Momentum is a dangerous good, It’s often dealt without warning and creeps in from the back corner. Growth is that hard guy smoking in school, leather jacket, cool but rough and unpredictable. If you know what your doing, if approached correctly, the momentum of growth can be harnessed for productive purposes, improvement. But like any thing, when you stack more weight on an object, we hope it can bear the increased load.
The local scene is now conflicted, with the sudden increase in popularity there is a strong conflict within the community of how to deal with it. More people want to drift. What does this mean? It means less track time, more dumb kids streeting, more people fighting for the same parts and an increase in potential conflict. What are the resolutions?
To be honest it’s happened before. You must be wise enough to see history repeating. Smarten up and pay attention to opportunity when it knocks. This is the perfect time to harness growth, both financially and socially, each resulting in momentum for each other. With money comes people, and with people comes money. When did this happen before? There are two, of many, examples:
North America: Drag Racing -> This has two examples itself, as history repeats within history repeating. Drag racing shot up in the 50’s, kids throwing V8’s into much smaller cars and blowing away their friends on the back roads. Street racing, just as dangerous then as it is now. What happened? Someone was smart enough to harness the action. Tracks began to sprout up everywhere, companies mades parts, people raced cars, and eventually companies began to produce cars. Factory race teams came to the tracks to race regular people in hopes to sell cars. Drag racing became the biggest motorsport in North America and remains so even now!!!!! When did this happen again? In the mid 90’s people began jamming big import engines into smaller import cars and BAM, the Front wheel drive drag racing frenzy exploded, even the major American muscle car manufacturers, the very same ones from that began in the 50’s made the switch to imports and the big car manufacturers began bringing out factory backed cars to compete with the new wave. Did you notice this happening with drifting in North America? I hope so, we are already in pretty deep. I’m sure you’ve noticed that even Chevy is making a lightweight RWD car to compete with everyone else who’s trying to sell them this summer? Yeah, it’s happening. Pay the Fuck Attention. Toyota, Subaru, Chevy, Nissan, etc should all have small, affordable, RWD cars for sale in North America this year. Why? Drifting, it’s big, did you notice?
Japan: In the late 80’s drifting sprouted in Japan. It took another 10 years for it to catch here in North America. Obviously at first, they too had complications with the idea of it. A new motorsport is often hard to accept, however, having seen the sheer number of tracks, the volume of weekly drift days in Japan, they learned to embrace the popularity.
We are merely following in their exact foot prints, literally 10 years behind them. What did they do ten years ago today? We’ve finally caught up to the point where there is enough people to start causing logistics issues. The most natural thing happened, we started breaking people up by skill level. What did they do 10 years ago today? The exact same thing. CAN YOU IMAGINE how easy it would’ve been for them to have a ‘How To’ guide on embracing this new motorsport, like we have? A few conversations and a little bit of research and it’s there, plain as day, what to do: WWJD?
If you need a refresher course here’s a good point to start: Carboy Vintage Drifting.
So the question arises: What are the options from here on out?
1: Elistist approach. Shave the numbers away, keep all the goodness to ourselves. This is a great way to protect the current state of drifting. Preserve the present and resist improvement, purity.
2: Go with the Flow. To observe, understand and guide the changes occurring. Allow progress to naturally happen, drifting will evolve, we may not get a decision in the matter, but there is power in numbers.
So what does American Drag racing and Japanese drifting have to do with each other? They both chose to embrace their increases in popularity. They both chose to go with the flow. Things changed, some good, some bad. Time will continue to pass, and with popularity comes a new wave of offbeat interest and influence. Suddenly your vote becomes a little less important. To those who have been around since the beginning, that can be frustrating, but I leave you with this question:
If you were there in the beginning, do you want to be around for the end?