Formula Drifting in Japan
Professional drifting was first officially created in United States in 2003, although it is sometimes said 2004. The Formula Drift Championship was created by Formula Drift, Inc. Although professional drifting is still considered a new sport in the United States, it is not new in Japan. In fact, drifting has always been popular in Japan, as in the United States, long before a professional series was developed. In Japan, that professional series is known as the D1 Grand Prix.
The D1 Grand Prix, also commonly referred to as Professional Drift or D1GP, was founded in 2000. It has one of the first professional drifting organizations in the entire world. In fact, its early development had led it to be known as one of the most well known, most popular, and most trusted of all drifting organizations. It has been said that all other professional drifting organizations or series turn to the D1 Grand Prix for guidance and more information on the sport.
The D1 Grand Prix was so popular in Japan that is skyrocketed the popularity of drifting. In fact, a large number of fans wanted to become drifters, themselves. Unfortunately, competition in the D1 Grand Prix was an expense that not many could afford. That was why the D1 Street Legal, also commonly known as D1SL, series was created. Unlike the D1 Grand Prix, which has a large number of rules and regulations, the D1 Street Legal series, which was created in 2005, allows the use of traditional street cars, or road vehicles. This only increased the popularity and the appeal of drifting in Japan, as well as in other areas of the world.
The D1 Grand Prix was created as a Japanese drifting series; however, it would later leave Japan. Although most of the events still take place in Japan, a fairly large number of events have been hosted outside of the country. Some of these events were hosted in the United States. In fact, when the D1 Grand Prix came to the United States, for the first time, they visited the Irwindale Speedway, in California. It has long been said that event was what helped to spark the development of a professional drifting series in the United States. In addition to the Formula Drift Championship, the D1 Grand Prix USA also exists; however, it is globally run. This means that not all competitions take place in the United States.
In addition to making its way into the United States, the D1 Grand Prix also made its way into Europe. This just recently occurred in the year 2005. Although the sport of drifting has been professional for only a short period of time in Europe, it is apparent that it is just as popular. The fan turn out for the first D1 Grand Prix event in Europe was larger than what was originally anticipated. That is one of the seasons why a D1 Grand Prix Series was also developed in Europe, as it was in the United States.
As previously mentioned, drifting existed in the United States before the professional Formula Drift Championship was established. However, the establishment of this championship series has not only made the sport more popular, but more enjoyable as well. Despite the fact that drifting did already exist in the United States, there is a good chance that without the influence of the D1 Grand Prix, professional drifting still may not exist today.