If we left the question to you, "Which is better: drag, drift or road racing?" how would you answer it? I asked myself the very same thing recently and while I don't consider myself an expert in any of those areas of racing, picking only one is a tough choice. I'd have to say most of my racing experience lies within the realm of drag racing, just because it's what I grew up knowing and ultimately requires much less skill (I'm not saying drag racing isn't a test of skills, but at least it doesn't deal with proper line or steering angle) than the other choices. Quite honestly, I'm no Ed Bergenholtz; I sucked all those times I spent a Jefferson to get inside the local strip for a few runs. I used to have the track official write N/T on my windshield to save myself the embarrassment of having to put an 18-second time and to keep the other guys on the street from guessing what I could really do. By the way, my fastest official time slip was a 16.89 in a '91 Civic Si with a stock motor.
My only taste of actual drifting and not having one of the pros whip me around during a press junket was a couple years back when Tarzan Yamada followed us to the Irwindale Speedway to school our inexperienced staff. And if you remember (or could probably guess without having read the story), I, again, sucked. My lack of hand-foot coordination prevented me from doing anything other than the occasional donut. I love drifting; I really do. But it's more from a spectator's perspective. I'd rather leave it to the professionals or the really passionate weekend drifters that take to the local events to blast around corners without any respect or regard for the tires they rolled up with. Maybe someday I'll try it again. Imagine if I learned how to drift so well I could actually enter a Formula D drivers search? Hey, stranger things have happened.
Road racing--now there's a sport I can really appreciate. I've had a handful of opportunities to do a few laps at most of the race tracks around the country and even though I suck here, too (surprised?), I still have a blast racing around a track the fastest I know I'm comfortable at pulling off. There really is no way to predict the outcome of a road race, especially a timed event like Super Lap Battle (cough--get out there and check one out--cough); there are just too many factors involved, unlike drag racing and drift where you can almost anticipate the outcomes. It's too bad road racing isn't as spectator friendly as they are.
If only we'd given people the option of "D: build show cars" then I'd have no problem deciding. But looking good doesn't win races now, does it?
Jonathan Wong email@example.com