Ever notice how life’s most inspirational moments are often its most frustrating? Maybe skateboarding’s your thing, and watching near-flawless X Games Street Finals competition fills you with the sudden urge to kick flip front lip some double-set rails . . . right before you realize that you’d probably break both ankles on the way down. Or maybe it’s music, and every time you experience it live you’re inspired to rock out on stage and live the party life . . . even though you don’t play any instruments and can clear out a karaoke joint just by calling for reservations. But if you’re like us, it’s probably experiencing live drifting that really lights your fire—the thunder of fully throttled race engines, the aroma of burnt rubber and C16, the roar of the crowd screaming their drivers (could be you) on to victory. Too bad you lack the sponsors, dinero, and seat time to make the jump to the pro ranks, right? Not for long, thanks to XDC.
Back for its second year, the world’s premier drifting minor leagues continued its commitment to cultivating the newest crop of drifting professionals by kicking off its ’11 season at Irwindale, California’s House of Drift, providing an outlet for the Southwest’s most talented unknowns to battle for top honors, a shot at the XDC title, and ultimately, a future at running down the big dogs. XDC also brings the show heat by way of the Remix Award Tour, which combines to give the events that laid-back, grassroots, pure-enthusiast feel and personality rarely found in the more commercialized big leagues.
After open Qualifying, 16 amateurs made the competition cut and 15 tandem battles were waged until one man and one battle-scarred car were left standing. In Irwindale—defeating a field of boosted-four, turbo rotary, and V-8-powered FC RX-7s, 240SXs, Hachi-Rokus, and even the odd Miata and Cressida—that became Texas’ Chelsea DeNofa and his ’95 BMW M3, defending their title from ’10.
XDC stops in Phoenix next, before spending a few months on the East Coast as you read this, and then attacking the Northwest, Canada, Texas, and the 808 on their quest to find the best.