Japanese car culture in the U.S. -- to the point where I think I even heard the American cars got booed when the were at the first event.

Either way, I think the GTO is way out of its element. First, from a brand perspective. Most American buyers/musclecar types don't care about drifitng, think it is a waste of time and rubber and want nothing to do with it. The people who do like drifiting are all about JDM and dropping SR20DETs into '89 240SXs. Even if they could afford one, I doubt they would be interested in it, simply because its American (not to mention its size, heft, too many cylanders and lack of a turbo).

Now, from a performance standpoint, throwing such a huge car around a tight racetrack, trying to get it as close to the wall as possible (part of how they judge), is more about balance and suspension setup than anything else. Having so much torque on such a big and heavy car will be much more difficult.

Either way, the judges are never going to give it a victory unless all the other competitors crash, simply for the fact that it is a Pontiac.

However, on the plus side, I do applaud Pontiac for thinking outside the box and going to the extremes to get public attention to the brand in attempt to sway public opinion. I just wish they could have done it with a more expressive car.


Now, about the GTO in the Speed World Challenge....
:D
 

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I rented a video of a recent rally from NY to LA which had some drifting and other minor past times as fillers fro the tape.
One clip showed a guy who inched his car against a wall, nose to wall, and smoked his tires. Very absurd to watch somebody smoke a set of tires and has not moved one inch.
I just hope the kids don't mimic these actions on the street. There will be increased newsprint in the obit section.

Yes, a driver with a huge spoiler trying to slide. That says it all.
 

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its about FUN... man you guys just don't get it. whats bad about a 500hp 240, or high power Vipers, NOT getting booed but rather doing very well. Check D1 last weekend on the east coast. This is huge in Japan and getting attention here. The GTO should fit in okay, its drifting American style. No high rpm turbo 4, but rather a low RPM big cube 8.

I think that this is a great move on GM's part and for the first time GM seems to see the writing on the wall. We should all be supporting drift, the bigger it gets the better the chance of MORE RWD cars, you want a Camaro back... HELLO.

Give GM a good reason to make a low cost, high power, light weight, rwd, coupe.
 
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