Published on May 29th, 2013 | by Jos Roder


The 7 Greatest Drift Videos

Choosing 7 video clips that truly represented the sport and could be counted as iconic was no easy task but this is the way Drift Life views it! Enjoy.

7. Big X 2005

The High Performance Imports DVD’s were a popular series in Australia, showcasing primarily Japanese car culture which of course included sections of drifting. In HPI V10 a particular segment was etched into my mind forever. It was the now famous Big X festival. The festival was centered around drifting and incorporated a mash of crazy side shows, from freestyle motocross to trials bikes, car jumping, two wheeling and everything in between. The festival had a uniquely Japanese flavour as you will see and OH&S was not in the vocabulary, but it was a truly spectacular show. I remember watching this with my car club friends and everyone one of us had our jaws firmly dropped on the ground as the event coverage unfolded.  This clip really cemented Ebisu as a drifting location on the bucket list for many foreigners since that time. Note: Video is long!

6. The Crash
The most famous crash in the history of drifting took place at Fuji Speedway as part of the 2008 D1 Grand Prix Championship. Daigo Saito and Masato Kawabata initiate their drift at close to 200km/h and things go terribly wrong. Thankfully both drivers sustained only minor injuries. It sent a shockwave through the drift world and truly highlighted the speeds that were now involved in the sport.

5. 2002 D1GP: S15 vs R34
This was one of the first widespread drift videos that popped up on the internet not long after the event was held at Tsukuba circuit, Japan in 2002.  This clip really proved to be a catalyst for the first wave of drifters around the world, who were looking to Japan for inspiration and information surrounding the sport. The video is shot at Tsukuba circuit and features Ken “Nomuken” Nomura in an R34 Nissan Skyline, battling Kazuhiro Tanaka in an S15 Silvia.

4. The Burst Overtake
Team Burst is arguably the most famous drift team in the world. One of the team members is none other than Naoki Nakamura. The video shows Team Burst performing at its best, completing one of the most amazing drift passes you will see. Although it is not the aim to pass under drift, in a team situation under the right conditions, it looks incredible! This clip is filmed by one of Aussie’s own top drifters Stewy Bryant at Meihan Sportsland which is a great little circuit about an hour out of Osaka, Japan. The colours of the cars, the proximity of the team, the precision driving up against the wall, the noise of the cars and the location itself all combine into a audio visual drift feast!

3. The Perfect Drift
At Round 4 of the 2009 D1GP Championship in Okayama, Masato Kawabata was lining up for his first qualifying pass in his Team Toyo Nissan 180sx. I am sure Kawabata was confident of a strong first pass, but I don’t think he could have imagined pulling off one of the most amazing entries in drifting history.

2. Daigo Saito’s Insane Jump Entry at Ebisu
A truly amazing moment at Ebisu’s Minami(South) circuit as part of the 2010 D1GP Championship.  Daigo Saito pulls off something special in his 800hp Toyota Chaser.

1. AE86 On Board: Ueo Katsuhiro
Even today, this video clip resonates. It is a pure, raw showcase of drifting and the skill required to handle a vehicle sideways at high speed. If I had to pick just one video as the ultimate embodiment of the sport and what it represents and the feeling it inspires, it would be this. As an aside, if I was given the option to drive any drift car in the world that has ever existed, it would be this normally aspirated AE86, without a doubt.

“Why didn’t you include Ken Block?”

“Where is the American/Euro videos?”

“Where is the street drifting, the sport was born on the street?

As for the first question, I will be discussing this in another post in the future. in relation to the American and Euro videos, I have seen many amazing videos from Europe and America, however I can’t really remember anything that truly stood out as being individually iconic. Some were close, some went viral, but none quite made it. As for street drifting, it was born in the mountains and there is some amazing videos that I love out there and I discovered a couple of new clips through my research process, however I can’t personally recall anything that really stood out as “THE” street drift clip in my drift life, so I didn’t want to force a video into the group that didn’t truly stand out or resonate as iconic. Perhaps readers can provide some opinions and videos you would count as THE street drift clip?


As a reward for sticking around this is the bonus video. AS part of my research I wanted to investigate what YouTube listed as the highest viewed drift video. It turns out that sex sells better than drifting! Note to those going for sponsorship, that might be something to keep in mind! Enjoy! (Click on Image)

highest drift views

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About the Author

Jos Roder

is the owner of Drift Life and delves deeper into drifting culture. Jos started drifting more than 10 years ago after discovering a sport existed that captured his favourite motoring endeavour, going sideways! Jos works full-time in the automotive/motorsport field as a PR Manager and Advanced Driving Instructor and currently owns a JDM S15 Nissan Silvia for drift/track/hillclimb duties.

3 Responses to The 7 Greatest Drift Videos

  1. wazman says:

    your spot on……was surprised not to see the JUN supra in there somewhere. The bunker red one8 in HPI 5 was what made me buy a my first 180sx. All in all i know i have watched all of those vids many times over.

    • Jos Jos says:

      Yes the yellow Jun Supra was a video that Drift Life forgot but is certainly one of the first memories of drifting for many during the early days of forums!

  2. Fro says:

    Hey I remember the Big X! Was even better in real life. Great list Jos.

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