Re: 05/06 Mustang SEMA drift exhibition
You're right, sincitystang. Unlike typical racing where the first across the finish line wins, drifting is judged on several criteria.
Racers run the course solo first, typically to find the top 16 out of the entry field. They are judged on the line they take on the course, how close they bring the vehicle's nose to a "clipping point" at the apex of the turn and the tail to the outside of the turn, how much smoke they make, and how excited they get the crowd.
Some consideration is given to how they initiate the drift. Using the E-brake is weak compared with using oversteer or a clutch kick, where the clutch is depressed and popped to jolt the drivetrain and brake rear wheel traction. Understeer, where the front wheels lose traction and the car slides outward, can lose points. And spinning out is death.
The top 16 drivers then go head to head in tsuiso, or two car battles, where one car leads and the other chases. They make two runs, changing who leads and who chases. Sometimes it's hard to tell who the winner is and the crowd will cheer for "one more time." The winner from each pair moves on to a narrowing field until a single winner is named.
Although true fans of drifting are certain it will be corny, the next Fast and the Furious movie, Tokyo Drift, features stunt driving by some of the Americans who race Formula D, like Tanner Foust, Samuel Hubinete, and Rhys Millen (the son of Rod Millen, the Pike's Peak champ - by the way, Rod Millen drift races too).