Formula Drift came back to its unofficial American hub for its Title Round. The last race of the year has one of the best names out there, ‘Final Fight’ (this has a lot to do with it sharing the same name of the legendary beat-em-up video game), and true to its title, that race definitely turned out to be one.
Irwindale hails as the playground for some of the best drivers in the country (and world for that matter) to push some of the highest horsepower cars and make them do things they weren’t meant to do. Drifting involves a driver taking their car (which is meant for moving forward) and whipping it and sliding it around a track. Losing grip and maintaining control of the car is the name of the game when it comes to drifting. It’s one of those things that you have to see to believe. It’s hardcore racing, but, at the same time it’s a bit of a ballet. The coordination and timing that these drivers have to have in order to do what they do is incredible.
Formula Drift is a league that brings together the best of the best, and brings them together to compete for a trophy and bragging rights. It’s something that is highly competitive, but, very respectful. Walking around the track and seeing the interaction between the drivers one can see that the level of competition between them is there. But, above all they respect each other and what they do. Needless to say, even with all of that pressure, you can really tell that these guys are having a ball doing this. The rockstars of the show, they do things that entrance the audience and get people’s pulses racing.
When they get to racing and you have two competing cars side by side, and tires are spinning, smoke is spewing everywhere and the smell of raw fuel is in the air, you know that something very special is going on. This show was the last one of the year, and is especially higher in intensity. When these drivers go at it, and all the chips are down, it’s a no-holds barred fight to the finish. A great show to watch indeed.
On top of the racing going on, you also have all the big names in racing coming out to show off their wares and newest products. From Exedy Clutches to Hankook Tires, there is a lot of stuff to see. Not to mention some of the hottest imports (and domestics of course) and their teams showing off in the paddock area. One day is truly not enough to see everything going on. It’s a bit overwhelming, but, you’ll definitely enjoy it.
If you’ve never been to a Formula Drift event, we highly recommend you check out one of the shows. You’re sure to walk away with a smile.. And the taste of tires in your mouth 🙂
Words and Photos by Daniel Navarrete