Formula Drift 2012 Singapore

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Drifting is not floating aimlessly in the ocean and praying for the prevailing winds or ocean currents to send you in the best direction. Why am I talking about Drifting (Motorsport). Well, Formula Drift 2012 (Singapore) was in town and I had my first first-hand exposure to the motorsport. It isn’t my first time knowing or seeing drifting. Back in the day of the Alfa Romeos, Toyota’s and Ford’s in Rally Car Championship drivers used to power-slide their cars around wide sweeping turns. This was what I remember when watching the television coverage. However, I believe the term drifting came about from the Japanese. Whether the influence was animation/comic driven (pun unintended) I do not have that answer. You can read Wikipedia’s journaled entry on Drifting (Motorsports) here.

So, I’m not really a newbie when it comes to understanding and knowing what drifting is. Understanding how they score and declare a winner of a round is where I am at a loss. Of course, scoring and winning is an important aspect of the racing series but let me leave that for a later post and as I watch more races and read up I’ll begin to better understand the mechanics and comment.

The human psyche is such that we crave the excitement and unexpected like that of a accident as it always spices things up. This is why I believe Drifting has become so popular. When you see a car drift it is actually on the verge of total loss of control. The driver delicately balances the oversteering with throttle input whilst coaxing the car to go where they want with counter steering and the accelerator. Over or under-steering could result in a catastrophe with the driver putting the car into the concrete wall barrier.

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This HotWheels car ended up in the concrete barrier a few seconds after I took this shot.

The Hot Wheels Car towed

Let me digress a little and tell you about my own experience with drifting . I grew up in Canada and as such we had snow days that just begged to be played in at mall parking lots. The police or mall security didn’t approve but that’s another story. I’ve owned mostly front-wheel drive cars except for one time I bought a Toyota Corolla SR-5 Coupe (The rear wheel drive version before the iconic ’86 popularized by Japanese animation. It is a thrill to slide a little around and power through with some opposite lock. That was good for a while and then I got turned on to two wheels. This presented even more thrills when I would power slide my Kawasaki ZX-6 Ninja in a corner and with a little extra power on the slide with some counter steering I could lift the front wheel. I only wish during that time I had a photographer friend who could have snapped the action. Anyway, back to Formula Drift 2012 and some of the action on and off the track.

Off the track you can always find the promoter ladies parading around and ready to strike a pose for you to take a shot. As I had missed the practice and qualifying day (Saturday) I needed to spend as much time as possible on the metal bodies so I only have this lovely catch.

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Out of the field of 32 qualifiers the field needed to be reduced to the top 16. Here’s the top 16 drivers and their cars on their parade lap

Final 16 Parade Lap

The action was fast and furious. I never realized just how short the track was in these sprints. I understood why the sprints were short after my first encounter with the shredded tire rubber covering my clothes. If the race length was too long the teams would be going through a lot of tires. You can also see from the amount of smoke just how tortured the tires get.

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 There were a couple moments I thought we’d get some rain but the weather held and that meant some exciting racing towards the end of the final four. It was so close that there had to be re-runs to determine a winner.

In the end, the podium finishers ended with 1st place Daigo (Car #1) scoring 94pts, 2nd place Rio SB (Car #210) scoring 92pts and in 3rd place Max Orido (Car #55) with 91pts.

Podium Winners

 Enjoy some of the other shots below…

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Thanks to Canon Singapore for the invitation and for having the EOS 1D-X fitted with the big-ass telephotos for media to shoot from different vantage points around the track.

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