Drifting at The Strip during Midnight Mayhem Nov. 7;

Exhibition will launch six-event drifting series in 2004



The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will introduce the latest automotive craze ¿ drifting ¿ to Las Vegas with a special exhibition to be held Friday, Nov. 7.  The exhibition will launch a six-event points series in 2004.  This will mark the first time that a continental U.S. motorsports facility has offered a drifting competition program.

Drifting consists of racing on a specially-designed road course while trying to maintain a controlled slide. Racers are judged on their lap times and sliding ability.  The sport of drifting has attracted huge followings in Japan and Hawaii but it just starting to catch on in the U.S.  Several venues in southern California have hosted independent drifting events but none have created a regular point-based program.

¿Sport Compact enthusiasts in the U.S. discovered drifting through Japanese automotive magazines and videos and it caught on in Hawaii,¿ said Chris Blair, LVMS¿ senior director of drag racing operations.  ¿That interest fueled a demand for magazines, DVDs, videos and websites documenting these events.  We now have local drifting fans who are using area parking lots for late-night drift rallies.  We want to approach drifting just as we did our street racing program by providing a safe place for these enthusiasts to conduct drifting activity.¿

The Strip will host six events in 2004 in conjunction with the successful Titan Auto Insurance Midnight Mayhem street racing program.  A major invitational drifting event also will be held in conjunction with the NHRA GM Performance Sport Compact Nationals in July.  The Strip will release its 2004 drifting schedule and rules following the Nov. 7 exhibition.