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Is Drifting Dead?

JDM, D1GP, Formula D, Initial D, Drifting Trend
Posted March 29 2007 11:37 AM by DPImpreza 
Filed under: Editorials

Nissan Skyline ER34 GTS

Is Drifting Dead?

Nissan Silvia S15

When talking about the recent wave of JDM trends, drifting definitely can't be left out.  Drifting has been one of the front runners of the JDM craze ever since the beginning days of Initial D and JDM option videos, but it seems to have cooled down since D1's US debut back in 2003.  At first everyone exposed to drifting was drawn into the amazing display of controlled chaos which brought new people into this booming new scene, but now it seems the shock value has worn off leaving everyone to wonder what's next.

Drifting's main appeal was its grassroots and underground following.  Now that drifting has become mainstream, it seems every kid out there is looking for a good "drifter" asking the question "which is better, FWD or RWD?"  The Fast and Furious 3 didn't exactly help either.  To me it was a sign that the end was near.  At this point, drifting has moved away from the main stream and back to the original small group of true fans, but the next big thing has definitely taken over - Time Attacks.

The main difference between drifting and time attacks is the level of subjectivity.  Drifting wins are based on the completely subjective decisions by judges.  Time attack wins are a little more concrete.  There is nothing subjective about transponders recording lap times down to fractions of a second.  This definitely puts more focus on the car being built and its capabilities rather than driver skill alone and making an impression on the judges.  This is the reason most tuner shops don't build competitive drift cars.  In drifting, a more skilled driver with less of car can beat out a superior car piloted by a lesser driver.  Take a look at the 200HP Corolla AE86 taking down 500+HP beasts.

Personally, I think drifting has come and gone.  Every EBay and knockoff part claims JDM or drift spec.  All the talk of mass media, major network coverage has died off, and the latest FF installment may have been the nail in the coffin.  Do you think drifting has died?

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