Heros of Drifting – take a closer look in the US Drift Scene


After we acquired Belltech Sport Trucks and ST suspensions more than ten years ago, we successfully established our KW coilovers in North America and also started our US motor sports commitment. We are also totally stoked on drifting, because it is one of the few motorsports that is open to spectators and participants.


Born in the early 1960s on Japanese mountain roads, Hakone as the center, drifting grew and later became established in the United States as a professional motor sport with thousands of spectators when Formula Drift was founded in 2003.

With the ADAC Drift Cup (former IDS) and the Gymkhana Drift Series, a different “variety” to pay homage to the lateral acceleration  a_y=v^2/r , now in Germany for several years there are finally a few Series and Championships dedicated to Drifter. But compared to events abroad such as the BDC (British Drift Championship), D1 Grand Prix in Japan, King of Europe Series or NZ Drift Series, in the German-speaking countries, the sport of drifting mainly lives for the joy of drifting.


Most of the time participants drift among themselves and only at the Essen Motor Show TUNING WORLD BODENSEE or 24h Race Nurburgring there is a great audience that this sport actually deserves.


Compared to the US, where Formula Drift has developed into the proverbial Formula 1 of drifting, with more than 630,000 viewers in Live Stream, TV reports, tens of thousands of fans at the tracks, a large commitment of car and tire manufacturers, the US Army, electronics giants, and so on.


With only one difference, the organizers have not strayed from their roots or lost their connection to the fans.


The original D1 Grand Prix drift series in Japan features mostly highly tuned and boosted six-cylinders, the eight-cylinder such as countless GM V8’s (often GM LS engines) are the most used engine in drifting.


Whether in old Silvias (Nissan S13), Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, Nissan 350Z and Nissan 370Z – the V8 power in the US is unchallenged. Above we see a Roush Yates Nascar V8 in Matt Coffman’s Nissan…


There are exceptions, such as the #RADBUL of Mad Mike Whiddett with it’s turbocharged four-rotor-Rotary engine, but the majority rely on eight-cylinders.


Even the Ford Mustang Drifter retrofitted a race engine and further added boost with a turbo. It’s all a question of the budget – even in America, where apparently unexpected cash flow is available…


KW offers the perfect suspension setup for every budget, although numerous Drifters rely on our KW Competition and Clubsport suspensions with in rebound and compression adjustable dampers.


And that’s no surprise. On some Formula Drift tracks, the Drift is initiated at speeds above 100 mph (160,9 km/h). This causes an immense lateral acceleration and besides to the tires, a special suspension setup is also very critical.


In addition to our drifting testimonials from brand ambassadors like the reigning Formula Drift Champion Chris Forsberg (Nissan 370Z),


Jhonnathan Castro (Nissan 370Z), Michael Essa (Chevrolet Camaro), Kenhiro “Ken” Gushi (Scion FR-S),

Justin Pawlak (Ford Mustang), Mad Mike Whiddett (Madza MX-5), Charles Ng (Infiniti G37) and


Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara (Subaru BRZ), also numerous drivers throughout

the different Formula Drift rely on our KW and ST suspensions technology.

Images Larry Chen, Formula Drift, Gymkhana Drift Cup, KW / Words CS

Related Posts