Saturday 8st May 2021

Drift racing Japan - what makes the illegal scene?

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Drift Racing Japan what makes the illegal scene?

Drifting is the name of a racing variant that has developed from an illegal practice into a globally known professional sport over the past 25 years. Rear-wheel drive vehicles are usually used for this sport. The vehicles, also known as “rear wheel drive cars”, are driven at high speeds in such a way that the rear wheels have a higher slip angle than the front wheels. This leads to the well-known "drifting". Drifting was initially used in races to gain an advantage. In the meantime, drifting has become its own motor sport.

Road racing as the beginning of drifting

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Drifting as a motor sport grew out of illegal street races in Japan. Films like "The Fast And The Furios: Tokyo Drift“That are not suitable as a reference for the history of the origins of drifting. Drifting is seen by the fans as an art form and has more to do with traditional motorsport than with exaggerated film presentation. Similar to NASCAR and stock car racing, drifting came about as a result of illegal racing. In Japan, illegal street races used to take place over mountain tracks and other terrain. In these races, the limits of street brains were tested. Furthermore, the racing drivers were influenced by Takahashi's race, who used the drift style in his sport to get through the racing course in the fastest possible line. Over time, drifting has become a racing sport that also aims to pick a winner. But there are significant differences compared to other racing sports. This is discussed in more detail below.

Drift racing Japan - what is the sport?

Drifting takes place in the form of competitions that usually have a qualification phase. After qualifying, only the 16 best drivers will be qualified for a final. Drifting is usually not done with several drivers at the same time. This means that in a drift race, the drivers are all individually on the road. The routes are not kilometers long, but only a few hundred meters. In return, the racetracks are very winding and the bend areas of well-known racetracks are used, for example, for drifting events. This includes the Sachskurve of the internally known Hockenheimring. The Irwindale Speedway in the US with its oval courses is also used. The Irwindale Speedway also drifts into banked turns. In drifting, the goal is not just to get from A to B very quickly. In this motorsport variant, the drift angle, style, choice of line and speed achieved are evaluated.

Illegal drift races in Japan

Even today, there is a drifting scene in Japan that drives illegal races on the public road. Also known as Touge Street Drifting, illegal motor sport racing is described as very exciting, very tough and extremely illegal. The participants are repeatedly involved in accidents and there are even arrests and countless vehicle confiscations. Tracks like “Myoujin-no-mori” are real drift hotspots deep in the mountains near Gifu. Again and again spectators are positioned in the curves and questionable drivers cause hair-raising accidents again and again. But the hunt against collisions with curbs, trees, spectators or falling from a cliff and the risk of being arrested are apparently the attraction that makes the illegal scene so huge. Drifting as an official motor sport, on the other hand, is carried out on racetracks such as the Hockenheimring. Motorsport is called "Free drifting in Hockenheim" Applied. The vehicle control demonstrated by the drift racers can be admired there.

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