MOTORSPORT: Drifting is now an FIA-sanctioned motorsport

If you are a fan of both professional motorsports and drifting, your day has come. FIA, the federation that sanctions the likes of Formula One, World Rally Championship, and World Endurance Championship — of which 24 Hours of Le Mans is a part — announced on June 21 its first Intercontinental Drifting Cup to take place this fall in Tokyo, Japan.

Though drifting has a long, albeit initially underground, history in Japanese car culture, profession-level competition was not fully realized until 2000 with the All-Japan Professional Drift Championship, which was quickly renamed D1 Grand Prix. Since then, D1GP has grown into an international series spanning Asia, Oceania, North America, and Europe.

Meanwhile, the art of opposite lock born on the touge has captured the imagination of countless enthusiasts and infiltrated car culture at large. So much so that the people at the world’s preeminent motorsports governing body now want a piece of the action.

This is in fact an important moment for Japanese car culture. Drifting will forever be associated with some of our favorite JNCs such as the AE86, FC3S RX-7, and the Nissan S-chassis. As professional drifting joins the highest level of international motorsports and continues to grow in popularity, these cars that underpin the dorifto mythology will continue to gain prominence as well.

And for those of us who grew up with these cars? In the words of FIA president Jean Todt, “drifting has a great appeal to young people and has a passionate core following which is only going to get bigger.” The inaugural FIA Intercontinental Drifting Cup takes place on September 30 in Odaiba, Tokyo.


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10 Responses to MOTORSPORT: Drifting is now an FIA-sanctioned motorsport

  1. BlitzPig says:

    You gotta be kidding me.

  2. SHC says:

    I’m not particularly surprised……. if there is a dollar in it for FIA.

  3. ish says:

    Creating a standard rule set and safety standards for the sport will be good. But I cant help but to think that the FIA will try to water down the sport to much. FIA rule sets are what ruined F1 and WRC. Hopefully they take it easy on drifting as individuality is a huge part of it. I personally think FD has a pretty comprehensive rule book these days that let the sport still be itself. Hopefully it wont go much further than that, drifting will die if everyone is sliding spec cars.

  4. Jayrdee says:

    Agree 100% with what ish said.

    I think the part that makes drifting so appealing is the fact that its fun and literally anyone can do it. You don’t need a ton of money or a fancy team, just a RWD car and a will to get sideways.

    Its cool that its grown to be so popular on an official level, but rules and regulations are kind of the opposite of what drifting is all about.

  5. Cho says:

    Money GRAB! They need to do more for the BTCC,WTCC and Australian Super V8s. FIA too uptight for drifting. Unless they will make bring some tech to the drifting world that doesn’t rely on style points but something to measure,G’s,Speed and Angle. Then might be better. I don’t like judges involving themselves in motorsports.

  6. cesariojpn says:

    If it means the stopping of destroying Hachi’s and S-chasis’, then i’m all for it.

    • Yuri says:

      I’m fairly certain that at this point AE86’s have priced themselves out of being slammed into walls. Might want to start saving Z33’s while you can.

  7. FIA will allow everything, up to a tube chassis, silhouette series with 500 hp per liter to get the money flowing. Then, when people get killed, they will separate the wheat from the chaff and dumb it down to a “Formula” that costs beaucoup bucks to field a team of cars. All developed by manufacturers that paid Bernie enough to get in the door. Cars will all be limited to diesel or hybrid the interest of eco-friendliness. Drivers will have sponsors names tattooed on their foreheads. And the word “Drift” will be a trademark that will require you to pay Bernie 90% of your money anytime you use it. Someone needs to start a revolt.

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