Formula Drift: SHOWDOWN – Texas Motor Speedway

August 21-22, 2015

Written by Luan Mai

Photos by Luan Mai & Vincent Mok

Returning to Formula Drift at Texas Motor Speedway (FDTX) was a real pleasure, though decidedly much calmer one. Last year marked my first time attending a Formula Drift event, and as a first-timer, it was so easy to get caught up in the spectacle of the international competition, with its noise, smoke, and fury. One year and several drift events later, including drifting at Cupcake Meet events, and drifting has become a more familiar affair. There is no longer the initial shock and awe of seeing high-powered vehicles enter corners with screaming tires in their wake.

This does not take anything away from the sport, however. Nor is it to say that seeing a car slide through a corner is not exhilarating. As with anything that one gets accustomed to seeing, being at a drift event became less about that initial emotion and more about observation, appreciation, and taking in other things the event has to offer. It was a lot of fun watching the competitors and seeing how aggressive they were. While I can always talk about study and observation, I cannot deny the nail-biting tension of watching two cars come close to touching each other or the suddenness of a crash.

It felt like I spent a higher proportion of the event trying to explore the booths and see other cars than I did last year. I didn’t even realize there was a section dedicated to just observing cars, including those from local people. It was like experiencing a car show alongside a motorsport event, a reverse CCM where the drifting is the main attraction and the car show is secondary. Adding to the adventure was, of course, the famous Texas heat.

So another year of Formula Drift in Texas has come to a close. For any that have not go, I highly recommend it. There’s so much of car culture present in one place. Modded and stock cars, motorsport and show cars, factory and aftermarket parts, and other aspects of car culture co-exist without the antagonism of an online car page. It is also quite a surprise seeing familiar faces and finding out you have friends who are interested in cars, or at least drawn by the spectacle of the event. Let’s not forget the international aspect of Formula Drift. What an honor it is to have such an event with legendary names and heroes like Ken Gushi, Daigo Saito, and Chris Forsberg at a Texas racetrack. Now that you have read all this, please enjoy the photos where we have attempted to captured some of the fun and spectacle of Formula Drift.

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