The sound of screeching tires and the smell of burnt rubber engulfs your senses as the sight of a two ton car taking a corner at high speed makes your heart stop for a second. Flashback to that scene that you saw in, ‘The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift’ where street racers in super expensive modified cars pit their drifting skills against each other in a parking garage. Ladies and gentlemen, that is what drifting is.
Drifting – a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels, while maintaining control from entry to exit of a corner.
This difficult driving maneuver in used most commonly in motor sports, with professional drifting competitions held worldwide where drivers are judged according to the speed, angle and line taken through a corner or set of corners. By this point people who are not familiar with motor racing are probably wondering, ‘Why can’t they take a corner normally’? Well, by throwing the vehicle into a controlled drift at high speed to navigate a bend in the road racing track, precious seconds are shaved off and top speed after the turn is achieved faster. It is believed that drifting as a driving technique was used by drivers of the Grand Prix cars as early as the 1930s but it only really came into prominence in the 1970s during the All Japan Touring Car Championship races. Biker legend turned driver, Kunimitsu Takahashi is known within the motoring world as the foremost creator of drifting techniques. His trademark maneuver is hitting the apex (the point where the car is closest to the inside of a turn) at high speed and then drifting through the corner, preserving a high exit speed. These smoking tires won him several racing championships and a fervent following of fans.
Not long after, drifting took the streets of Japan by storm. As professional racers in Japan drove this way, so did the street racers. One man in particular stood out, Keiichi Tsuchiya (also known as the Drift King). Intrigued and inspired by Takahashi’s drift techniques, Tsuchiya began practicing his drifting skills on the mountain roads of Japan, and quickly gained a reputation amongst the racing crowd.
Typically, drift cars are light to moderate weight rear-wheel-drive (RWD) coupes and sedans over a large range of power levels. Although there have also been All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) rally cars that have been converted to RWD. Japanese cars with low horsepower are usually fitted with different tires on the front and back. The tires with better grip are used up front and harder compounds in the rear to be able to spin the rear wheels in a higher gear while still being able to maintain a relatively moderate speed in a drift. Later on, he even organized one of the first events specifically for drifting called the D1 Grand Prix.
In Asia, the first Singapore Formula Drift Championship was held in 2008. This inaugural event was a culmination of efforts, led by ESPN to expand and develop the motorsport of professional drifting in Asia. Driven (no pun intended) by the desire to provide Asia with a sport that combines spectacle, technical prowess and open access to its inner workings, the concept of the first and only sanctioned North American professional championship drifting series was born. Based on drifting’s traditional “head-to-head battle” format, drivers will attempt to qualify, in single judged runs, to be one of the 32 drivers that will enter the main competition bracket. After which drivers are paired off in a head-to-head competition of skill and nerves. To win a Pro Championship is by no means, simple. Out of all the drivers, only one final winner will emerge victorious in the battle between man and machine. Ergo, winning a Pro Championship competition is a rare and extraordinary feat; only held by 8 drivers in 24 rounds of competition.
Get ready for some high octane action as the Achilles Formula Drift Singapore 2012 slides into Singapore this June/July. For two days – 30th June & 1st July, the second round of the Formula Drift Asia Championships will be held at Changi Exhibition Centre from 10am to 6pm.
Frasers Hospitality are excited and proud to be the official residence of the Achilles Formula Drift Singapore 2012! In preparation for the Championship race, the drift drivers will be staying at two of our luxurious properties – Fraser Suites Singapore and Fraser Residence Orchard. On the day itself, Frasers Hospitality and Capri by Fraser will be also be co-hosting a booth where our invited guests will stand a chance to ride in a drift car with the reigning drift champion, Daigo Saito!
Transport Schedule for Public- FD Singapore
From Tanah Merah MRT Station, take Exit B along New Upper Changi Rd and walk to the ‘Pick up Point’ which is before the bus stop.
Free Shuttle Bus Operating Dates: 30th June – 1st July 2012
Shuttle Bus Frequency: 30mins
First Bus Departing Tanah Merah Station: 09:30hrs
Last Bus Departing Tanah Merah Station: 17:30hrs
Last Bus Departing Changi Exhibition Centre: 18:30 hrs