16th Annual Kansai All-Star Drift GP
For all the great major drift events in the world, there's also a small handful that go largely unnoticed, but that doesn't make them any less exciting. It's a shame they do, really, but it's doubly hard to keep any sort of tabs on them. Good thing for having resources around the world.
In Japan, the birthplace of professional drifting, there's an event that's held each year at the Meihan Sportsland track in Nara prefecture called the Kansai All-Star Drift GP. This competition features some of the Kansai region's best drifters, broken down into individual categories (women and men) and a team drift competition. The team competition breaks it down even further, by all of the prefectures in the Kansai region: Osaka, Kyoto, Mie, Shiga, Hyogo and Wakayama.
Meihan Sportsland is known best for its main straight, which has a long wall to accompany it. The more skilled drifters are able to clip the wall just enough to hold their line. If someone clips the wall too hard, they'll head straight into a wall of tires that sits in front of the grandstands. Not somewhere you want to be.
More importantly, what really makes this event exciting is the style of drifting you'll see here, which is simply referred to as "Kansai-style". Kansai drifters love to get close to one another, and they're not afraid to do it. This also explains why a lot of the cars are beat and scarred; often times they'll collide into one another or clip the walls too hard.
Drift cop? Now that's a first...whether chasing or leading, it looks crazy! To get a better sense of Kansai-style drifting—and to see some really bad-ass drifting period—check out the recap video below from last year's Kansai All-Star Drift GP event:
(Photos: Colin Waki)