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FORMULA DRIFT And Its Future, My View

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Old 09-20-2010, 06:58 PM   #1
Justin Banner
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Cool FORMULA DRIFT And Its Future, My View

Being only a few weeks away from the finale of Formula Drift at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, it seems like certain people have a view on how Formula Drift is getting away from it's core, grassroots drifters. Some of the guys who have been in it since the beginning say that the influx of V8s is "the cancer that is killing the sport." Or it's difficult to enter the pro-level because the budgets for the good teams is too high, nearly unlimited in the view of some of them. The reality is that is the cost of motorsports, but the grassroots up and comer has a lot look forward to.

Today, if you look at the points ladder of Formula Drift, the top 10 is dominated by near tube chassis, V8 powered purpose built cars with budgets that seem unreachable to the Average Joe. Turek and Millen being the lone cars under 8 cylinders (Turek in a 4 and Millen in a 6). It's because of this that many original, die-hard fans view feel that Formula Drift has lost it's way and become a shill for Corporations, money, Drift Alliance, black helicopters, or what every flavor of the week they decide to sip from. Drift Alliance? Well, that would help if more than 3 of the top 10 were DA members and they are spread out (JR 1st, Turek 4th, and Forsberg 6th). Corporations and money? Well, of the top 10, 4 are on Falken, two are on BFGoodrich, two are on Maxxis, one is on Hankook, and one is on Toyo, that's pretty close, but Falken does sponsor MANY cars that are not in the top 10 and they are 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 8th. More of a hedging of bets than anything else. Monster Energy only sponsors one car and JR is the current points leader, but is advertising isdominated by NOS Energy, yet Forsberg is 6th. Kind of kills that idea, too. Black helicopters, well the government has been around me more often, but I now work at a place near a Quartermaster Base. So much for that.

The reality is that the cream has risen to the top this year. JR has been doing better and better as the Mustang chassis has evolved from porkish drag car to a M3 fighting Pony Car. Dai Yoshihara has gotten better as his S13 LS1 powered car has been in development. Tanner Foust is finally getting into a groove with his tC NASCAR car and has improved over last year. Really, to say that Formula Drift is buying into the things that conspiracy theorists say it is, is to take away from the teams and driver's who have performed better, stayed more consistent, or have developed their cars prior to this year. Essentially, what these guys are saying is that these guys aren't talented. Reality has shown otherwise.

The development of Formula Drift has also created a new avenue for smaller budget, grassroots drivers. Working in conjunction with XDC, grassroots drivers no longer have to jump into the shark pool that is professional drifting. A touring series that not only works with the professional series, but also gives those guys looking to step up to FD by giving them the chance to qualify for a FD License. Can't afford to go FD? Run XDC! Honestly, to look good in the eye of some sponsors, it is sometimes better to perform your best in a lower class rather than not perform at the top level. On top of that, it also gives larger budget teams the opportunity to develop drivers before stepping them up into the professional level, as we have seen with Steve Angerman and Gardella Racing, and I believe that this will be the future of many future top level drivers.

On top of that, there are the many, many legal grassroots events that take place at tracks, parking lots, airfields, bases, and anywhere else they can be held. Locally, for me, Driftwater is holding more and more events each year, Drift Nirvana has their unique grassroots drifting with even more unique trophies. Streetwise Drift is recognized as a Formula Drift Pro-Am series. Opportunities to drift legally haven't been this good since drifting got it's hold on America and I can only expect it to get better. As more guys look for ways to do so legally and tracks and other facilities look to get more money in, the grassroots is only going to get better, but it will take the grassroots drivers to organize and encourage their fellow drifters to go legal and encourage tracks and facilities to allow them to drift.

The future of drifting, professional drifting to be exact, is a very similar path that NASCAR, Formula Car, and WRC have followed, but must try to overcome their short falls. I have foreseen, and continue to foresee, the tube-chassis drift car. As the speeds and angles of Formula Drift have increased, there will be a need for more safety. A tube chassis car will provide better safety, but increased costs. We're not far off that now with many cars just some square tube away from being so. Also, with more manufactures looking to increase brand awareness through drifting, FWD cars are being converted to RWD through an open interpretation of the drivetrain rules. This still, in my opinion, not take away from the skill of the drivers. It doesn't matter how a car is built (as far as tube chassis vs. uni-body), what it's drivetrain once was, it still takes skill, setup, and balls to take a car past 90* at over 100 MPH. This will not change, no matter what kind of car is used.

The secret is containing the look of the car. The bodies must stay in the same dimensions as the road going versions. No COT type "stock cars," no silhouette cars, the wheelbase, width, height, and dimensions of the drift cars must be the same as measured on the road going car. The floor pan can be in any shape required to fit the drivetrain, the firewall can be any shape in order to fit the engine/transmission selection, seating can be as needed to be the safest and best fit for the vehicle and drive, so long as all of this will fit under the body of the road car. This is where NASCAR lost it's way and how FD can keep it's way while allowing a larger mix of cars. Manufactures will like it better because now their vehicle, despite being FWD can enter and increase their brand awareness with the fans of FD. Should V8s and V10s be banned? No, not in the Professional level, anyhow. Engine development should be championed in any professional level of motorsports and drifting shouldn't be any different. Don't like a V8 or 10, build something that can keep up and quit b*tchin'. You're in the big leagues, act like it.

While, yes, this will increase costs, but again this is the professional level of Drifting. XDC could still continue it's current level and allow the Pro-Am driver to develop for the future level and retain the current model rules in XDC and FD, with V8s and 10s in cars that orginally had them, but nothing else. Grassroots will be the entry for the fan that wants to step up and try with cars that are above street-legal cars, but not at the same level as XDC. This is the NASCAR/BUSH/WEEKLY type stepping stone that I have championed since I spoke up about how drifting could and should progress and be better for everyone involved. We do have a great model going right now with FD/XDC/Grassroots and its only going to get better.

So, in closing, I see Formula Drift getting better and more fan oriented. It will become more exciting, faster, with bigger, deeper angles. Cars, at the same time, will become wilder, safer, and more advanced in their builds. FD will grow and advance, just as it is doing now. The cars in the future of FD will be far different than what we are seeing now, and it will be because they will need to. The disgruntled fan of today, however, will still be disgruntled.

See you at the track!
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:20 PM   #2
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Nice Article!

Even though I will agree to disagree with about 75% of what you said I wont rain on your parade with a long article my self. But hey I guess they don't call it Formula D for nothing.

I say keep a drift car a drift car, if not start breaking this sh*t up in to classes and start rewarding these drivers that "run what they brung".
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:44 AM   #3
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I hope to attend full XDC in 2011 for this reason.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:11 AM   #4
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I think the problem with XDC is that the costs for travel are quite a huge step up from the local pro-am ranks, with not much more publicity. There's a few websites giving publicity to XDC, but the magazines really aren't supporting it, there's no TV coverage, and the end reward is still ONLY an invite to Pro-am Nationals (the same thing you can earn from your local series). Why spend $10k to $15k towing all over the country when you can spend $1k towing locally for the same result? Sure, your local track might get boring, but I just don't see the justification for driving XDC unless you're one of the few asked to be "on the truck" (aka free transport).

I feel that the reason the V8 has emerged as being so paramount to winning events is because of the way tandem runs are judged lately. Such a high importance is placed on the trailing car being inches from the leading car and staying there that lots of partial throttle "blips" are made by the trailing car to maintain the perfect distance, and torque is paramount to horsepower in making those adjustments. I think that Angle and Line have really gone out the window for tandem, and v8's are so much better at these smaller adjustments to maintain proximity. Once a turbo car falls out of boost, there's no going back. I think the cars have been engineered beyond the limits of the race tracks, so now the cars don't need to be driven 100% during the run in order to score well. we won't see 100mph entries in Sonoma or Atlanta, and as long as you're above 85 or 90 mph, you'll get a good enough "speed" score to qualify. In the old days, a Corolla could lay full throttle behind a v10 car and maintain speed thru the entire course because the V10 car was still under the capabilities of the track (see Taka vs Sam in 2005 in Atlanta). But now that V8 or v10 car can slow down for some of the early clipping points, get the Corolla out of boost or off the throttle, then accelerate and put down 450 lb-ft of torque the second they touch the gas pedal to pull a gap and gain an "advantage" in the tandem run while that Corolla still needs to hit 8k rpm's to get half as much torque out of the motor. I hate that FD has come to these games, but it's pretty obvious to me that until we have live GPS readouts thru the entirety of the course, you'll need the instant torque of a V8 to be competitive.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:13 AM   #5
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yea the cost of XDC is high from travel, you're right. the whole idea behind v8/non is exaggerated a little in your example. coming from my perspective, I was driving a 230hp SR and doing really well with it (at least I think so). I decided to go v8 when it became obvious that at 90+mph speeds, my trq is not going to spin tires and could end up with understeer or unwanted transitions from lack of control. Yes I could have build the hell out of my SR and get the torque, for big chunk of $$ (and running it ragged out). Or, throw in a V8, put an intake, cam, exhaust, and a tune, and have the same power (and a mild setup), not to mention a much larger powerband.

Now at the high high end, I could see what you are talking about with the slowing down and stuff, but I'm not sure its all 100% on purpose. some maybe. I see it because the top FD cars are built FAR past what is needed in terms of breaking wheels loose and smoking them around a course. But isnt that how 'Merica does everything?

Maybe we could have a 4, 6, 8+, rotary? class setup, or maybe people should just keep driving and if you think they have and advantage with a v8, there is no one saying you cant do it to. Now in the top end of FD, like I said before, those v8s are most likely not going to be something privateer joe gets. There should definitely be a rulebook that is unbendable, with car builds.

One of the backbone rules of FD was always a car that a spectator could see, and possibly 'replicate'. This is where the body/look/aero design rules, the tire size/model, and the suspension pickup rules all stem from. I dont know the last time I saw a front tube frame on a car at a local practice... but maybe ive just missed it?
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:17 AM   #6
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Who really cares?

Its cool to watch, and these are race cars, and the work being put into some of them is fantastic, and can really be appreciated if you'd take the time to look at the crafstmanship and work.

The main people I see complaining about FD, are the same ones that were/are still killing themselves to look cool, and feel they have been 'left behind' or 'cant catch up' which is absolutely true. I didn't know the point of having fun drifting was to fail at trying to be on TV all the time and to have a Facebook fanpage for yourself as a "pro drifter" or "rock star" who can't even make top 16 at XDC/D1usa.

If we wanna talk about grassroots and such, the point of drifting used to be to have fun sliding cars around, not trying to attain some certain benchmark of accomplishment by being "pro"

FD is fine, it's been fine, it's going to be fine. There is a really fun tierII series now with XDC, and there are local championships all over the place now. I am a little bummed that FD may be catching up with other professional organizations, and adding a newer model chassis requirement soon, but other than that the cars are still driving into corners backwards, making tiresmoke, and doing cool stuff, so I'll watch and enjoy it, as will the Millions of others across the world who could care less that everyone doesn't have some rare OMG JDM wheels and a Dmax body kit on their 20 year old S-chassis.

I honestly don't see the problem. Even the drivers complaining will still ruin their lives and finances trying to go so they can try to look cool.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slapshotnerd View Post
I feel that the reason the V8 has emerged as being so paramount to winning events is because of the way tandem runs are judged lately. Such a high importance is placed on the trailing car being inches from the leading car and staying there that lots of partial throttle "blips" are made by the trailing car to maintain the perfect distance, and torque is paramount to horsepower in making those adjustments. I think that Angle and Line have really gone out the window for tandem, and v8's are so much better at these smaller adjustments to maintain proximity. Once a turbo car falls out of boost, there's no going back. I think the cars have been engineered beyond the limits of the race tracks, so now the cars don't need to be driven 100% during the run in order to score well. we won't see 100mph entries in Sonoma or Atlanta, and as long as you're above 85 or 90 mph, you'll get a good enough "speed" score to qualify. In the old days, a Corolla could lay full throttle behind a v10 car and maintain speed thru the entire course because the V10 car was still under the capabilities of the track (see Taka vs Sam in 2005 in Atlanta). But now that V8 or v10 car can slow down for some of the early clipping points, get the Corolla out of boost or off the throttle, then accelerate and put down 450 lb-ft of torque the second they touch the gas pedal to pull a gap and gain an "advantage" in the tandem run while that Corolla still needs to hit 8k rpm's to get half as much torque out of the motor. I hate that FD has come to these games, but it's pretty obvious to me that until we have live GPS readouts thru the entirety of the course, you'll need the instant torque of a V8 to be competitive.
You're really overcomplicating this.

Lets look at what is going on.

People are building cars, that will see amazing levels of abuse.

Which would be more reliable and consistent:

A turbocharged ~2.5 making 500rwhp.

A naturally aspirated, almost stockish v8 putting out the same power.

The reasons LS1's and v8's are taking over is simple:
A) This is A M E R I C A.
B) They can make 400rwhp STOCK with a cam and bolt ons.
C) The STOCK transmission they come with will last forever.
D) You all loved Bubba Drift.










Also why run XDC?

Again, drifting isn't about getting a mad tyte e-rep, or tryin so hard to look cool, that you end up tens of thousands of dollars in debt to people who were once your friends, and getting run out of the scene like Ameen and Amir Rizvi.

XDC is cool because its an organized touring series where you can DRIVE with other people that you don't normally get to drive with, and compete with them and see where you're at.

Look at most roadracing classes, Spec miata, Camaro Mustang Challenge, Spec Rx7, Honda Challenge etc etc etc.

Drifters think everything should be a free handout, like Skateboarding. Problem is, skateboarding you're a t shirt, deck and some trucks away from a full ride <$1000. Drifting is E X P E N S I V E. Save up some cash, and build something cool, and go play. Don't expect people to pay for it unless you're doing something that benefits them, like running FD AND doing well enough to get real coverage. Youre self-made Facebook fanpage doesn't count, neither does nonamewebsite.com/blog. Just go drive and have fun, and drift with people who aren't from your area, and hang out with people who aren't from your area, which is what XDC is there fore. If you are WINNING EVENTS at XDC, then maybe look to move up, but it blows my mind when I see someone who got lucky or just showed up to every event therefore did well in the overall points, then they think they are ready to take down Forsberg in a month and someone else should pay for it.

Go look at NASA/SCCA stuff. Go to your local oval track. If you aren't ready to invest in yourself and go drifting, don't expect handouts, nor is it XDC's responsibility to get you said handouts.

Just go drive and have fun people. If you truly have the talent and skill to be a top-tier FD driver, the resources will come in time.

/rant.

Last edited by Mike Peters; 09-21-2010 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mike Peters View Post
Who really cares?
I kindly disagree

First and foremost, I see no problem with V8s. Especially V8s in cars that originally had V8s. And cars like Discount S13, Essa's old FC do have a place in our series. I do have a a problem with these half built tube frame vehicles, you cant modify or convert pickup points of the suspension and rack/pinion but hell you can totally hack up and recreate a cars unibody? Its just plain unfair, especially to the dumb/poor f*ck who cant comprehend or perform a tube front/rear end setup, but has the ability to swap front or rear suspension setups from a chassis he's a bit or comfortable with.

When I first discovered drifting I loved it because it was a art form. Cars sliding around the track, engines revving, and tire smoke was cool. But what really impressed me was the individualism of it all. Not only was there a wide variety of feasible vehicles. But each driver for the most part was different. They all had there own style that was respectable and they showed it every chance they got. It was crazy to see a grid of 20 different S chassis with the same set of mods that all drove differently.

I would show up to events extra extra early to be sure I wouldn't miss the first practice session and qualifying. I loved it, the fast paced action of practice was fun. And the anticipation of drivers doing a all out run in qualifying was my favorite part of the event. Tandem was cool, more so in the beginning. Some drivers didn't have strategy and some did, but more so it seemed like everyone had merit and the willingness to entertain the crowd. Not much "brake checking, nobody running odd goofy lines to make there opponents fail, and competitors didn't feel the need to ram each other to prove aggression.

Everyone was so crazy about tandem and it was so exciting FD came up with the bright idea of having all top 32 contestants battle each other 1on1. And this is when IMO is what it killing the art form which is drifting. Qualifying has become a decrypted shell of what it once was. Instead of drivers giving it 100% on there first run then give it 120% on there final, we got guys going 75% on there first looking at the score and if there on the bubble they will attempt to better the first one by actually going 100%, if they are not on the bubble I interpret they are thinking "Hey I'm in it the big show, let me go out and do something kinda cool, yet conservative".

What happens, in my point of view is the driver on the bubble gives it 100% after not running 100% thus far in the weekend and fails miserably. Driver that is not on the bubble runs some retarded a$$ line but he doesnt care he already qualified 20Th-10Th place anyway. And who looses the most... the effing fans. We have to put up of driving to the track paying good money for tickets to watch 40 drivers cupcake around the track for a chance at the big show. Not all the drivers do this in my eyes but I'm willing to say a good 75% do, and the way I see it the other 25% are top 10 in the series. We still got a few good men left in this sport and thank goodness they are statistically some of the best.

Then the next day we get into tandem we tell all 32 of these pansies to run there qualifying lines and match there opponents. This results in some of the crappiest one sided tandem battles in the history of our great sport. And this also results in upsets, and car ramming. There's not much good door to door, mirror to mirror action until the top 8. And once again, who are the losers... the fans. Drivers too afraid of putting on a good show don't belong in tandem and most of all in the series to begin with.

As some of you might know, I'm a novice MMA fan. I don't sit on MMA forums and flap my fists like I do with drifting, but I follow the big and some of the small names. And I rarely miss a big fight. I see the sport as exact parallels, and the mistakes and triumphs that MMA made should be examined by drifting as well. Does anyone remember in the beginning when UFC had no time limits, no weight classes? They paired of fighters for the sake of a fight and they just fought? Well if you do remember, those were the worst times for the UFC. People suffered big injuries, every damn politician was opposed to the "barbaric" sport, alot of fighters took refuge in japan. As all of us see now UFC made big changes that made them the number one MMA production in the world. But if UFC did not change, the world of MMA would look alot different then it does today.

In my eyes FD is not in a much different position. FD is not safe at all by all means. Yeah they rode the tough storm of the economy, they outlasted other organization ran by quick money motivated idiots(some could say). But just imagine if some other rich, passionate, motivated guys came into the scene.... with a TV deal and a live stream. FD would have a run for their money and the market would be cut in half fair and square. So if one day if I stop posting and showing up to events. Its not because I'm a JDM D1GP fan boy, but because I was no longer entertained. And I think other fans who could be categorized as the same would say that also.

And back to the term "JDM", really think about what JDM is. Everything that is cool and high end in japan was just that in the USA or Europe before. Canards, Rear Diffusers, Big Wings, Low Offset wheels, Stretched tires, Slammed cars, Vinyl, Deep Corn Suede steering wheels, Aero Kits, Vented Hoods, Racing Suits, Painted helmets, and etc. Those aren't JDM, those are just essential things for all race cars. The Japanese just slap it on to there home grown machines and WE call it JDM. And yeah, all FD cars are ugly... but not solely by there Japanese counterparts. Just turn on American Lemans, Rolex Series, Continental Challenge, or what ever production car road race series you want. All the cars in those series are more appealing then FD cars. Probably except for the mustangs, those things stink compared to the RTR.

OK, I will stop my rant now. But all I'm writing is from a fan point of view. Not from a driver or ex driver, not from a "insider", but just from a fan/supporter.

Last edited by Bebop; 09-21-2010 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
near tube chassis
Cool post.

FYI, FD currently does not allow tube chassis' of any kind, nor do we intend too any time soon.

For those interested in rules and competition, one of the principle goals we try to achieve is to cost contain but also to allow the creativity of the builder or fabricator to shine. If we see what we perceive to be negative trends in the series, then we will often research it and see what we can do to better the situation and possibly implement a modification to the rulebook. We want fabricators to be creative, but we also want the best drivers to win. Anyone that knows us knows that we consult with teams within FD ranked high and low, big money, small money and teams in between regarding our rules. Most times that we have a rule change that is significant, you can bet many teams from across the board have been consulted. From there we put all opinions together and try to objectively come to the best and most simple outcome.

We do have some rulebook clarifications and some possible new modifications in store for 2011. Also, for those that are not familiar with our rulebook, one of the biggest changes for 2011 is the retirement of all pre-130 VID cars.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:01 PM   #10
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Gotta love Blaze! Always has something interesting to say.

To your parallel with MMA.... and let me preface, I actually am a huge fan of MMA and follow it very closely and have for years, have many fighter friends and religiously follow Joe Rogan's website, podcast, etc who I believe gives the most enlightening commentary on MMA. Your example is about half right. Part of the success of UFC was a more mainstream set of rules: No eye gouging, stomping, elbows restricted to certain angles, etc. The other half and the most important as from Dana White's mouth himself was the $10 million they spent on a reality show, The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV. The explosion of the UFC came with the Ultimate Fighter, not the tamer rules that, by the way, had been in place way before the Ultimate Fighter. The combination of reality show, with good MMA in a slick package worked for that sport. Dana says this all the time.

One other thing I wanted to point out on your MMA comparison is that yes, I believe there are good parallels and you actually pointed some of the real similarities perfectly. However, the changes you critique that we have made to rules and format are very similar in context to rule and format changes that the UFC has made to progress the sport and broaden the appeal. FD makes changes and does what we believe will expand the appeal of the sport, just like the UFC. The UFC always gets hated on by the OG fans, forum trolls and fans of old Pride rules and also the commercialization of the UFC. By comparison, FD often gets criticized by old school drifting fans, fans of D1 and what is perceived to be the commercialization of the sport by us. You are making the parallels of us and the UFC and what the changed and what we should do like them but clearly we are similar to them in methodology........minus the billions of dollars

We have continued to grow consistently year over year in audience (huge jumps in Long Beach, ATL and Seattle), event expansion (especially internationally), a real path to the pro's via FD Pro-Am affiliates, new media via live stream, consistent and growing TV, etc so I hope you are not saying or implying that the decisions we have made have not done good for the sport, because in terms of growth and broad appeal, that is contradictory to all the evidence. What I gather you might be inputting is your opinion, which of course is totally cool, but subjective

This is also subjective to the individual as well:

Quote:
And yeah, all FD cars are ugly... but not solely by there Japanese counterparts. Just turn on American Lemans, Rolex Series, Continental Challenge, or what ever production car road race series you want. All the cars in those series are more appealing then FD cars. Probably except for the mustangs, those things stink compared to the RTR.
Determination of "ugly" is completely subjective.

You're the best. Don't be made at me, just had to comment on that
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formula D View Post
Cool post.

FYI, FD currently does not allow tube chassis' of any kind, nor do we intend too any time soon.

For those interested in rules and competition, one of the principle goals we try to achieve is to cost contain but also to allow the creativity of the builder or fabricator to shine. If we see what we perceive to be negative trends in the series, then we will often research it and see what we can do to better the situation and possibly implement a modification to the rulebook. We want fabricators to be creative, but we also want the best drivers to win. Anyone that knows us knows that we consult with teams within FD ranked high and low, big money, small money and teams in between regarding our rules. Most times that we have a rule change that is significant, you can bet many teams from across the board have been consulted. From there we put all opinions together and try to objectively come to the best and most simple outcome.

We do have some rulebook clarifications and some possible new modifications in store for 2011. Also, for those that are not familiar with our rulebook, one of the biggest changes for 2011 is the retirement of all pre-130 VID cars.
I should probably clarify that I'm not accusing anyone of building a tube chassis car. Ryan Turek's car, if build pictures that I saw were still current, is pretty close to a tube car. The uni-body was torn down from the spot welds, rollcage tubing was welded in and the uni-body was welded back on. I'm still not downing this type of build, and it's probably a very safe and stronger way to build a car. I actually like it more as I think about how it was done, but I will admit at one time I didn't think the car was fair. What changed my mind? The speeds and angles the cars are getting and trying to get (and the famed "Bunny Hop" he took). Again, I'm not picking on him or Gardella Racing, it's just the car I remember best for being so close to being a tube chassis car.

As far as style goes, I've always a function over form guy. Function to me is beautiful so, I haven't always been the typical drift fan (hell just look at my choice of music, country, rock, classic rock, not very.. drifter-y). So, I'm not entirely into the huge wings, pavement dragging ground clearance, or stretched tires. They have their place and I understand it, but it's not the direction I'll take my car.

And, the future view point I have is from what I've seen in the histories of various forms of motorsport. I use NASCAR a lot, but it's where I've come from as a fan of motorsports. Stock cars were once stock, buy it at the dealership cars. We then got stock cars without lights, aero improvements, and far better safety cages. Then came the tube chassis, purpose built "stock cars."

On top of that, there was once a time when we just had the one national touring series, then we got the Grand National series along with the Winston Cup, now we have Sprint, Nationwide, Trucks, East/West, and the Weekly Series. Each is a stepping stone for the other and is still the best example of a ladder system that I can think of, other than Formula cars. It's why I think that the current trend that's happening in drifting is positive and good for the sport.

I also agree with the "Keep Drifting Fun" mentality. It has been lost on circle track people as well, with so many raising their kids to try to be the next Johnson, Jeff Gordon, or (I shiver as I write this) Earnhardt, Jr., if you don't have a development ride by age 8, you're a loser. Really, a kid should be racing karts, Legends, or Bandoleros because they have fun with it, not because their parents are looking for retirement. This is the direction I DON'T want to see drifting take. I don't mind development drivers, just not to the extreme we're seeing on the ovals.

Long story, short, my view of the future of FD was based solely on what I was seeing and comparing it to the history of other motorsports. The future, as we all know, is never set in stone.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:04 PM   #12
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8.3.1 Basic Chassis Design
The vehicle chassis, frame and / or unibody must remain unmodified
between the vertical planes created by the original forward most and
rearward most suspension mounting points unless otherwise specified
in these rules. Uni-body or chassis may be seam welded.

8.3.4 Front cross member and/or front or rear sub-frame
Front and rear sub-frames and cross members must be stock and
available on the exact model that is competing in Formula Drift. The
subframe must also be mounted in the exact stock location, without
being moved in any plane.

Front subframes may only be modified to directly allow for oilpan /
starter clearance and steering rack relocation.
The front subframe must
retain intact on at least one major member on one face that spans the
entire width of the subframe, thereby keeping the original dimensions of
the subframe intact. Any other modifications, cutting, welding,
strengthening, etc is not allowed.

Rear subframes may only be modified to allow for mounting or
relocating a differential.
The rear subframe must retain at least one
major member that spans the entire width of the subframe, thereby
keeping the original dimensions of the subframe intact. Any other modifications, cutting, welding, strengthening, etc is not allowed.





Well its pretty clear you cannot modify the vertical planes of the unibody, but as you can see the Tube front end and rear ends are allowed in FD. Nothing states clear cut that they are not allowed. Radiator support is a part of the unibody, and if you allow the modification/relocation of the subframe you are practically modifying the unibody as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formula D View Post
Determination of "ugly" is completely subjective.
You're the best. Don't be made at me, just had to comment on that
Your a thousand percent right, I really meant to put some quotations around the term ugly actually. But my point of my post in general was to prove that D1 "fanboys" aren't the only ones who have gripes with FD.

Mr Banner can vouch for this, I have ideas of improving the series and they have nothing to do with making it like D1GP. My ideas are to make the sport more exciting for all fans. But to be 100% honest FD nor D1 are even close to being ready for most of them.



Back to the MMA comparison, you gotta be kidding me when you say the biggest success UFC had was the TUF show. It was a great regarding the fact it was a good crossover show, and was a darn good buildup for some of the greatest and not so great MMA bouts to occur. Then again I'm pretty darn sure the UFC wouldn't have died with out it. I still stand aside with you that the regulation of the sport was its biggest success on ALL spectrum's *hint hint hint*. But a close second was the decision to dismantle Pride FC *hint hint hint*. From a fans point of view (and I think you would agree) it was saddening to see them go but the US side of the sport benefited from it alot in the long run.

I think its funny your a huge MMA fan, I have the pleasure of meeting you and Mr White and I feel it safe to say you two are one of the same.

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Old 09-21-2010, 11:10 PM   #13
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The removed the bolt on section on the front of the Camaro, and OMG they cut out the spare tire well on the mustang, and left the framerails comlpetely stock and untouched. Oh teh noes.

Gardella's car is an awesome use of the resources available in the rulebook, and I was a fan of Carlson's approach on the Challenger, as it was a pretty creative interpretation of the rules.

This is DRIFTING. Cars sliding around corners, on street tires, making smoke and attempting to break their tail light on a clipping point. Who wouldn't want to build a car that was easy to wad up, then straighten back out and easily fasten new body panels on it so it looked brand new again, besides Blaze1?

As long as the strut towers, firewall, frame rails and floorboards are there, you can attatch everything else to the stock unibody however you please for the most part, which is absolutely fine.













Hey FD, what is that 130VID thingy, and is the rumor that adoption of an SCCA type <8 year newness requirement for car things going to happen?
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:56 AM   #14
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I have no problems with tube front ends or rear ends.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:57 AM   #15
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i dont agree that everyone is doggin the qualifying. some guys are new, nervous as hell and YES they want to make top32. There is also many people developing new chassis and/or know there is a weakness and have to work around that. There are plenty of people that are trying to jump the skill gap from ProAm to FD and its larger than it should be, thats why ProAm programs like XDC are so important to our sport.

Now with tandem and being right on them, and tight battles... some of the previous things apply. you also have to consider that people are unsure of the other driver and whether you care or not, having i dunno.... Dai get really close to a lesser driver in T32 just to have him wreckout and take Dai out of the whole comp, is not worth it when Dai can win without doing that. Like it or not, professional competition is about winning.

Maybe what you want is a demo day for the FD drivers to just go have fun? no competition, tandem runs, 10-20 cars in a line of awesome...
I have no idea why this isnt something already done during the off season? Anyone that can commit to coming out should be allowed. All it will do is further lower the skill gap in the series too. Everyone knows you get better by driving with better drivers, so the more seat time we provide these guys with more practice/less stress driving time, we should see competitions tighten up.

^This could only further increase the FD name and excitement. I think our professional series of a mere 7 events is too short. I know its still growing and hopefully we get up to 15-20 events a year?
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:14 PM   #16
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Boxmod - the closest thing to that is the demo during LB Grand Prix. Teams of 3 cars try to drift the streets of long beach course, being judged solely by the crowd reaction.

Unfortunately, you probably won't see much more beyond that. Back in '05 and '06, there were a lot more demos, but the people funding them (Namely Champ Car) are no longer around or no longer interested in the demos. Without some funding, they aren't likely to happen.

There are often test days on Thursdays before an FD event at the track, but they are closed to the public as there isn't any security / support for a spectator base.
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Back to the MMA comparison, you gotta be kidding me when you say the biggest success UFC had was the TUF show. It was a great regarding the fact it was a good crossover show, and was a darn good buildup for some of the greatest and not so great MMA bouts to occur. Then again I'm pretty darn sure the UFC wouldn't have died with out it. I still stand aside with you that the regulation of the sport was its biggest success on ALL spectrum's *hint hint hint*. But a close second was the decision to dismantle Pride FC *hint hint hint*. From a fans point of view (and I think you would agree) it was saddening to see them go but the US side of the sport benefited from it alot in the long run.
I don't want to get into a big MMA debate on a drifting forum, but what I am saying about TUF is not my opinion. It is historical and documented and as factual as you can get. The UFC was bleeding money and Lorenzo Fertitta even told Dana White to sell the UFC, then changed his mind, threw more money at the brand in form of TUF and the rest is history. In short, TUF was paramount to bringing the UFC to the mainstream and it's current popularity. You can look this up very easily, it's been documented, Dana White always says this himself and it has even been discussed by analysts within the MMA business on a CNBC feature on the growth and popularity of the UFC. Rule changes were not the primary reason for the popularity explosion of the UFC. To say otherwise is contradictory to all the facts of UFC history. As I stated, those rules were in place well before the explosion of the brand. The TUF show and critical mass for the UFC are parallels. The UFC says this, analysts say this so....

What you are saying, while probably important in the overall success of the UFC, pails in comparison and magnitude to the new fans TUF created. Before TUF, UFC could only be seen on PPV, so by default you had to be a relatively core fan who ordered. After TUF, PPV's went up, more fight cards were developed, more fighters came threw the ranks and of course competitive organizations developed. Anyway, enough about the UFC

To your point about regulation...Regulations are important of course. Amongst other things, what regulations can allow is competitive environments conducive to mass appeal, if indeed the the sport has mass appeal, a la UFC. Poor regulations can have a counter affect. So, you are right, they play an important role, but are not fundamentally what makes a sport popular. To be concise, what FD desires is the most competitive and amazing show that we can possibly create. We will make changes where necessary to do that.

Quote:
Hey FD, what is that 130VID thingy, and is the rumor that adoption of an SCCA type <8 year newness requirement for car things going to happen?
Each car in FD has a Vehicle Identification Number. Those cars under 130 are chassis' that are being retired due to those builders choosing to work off a provision in our rulebook that allowed for small unibody mods and such. Most being, "pre-approved" if you remember all of that. We no longer allow that so the pre-130 cars had two years to conform. There are a handful of cars under 130, but most of the field is not.

I'm not sure what SCCA thing you are referring to.... Can you explain so I can answer better?
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formula D View Post

I'm not sure what SCCA thing you are referring to.... Can you explain so I can answer better?

Its not a entire SCCA rule, just a rule in world challenge and one other class I think. The rule basically states you must run a chassis 10 years old or younger. Pretty clear its because World Challenge is there premier series, not for technical or safety reasons.

You may be right about that the whole TUF, but how is that a parallel to drifting at this point. Dana White could have sold of his share in 2003 and someone else could have came up with another gimmick. I personally feel that the TUF decision or something like it was bound to happen somewhere down the line. But you know and I know that FD is not in UFC's 2004, its not even close its more like in its 1994. Like I said, the only reason why I posted was to show not only D1GP fans are disappointed with FD.

Quote:
i dont agree that everyone is doggin the qualifying. some guys are new, nervous as hell and YES they want to make top32. There is also many people developing new chassis and/or know there is a weakness and have to work around that. There are plenty of people that are trying to jump the skill gap from ProAm to FD and its larger than it should be, thats why ProAm programs like XDC are so important to our sport.
I disagree, I know that you are a aspiring driver and feel for some of these new guys. But alot of these cupcakes out here driving like stick figures aren't rookies. I don't even see the rookies as a issue, I'm looking at some of these 3-6 year veterans, just going through the motions it seems. And alot of the guys driving new cars are ripping them, Mike Essa and Conrad for instance. Both 100% new chassis, never been drifted on any level, Essas car didn't even show up to SEMA IIRC. But both those cars are very well built and the drivers aren't afraid to throw down exciting runs with them. Shoot, throw in Sam's ugly challenger into that equation as well, its big, red, and ugly but its well built and beat on like a deaf hooker! I'm sorry but champions are never scared or timid, they perform under pressure and outperform when there is none. And the drivers on top of the series are good examples of that. I'm sorry but if your idea of "winning" is being mediocre, I think one needs to rethink their reasons for competing.

Rest in peace 2008.

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Old 09-22-2010, 06:51 PM   #19
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2 of my favorite things. MMA and Drifting. It is scary how much Formula D and UFC have in common. Both are ran by bald headed white guys, have stoner announcers, more restrictive than the Japanese counter parts but arguably more successful because of it, judgement system that favors control over willingness to finish.

I've been to every single Drift Atlanta and I have to say it gets better year after year. My only gripe is I fell in love with drifting because it was a dog fight every run. Nowadays it's more like synchronized swimming. Bring back cutting into lines and forced passing. As long as it's side ways I could care less if it was a "shallow line".

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Old 09-22-2010, 10:43 PM   #20
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What FD and UFC DO NOT have in common is the separation of classes. A V10 powered car should not be competing against a 4 cylinder SR20 in a championship race. That's like Brock Lesnar (heavyweight, 6'3" , 265 lbs) fighting against Frankie Edgar (lightweight, 5'6" , 155 lbs).

Yes, it might be interesting to watch, but the driver in the more heavily powered car just has too many inherent advantages. Who would win this draw? Dai Yoshihara in his S13 with a V8 swap or Dai Yoshihara in his S13 with an SR20?

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Old 09-22-2010, 11:10 PM   #21
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oldskool510

Obviously I agree... But I do think everyone should tandem against each other. But awards should be given by class as well. And it will definitely open alot of opportunities for alot of new drivers and potential teams (and cut others off at the knees). It makes it kinda like multi class racing... your obstacles are sometimes unrelated to your goal.

But yeah, qualifying should definitely be broken up into classes and be awarded accordingly.

I will post a thread about this probably after irwindale I think I will call it.

"Blaze1's Drift Dream"

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Old 09-23-2010, 06:59 AM   #22
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My idea of competition is not mediocrity, its knowing your opponent and being smart. Close tandem requires a good amount of trust in the OTHER driver.

You ever watch other racing? Sometimes its better to hold strong at 2nd or 3rd or even 5th than force a pass and wreck out. Drag cars sometimes dont even finish a 5 second run to save the motor, because its no good to turn a great time and blow up. In our sport, its not getting super close to the guy driving a little sketchy. Its not wussing out, its points toward a championship for your team and sponsors.

You can win a championship by consistency of finishing near the top, and not winning a single event in any racing discipline. I'm NOT saying don't go for the win everytime out, but there are smart and dumb ways to compete as you work though the field.

I agree, I love watching close tandems and all that too man.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:40 AM   #23
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The problem I see with that I4 chasing that v8 is the gap that all that power is the v8 is going to have, and on the judge's eyes that's more important than angle and or style, even if taka have a perfect run he will never catch up with one of falkens creatures, and he will never win unless they make a big mistake, BIG MISTAKE.
I do think the judging is horrible. Seattle's top 32 was just disgusting. and I do agree with blaze1, they should allow passing like in D1, it will make it more exiting to watch, and I think it will give the little guys a fighting chance, to go and try to pass those ugly looking pile of disguised tubes on steroids on those stupid wide lines.
I also agree with Tanner Foust, I am too, disappointed with Gardela for going with the V8. they were doing so good with that fantastically built ecotech.

Pretty soon they gonna be drifting on a straight line.

bring back takatori on a skyline (with an RB26) not and LS swap or any v8, and please somebody get Aasbo a Supra that can actually stay together by itself.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:50 AM   #24
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Strategy is always part of any competition, no matter which sport you play. Close tandems is the main reason why I go to drifting events. All I'm trying to say is that there used to be more consistent "close" tandems before all these huge engine swaps.

Ross Petty is one of my favorite drivers. His best event was probably last year's D1 event in Anaheim. Why? He was able to compete against other drivers in his own "weight" class.

Hey mannynj - Maybe FD should stand for FORMULA DRAG. lol
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:58 AM   #25
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manny, FD already made the comment that passing is allowed- as long as you arent forcing the lead driver off line to do it.

the gaps are there because some people havent sold their souls to the devil and gone v8. my soul is happily burning away. dont complain about someones motor being more powerful if its a LEGAL option in a competition. I cant goto the drag races and run straight up against a top fuel dragster and say its not fair, he has a bigger motor. However, sometimes people run too small of a tire for their power, thus having little grip and getting walked away from. I mean I've seen 400hp cars running on 225s- wtf. The whole point of going up in power is being able to manhandle bigger tires for more speed, grip, and smoke.

if you REALLY dont want to go big, or build that I4 to the gills.... watch or drive and practices and demos. I wonder how much the true difference is in power to weight ratios on some of the FD field.
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