You might think that sliding cars over 800 horsepower and shredding tires would be a popular form of entertainment. Something to really pump the blood of old motorsport.

Drift, however, does not try to compete with other more traditional races like Formula 1 or the British Touring Car Championship. Not, at least, according to David Egan, vice president of the European Drift Masters Championship (DMEC). “I’ve always looked at drifting as a form of motorsport entertainment,” says Egan, as DMEC prepares for the start of the 2021 series. “Comparing it to Formula 1 is like comparing BMX acrobatic bikes at the Tour de France. It still has the technicality, precision and skill of traditional motorsport, but it is very well suited to a live audience.

While live audiences may still be meager on the pitch this year, DMEC is determined to host a show for their fans who follow the slip-up antics on YouTube and other forms of social media. “I think the growth in drift has aligned a lot with the growth in social media,” Egan says. “Where traditional motorsport would have used traditional media – radio, television, newspapers – the drift has many more fans of the PlayStation generation. They are on YouTube and on social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok. It has become a huge sensation for the young audience who may not be the mainstream audience of mainstream motorsport. Drift has actually grown exponentially to the point where online events are now getting millions of views. “

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Drifting’s growing popularity is due, Egan says, to the excitement of the machines. For example, the rules are less strict than in F1, so that the design and the mechanics of the car are more open to interpretation and essentially to the individual. Additionally, a full season might only cost $ 500,000, making it relatively more accessible to emerging superstars than more traditional races. Even so, the sport has clearly come a long way from its midnight club origins in 1980s Japan. Even Motorsport UK now has an official Drift Championship, no doubt keen to reach a younger audience.

The DMEC season will start at the end of May, in Greinbach, Austria. This year the tracks will include the vertiginous Lillesand Arena in Norway and the Bikernieku Trase Circuit in Riga, Latvia, where competitors hit almost 100 km / h before starting to slide the cars. Bikernieku is considered so difficult that he will have his own special prize, “The King of Riga”, attached to the event. There will also be what could turn out to be a savage drifting downtown battle in Tbilisi, Georgia, where organizers – perhaps fancifully – want to build a ‘Monaco of the Drift’.

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While the series has a distinct Eastern European and Nordic flavor – depending on the fan base to some extent – the drift could be set to spill over into the UK with the appearance of some talent. local. Well, near us. One of the big stars of 2021 will likely be Ireland’s Conor Shanahan of Cork.

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Source: www.autocar.co.uk
This notice was published: 2021-04-27 23:01:23

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