Dear Formula Drift Fans and Sponsors,
Wow, I can’t believe it has been six years already of Formula Drift Asia. Our short but fruitful tenure in Asia has seen us through many different milestones from running on the iconic F1 Singapore Marina Bay circuit to the heart of downtown Kuala Lumpur at historic Mederka Square.
For the many loyal fans that have been following the series, the FD Asia as we know today is very much different from its humble start six years ago. Today, we have top tier drivers from the region and beyond, an ardent fan base, a solid sponsorship pool and even a live primetime broadcast on the FOX Channels network.
Despite the many developments, there is one constant that remains and that is our passion for the sport. A passion that we have been fortunate enough with the steadfast belief of Formula Drift USA to develop and professionalize. As in any form of entertainment, sponsorship buy-in is critical. This is where the Formula Drift product is so unique and we are very much appreciative to all sponsors past and present who have recognized the potential that our platform has as both a mainstream and viral marketing asset. Our event showcases the team’s technical knowhow, raw human talent and mental fortitude on an easy to digest platform. In layman’s terms, it is simply like going for a roller coaster ride over and over again. I am just referring to consumer experience; imagine what it must be like for the drivers themselves.
All this excitement naturally is accompanied by the attention of the consumer market, and this is where Driftpac firmly believe that Formula Drift is the best bang for buck in the sport. Whether attending onsite as a spectator or in the confines of your living rooms viewing the live broadcast with numerous others, there is a magnetic pull about two cars going sideways, inches apart from each other and the fearsome concrete walls with tons of tyre smoke. The whole visual picture is an easy experience to appreciate and even easier to recall.
Today, we have built up a core group of professional drivers who tour the region together with us, like a highly pumped circus on four wheels. At the very essence of it all, the drivers are the paint on our canvas, they make the show come alive and I would like to applaud them for putting forth the commitment to turn their dreams into reality. World class stars like Fredric, Orido, Nishida and Djan are an integral part of our series, but so are rising regional stars like Josh, Dio and Saranon who pose a serious challenge for the championship.
Last but not all, I would like to commend our fans for their non-wavering support of the Asia series. We are a global product but it is the diversity and support of the local fans in the countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia that make this global standard product so uniquely Asian; a motorsports spectacle that we can truly call our own.
The year 2013 will also mark our inaugural venture into Australia, expanding our on-track and broadcast reach from ASEAN into the Oceania region. Australia is a great sports nation, and our friends down under have an appetite for action sports that is unparallel by any others. I am sure that our Australia event would prove to be the most intriguing ever.
I would like to invite all you to join us on the next stage of our journey, as Driftpac strive to bring Formula Drift Asia to greater heights. See you at our next event and in the meantime; keep the passion for drift burning bright!
Co-Founder, Formula Drift Asia/ Driftpac
BASIC DRIFT CAR SET-UP
Kevin Wells, Formula Drift Tech Manage who will be sitting on the judging panel this season as well, tells you the basics of a drift car and what you need to get started.
It is always exciting to welcome new fans to the sport. Drifting, ultimately, like all motorsports is great fun and the basics can be mastered by most with the right equipment at a safe venue (keep it off the streets guys!).
So, here is my breakdown of what is required:
- A rear wheel drive car is essential to the sport of drifting. A rear wheel drive means that all the power in the vehicle is funnelled to the rear wheels, allowing the tail of your vehicle to ‘hang out’ and eventually go sideways.
- It is best to enter the sport using a rear wheel drive machine that is affordable and has tons of spare parts available in the open-market. Drifting like all motorsports involves seat time and track time. Also, as you progress through the sport, crashes and accidents will naturally occur as you push yourself and your vehicle to the limit.
- The essential performance modifications for drifting focus on the differential. Of course, weight reduction, suspension set-up and increasing the power output would be helpful at some point, but at this early stage, all the focus should be on car control. From the outside, drifting seems very chaotic and intense, but inside the cockpit of the drift car, the driver is fully aware of his or her vehicle’s attributes and the surroundings.
- Next, let us examine in more detail what the Limited Slip Differential (LSD) is and what it does for your car. The LSD essentially forces both your rear wheels to spin at the same rate. Imagine your vehicle axle with two wheels attached to it. While your vehicle is travelling in a straight line, both the wheels turn at the same revolution. However, while you are turning, the wheel on the inner curve rotates less than the wheel on the outer curve. The wheel on the outer curve has to cover a great distance. The LSD regulates the revolutions of both wheels, so that both rotate proportionally at the same rate. This equal rotation allows the driver to ‘hang’ the tail of his car out, hence initiating the drift and the giant cloud of tyre smoke synonymous with Formula Drift.
- The other important area of focus is vehicle and driver safety. Regardless of the level of drifting involved, all drivers should suit up with a fireproof race helmet and fireproof race suit. The addition of a roll cage in the event of collisions with barricades or other vehicles is mandatory as well.
- Before we forget, I also wanted to get to the topic of tyres for drift. Unlike other motorsports, the tyres used in drifting are all commercially available in your retail store round the corner. These high performance tyres have been produced by leading manufacturers to cater to the increasing segment of performance-oriented drivers. Imagine what your tyres can do for you under normal circumstances when it can withstand the extreme conditions during drift. It is common for drifters to go through a few sets of tyres a day during both practice and actual competition. So, make sure you become buddies with your local tyre retailer!