History Of Drifting
Keiichi Drift King Tsuchiya
The word about Keiichi Tsuchiya quickly spread around the hashiriya (Japanese for street racers) and in 1977 several magazines and tuning garages agreed to produce a video of Tsuchiyas touge run. Known as Pluspy, it soon became a hit that inspired many other street racers. Its how the legendary Tsuchiya got started as a drifter, obtained his name as the Drift King, and how drifting got its place in motorsports. Even today new drifters get inspired by this video, its a true classic!
Inspired by Keiichi Tsuchiyas video Pluspy, by the mid-1980s street racers were practicing their skills on touges and industrial areas. As a result of the drifting popularity back in 1986, with the help of the Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya, a magazine called Video Option was one of the first to organize events especially for drifting on the racetrack.
Called Video Option Ikaten, it was more of a drifting demonstration than an actual contest. Cars in packs of 5 drifted their ways through the corners all at the same time as a team. When the popularity of these drifting events increased more street racers started to form drifting teams all around Japan.
For the past 20 years drifting has been extremely popular in Japan and is now established as a national sport. Known as the D1 Grand Prix it's here where you'll find the best drifters in the world. The narrow and twisty mountain passes (touge) are the roots of drifting and most of these D1 drivers became good by practicing there!
Even though drifting as a sport is relatively young, in Japan you would really have to know some serious driving if you'd like to keep up with the top level drivers. In general the level of most drifters is a lot higher than anywhere else in the world.
Drifting has now gone globally, so it'll be interesting to see how the history of drifting develops. Will keep you posted :)