Pro drifting is growing up, friends, and as the sport continues to propagate, its world shrinks in a manner of speaking. If you didn’t believe this when the International Automobile Federation (or FIA) – arguably the world’s largest and most influential sanctioning body (the same that licenses Formula 1 (F1) and the World Rally Championship (WRC)) – announced its Intercontinental Drifting Cup exercise a couple months back, then surely you can’t discount the news that emerged today: namely that North America’s Formula DRIFT Championship has aligned with the Irish Drift Championship (IDC) and British Drift Championship (BDC) to form a partnership to develop the future rules and regulations for drifting.
Via press release, the three series let it be known they will be working together closely to improve the sport. As part of the new arrangement, IDC and BDC champions will receive Black Magic Formula DRIFT Championship presented by BlackVue Dash Cameras Pro licenses, while the number two to eight ranked drivers from the IDC and BDC will receive a Formula D Pro2 Championship license beginning in 2018.
“We have had long time ties to Europe via various European drivers that have come into the Series,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “There is no better time to deepen these ties to ensure the future of our sport.”
“I believe this strategic partnership with Formula Drift opens a positive channel to which we can combine resources and experience, with the betterment of the sport being the prime objective,” offered David Egan, CEO, Zigen Promotions - Irish & British Drift Championship. “I think the correct time has come to work together for what has always been a common goal: making the sport of professional drifting as successful as possible for all involved.”
As referenced earlier, the timing of this announcement is curious, considering the FIA elected to go with SUNPROS – which have been hosting D1 Grand Prix events in Japan since 2001 – as the promoter of its Intercontinental Drifting Cup, instead of the bigger Formula D. The earlier FIA bulletin also had the audacity to claim its Intercontinental Drifting Cup would be the discipline’s first international competition – even though Red Bull and Formula D held their own Drifting World Championship in 2008. That event opened the door for many European drivers to jump The Pond and have a go in America – the likes of Eric O’Sullivan, Darren McNamara, Dean Kearney, and current FD points leader James Deane.
Is this new partnership a response to the FIA’s Intercontinental Drifting Cup? We kinda see it that way, but who’s to say? We’re partial to our friends at Formula DRIFT, and as long they continue to put on the best drifting show anywhere, we’re going to continue backing them and espousing their virtues – and the virtues of those who choose to stand with them.