2005 D1GP All-Star Exhibition Details:
- Early pro drifting event helped establish the motorsport Stateside
- Staged at Irwindale Speedway, CA | Non-points exhibition pit the best from US & Japan
- Included car show, vendor row, models, food, music and drift comp
- Won by Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in Falken Mustang, 1st American car & driver to win in series
By 2005, the drifting craze was a smash on US shores, with no signs of slowing. Japan's D1 Grand Prix Professional Drift Series had put on an exhibition at Irwindale Speedway in 2003, introducing the public at large to pro drift, and then less than a year later the American Formula D Championship got off the ground, largely run by the individuals who facilitated D1 coming to the United States.
In 2004 D1 went to California Speedway in Fontana for a non-championship US vs Japan event, running alongside the JGTC race as part of the infamous GT Live weekend before returning to the House of Drift in 2005 for another All-Star Exhibition - another non-points affair that pitted the best Japanese D1 drifters against their peers from America.
All the events combined a huge car show and vendor row with models, food, music and of course a drift competition. They were massive to say the least, and for the 2005 D1GP All-Star Exhibition the grandstands at Irwindale were packed throughout the day.
In the car show sector, you had your Nissan S-chassis crowd as well as RX-7s and a few exotics here and there. Then there were the VIP sedans that were just starting to truly emerge and establish their movement as a staple in the import community. Additionally, there were often a number of Hondas in attendance that often struck people as odd. Sure, FWD Hondas weren't really part of the drift culture, but the variety added a little spice to the event, which often started in the afternoon, and ran well into the night.
On track, the drift action was intense, especially during this transitional period that saw heroes like Vaugh Gittin Jr. establish themselves as powerhouses in the sideways world behind the wheel of the Falken Ford Mustang GT. The grunts and groans that initially came from fans at the very thought of American muscle on their territory soon changed to admiration as JR made quick work of the competition and took home a win on this night. Gittin gave D1 its first non-Japanese winner for both car and driver.
Go back to that day via a few pictures from 2005's huge D1 USA vs. Japan All-Star Exhibition. See if you can spot iconic American competitors Tanner Foust and Dai Yoshihara in the gallery.