Drifting : Why?

A couple weeks ago, I and my “teammates” presented our DSport marketing research project.. during the question and answer part, a fellow classmate asked me, “what’s the deal with drifting?”.. I simply responded that it was entertaining to watch.. he countered with “why???”.. on the spot, I didn’t know what to say.. I mean, its entertaining, period.. I thought about it afterwards.. and I was thinking, “what does he mean ‘why?’.. its just.. just.. its just fun to watch..”..

This past Saturday, I went to Irwindale, CA again for the D1 Grand Prix : USA vs. Japan drift event.. I and my friend were shooting pics for DSport for fun and for free entry to the event.. I couldn’t stay for the whole event.. so I was only able to capture the practice session (700 pics in 1.5 hours through the magic of a Kingston CF Ultimate 2GB card,a Canon 20D, and a Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS zoom lens).. afterwards, I thought again about the question posed to me 2 weeks earlier.. why is drifting entertaining to watch.. and I have an answer..

Everyone should be able to agree that “drifting” a car (or driving sideways) is not particularly easy.. sure, its easy to get the rear loose around a corner or in a parking lot.. I’ve put my RX7 on a curb and spun my MR2 a couple of times back in the day.. but to actually execute a controlled drift at high speeds around a track is an entirely different matter.. also, we’re not talking about ‘drifting’ your dad’s 1978 Oldsmobile with a small block V8 and some skinny whitewall tires.. we’re talking high horsepower (the Takakaira Subaru made 650 whp, I heard), highly tuned racecars.. so to answer the question, I’d say that drifting is entertaining because I know drifting is not easy.. so to be able to watch 32 guys driving around in cars I like, smoking tires like they were free, and to do it all without slamming the wall and killing themselves, is fun to watch.. I’m amazed by the level of talnet involved in hitting a banked turn at 90+MPH with the rear bumper inches from the wall.. maybe I’m not doing such a good job of communicating my “answer”.. but think about this.. MOST people would say watching golf is boring.. there’s not much action, no threat of injury to the participants, and one round lasts a long ass time.. so why do people watch, much less attend these events and stand along the course? I’d say its because the people who enjoy watching golf are the same ones who understand the level of skill required to perform at that level.. same thing with drifting.. if you’ve ever tried to drift your car, or even inadvertently drifted your car, you would know that its not just something you jump into a car a do.. so to see what these guys can do in a car at those speeds, is, for lack of a better word, entertaining..

Anyway, here’s one of my favorite pics from the 700 pics I took.. I’ll put some more up later after I sort them out and after DSport picks the ones they want to use for the next issue..

takakaira subaru

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