Despite being a relatively new discipline for the FIA, the interest in Drifting continues to grow year on year, with competitions springing up across the motor sport world. Unlike in established disciplines like circuit racing or rallying, the winner of a drift competition is not the first one to complete a course or the one that does it in the shortest amount of time. Drifting is the only FIA discipline that is primarily scored by judges.
Conscious of the unique nature of the discipline, the FIA Drift Commission has recently finalised and published a set of template for Sporting Regulations for Drifting events, following a two-year process where they have been developed by Drifting exerts, able to call on their collective experiences organising and officiating at some of the sport’s biggest competitions, including Formula Drift, DriftMasters, Russian Drift Series and the D1 Grand Prix series.
This new template has been specifically aimed at organisers of grassroots level events and written to take into account the limited financial and human resources that such organisers may have at their disposal. Rather than needing to learn the intricacies of the new discipline, organisers can easily get a head start by adapting the template regulations for the own needs, confident in the knowledge that it already follows the procedures and guidelines that the FIA has for Drifting.
At the other end of the scale from grassroots events, the FIA itself will use the template as the foundation for the Sporting Regulations of both its international Drifting events; the FIA Intercontinental Drifting Cup and the FIA Motorsport Games: Drifting Cup.
According to David Kalas, Judges Representative on the FIA Drifting Commission and leader of the team that compiled the document, this will make it easier for competitors to progress up through the levels of competition: “The need for such a template became apparent in recent years when we learnt that the existing structure of FIA regulations didn’t naturally fit such a unique sport like drifting, so we knew it was best to start from scratch and create something truly fit for its purpose.
“The fact that in drifting the winner is determined by the judges rather than a stopwatch this has been often quoted as one of the elements preventing the growth of the sport. Organisers and ASNs would happily embrace such a discipline with a growing, youthful fan base, but they don’t have the experience or expertise. Common template of regulations will solve this problem for many organisers at grassroots level.
“Having also received many requests to support ASNs in the efforts to start such competitions, we also realised that this was an opportunity to create something that can be used by all and help create a pathway from club to national to international competition.”
The template of Sporting Regulations is part of the FIA’s effort to standardise drifting from the grassroots upwards so that it can be seamlessly adopted by ASNs worldwide. In early 2020, the first-ever FIA Technical Regulations for Drift cars, dubbed DC1, were added to the International Sporting Code, while a worldwide training programme for drifting judges is under development.
With upcoming projects including the development of safety standards for drifting facilities, the FIA Drifting Commission will continue to listen to the needs of the ASNs that it represents and help to safely grow the sport under their jurisdictions.