Just like everything else, the history of drifting has spurned many different versions, some more likely than the other. Pinpointing exactly where it began is as easy as finding a needle in a haystack, especially when you consider that, technically, the technique of drifting has been around since about the mid-1950s.
What we do know about its origin is that the Japanese played a very important role in ushering the technique’s popularity, so much so that it has become one of the most popular forms of automotive competition. Unlike other forms of ’racing’, drifting is different in that it’s not so much about who comes in first as it is about who can smoke their tires the most.
In a drifting competition, the most important things are line, angle, speed, and show factor. For the uninitiated, the line is pre-determined by judges before a competition with the drifters scoring points based on whether they take the correct line. The angle is the angle a car takes during a drift. The speed is determined by the speed of the car as it enters a turn, the speed through a turn, and the speed exiting the turn. Needless to say, as with any other competition involving high-powered cars, the faster a car goes around a turn, the rosier he smells in front of the judges. Then there’s the show factor, which, in essence, is arguably the most important part of drifting. This involves, among other things, the amount of smoke the tires burn, how a car navigates around a track in the most daredevil of ways, and how the crowd reacts to the driver’s performance.
That being said, from all that we know and enjoy about drifting these days, it’s equally important for us to learn about how this sport came to be. From humble beginnings in the Land of the Rising Sun to the worldwide phenomenon that it is today, drifting has become a popular sport for millions of fans who take great satisfaction in watching smoke come out of tires.
Head past the jump to find out more about the history of drifting.