If you have watched drifting videos from Japan, by now you have probably come across that crazy driver named Kazama. The name might not sound familiar, but you can instantly remember that one guy who does crazy stunts while drifting such as hanging out from the door of the car and so on.
Yasayuki Kazama was born in 1970 in Japan, and ever since he got his driver’s license the age of 17, he has devoted his life to drifting. Although he is popular today for driving many Nissan Silvias (known in Europe as the 200sx and in the USA as the 240sx), Kazama started his drifting career in a Toyota Corolla (the famous "hachi-roku"). In his early years, he practiced and learned drifting in the mountain roads of Japan, affording it with his job at a local gas station.
Once he joined the circuit tracks for drifting, he became incredibly popular. At the time, he was driving a Nissan Silvia S14. He was also credited with being one of the first ones to drift the following Silvia model, the S15 chassis. He almost drove himself bankrupt in debts when Kei Office picked him up as a fully sponsored driver. Kei Office is run by Keiichi Tsuchiya, the popular drift-king. He also provided Kazama with a job at Kei Office as a mechanic. He was fairly successful ever since he joined the D1 Grand Prix at the end of 2000. However, his first victory would not come until 2005, at the season opener at Irwindale Raceway, in California. That same year he earned his first championship title with three victories.
But what Kazama is mostly known for is his wacky attitude as somewhat of a rodeo clown, entertaining the crowds with his own style of drifting. He became infamous for doing donuts and even attempting drifting while hanging out of the car, controlling the car with nothing more than one hand for steering and one foot for gas. His performances became so popular that he is even allowed to demonstrate them as part of a half-time show during the D1 Grand Prix:
Kazama has been seen all around the world already, through the worldwide D1 Exhibition matches, Option videos, and even in a feature on BBC2’s popular television show: Top Gear, where Kazama gave drifting lessons to Richard Hammond in a Vauxhall VX-R (The Pontiac GTO equivalent in the USA).