Irwindale Drifting event sanction announced

SCCA Pro Racing to sanction U.S. D1 Grand Prix drifting event TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 28, 2003) -- SCCA Pro Racing has announced that it will sanction the U.S. D1 Grand Prix Drifting event Aug. 31 at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, Calif. The...

SCCA Pro Racing to sanction U.S. D1 Grand Prix drifting event

TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 28, 2003) -- SCCA Pro Racing has announced that it will sanction the U.S. D1 Grand Prix Drifting event Aug. 31 at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, Calif.

The first internationally recognized event of its kind in North America, drifting is a car control sport that has drivers dancing their cars on the edge without losing control. This translates to an exciting brand of motorsports where driver skill is as important as their properly set up competition car. Competitors are judged on how well and how far they can slide (or drift) their ride without spinning out of control.

These drivers display tremendous skill and, as a result, some have been recruited to drive in other Japanese motorsports series such as the Japanese GT Championship and the Japanese Touring Car Championship. Many believe that competitors in the D1 Grand Prix are the benchmark for drifting and car control worldwide.

Drifting has grown from an underground phenomenon in Japan to a professional competition sport that is gaining popularity in the United States.

"We are very excited about the opportunity to be involved in the D1 Grand Prix," said Mitch Wright, Vice President and General Manager of SCCA Pro Racing. "This is a completely new and fresh form of motorsports, unlike any other happening in the states. Because drifting has exploded in other parts of the world, it is likely to catch fire here as well."

The event will consist of two practice rounds, followed by the competition from 7:30-9:30 p.m. (PDT) under special lights. The temporary D1 competition course will be setup in the middle of the 1/2-mile oval at Irwindale Speedway, while grandstand seating will provide spectators with a full-view of the entire competition course.

Sixteen professional drift teams, who compete in the Japanese series, will participate in the D1 Grand Prix full competition format. Some of the drivers to look for include: Nobushige Kumakubo, Masatoshi Asamoto, Ken Nomura, Takahiro Ueno, Yuuki Izumida, Kazahiro Tanaka, Youichi Imamura Youichi, Katsuhiro Ueo, Nobuteru Taniguchi, Kazuya Bai, Hayashida, Tomikuda and Seigou Yamamoto.

As the result of a drivers search competition June 15 at Irwindale Speedway, eight additional drivers, from outside of Japan, were invited to compete in the D1 Grand Prix. Following the search competition, Keiichi Tsuchiya, the "Drift King," announced the eight drivers who earned invitations. The eight drivers selected are: Ken Gushi, Ernie Fixmer, Rich Rutherford, Samuel Hubinette, Daijiro Yoshihara, Hubert Young, Calvin Wan and Bryan Norris.

D1 drivers will try to impress the "Drift King" Tsuchiya, along with guest judges Manabu Orido, Suzuki and Daijiro Inada.

For more information about the U.S. D1 Grand Prix, visit www.d1gp.com. To learn more about drifting, visit www.drifting.com.

For more information about SCCA, visit www.scca.com.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Manabu Orido , Keiichi Tsuchiya , Nobuteru Taniguchi , Rich Rutherford , Samuel Hubinette