FIA Drifting Working Group Meeting

Posted on Feb 8, 2017 In International


The latest meeting of the FIA Drifting Working Group was held in Paris on February 6th, 2017. I was invited to present the results of the Judges Working Group meeting that I spoke about HERE, and to get a consensus from the group on how to proceed with some key issues that were raised during that meeting. As for the Drifting Working Group meeting, I wouldn’t go so far as to say the specifics of the meeting are confidential, but I don’t want to delve too deeply at the moment. In general terms, a few subjects including standardizing technical regulations, safety regulations and of course the results of the aforementioned Judging  Working Group meeting from this past December were discussed.

In my previous article I introduced you to Morgan Caron, FIA’s Head of Transverse Motorsports. This time, I asked him a few questions regarding the delay in the announcement of the planned FIA Drifting Intercontinental Cup, since it’s something we’re all anxiously awaiting.

Ryan: Can you explain why the FIA has delayed the announcement regarding the FIA Drifting Intercontinental Cup?

Morgan: The main reason the decision has been held up is the FIA legal department has a lot of work to do when it comes to dissecting and verifying all of the applicants’ proposals. Once the legal department receives a proposal, they must verify every aspect of it, starting with the applicant’s financial stability & history. Then they look at the proposed location and their ability to host an event of this magnitude, are there any partners involved and what is their financial situation and history like? Does the partner know they are mentioned in this proposal and have they considered the implications of being involved?

During this process, the FIA legal department may require more information about a certain part of the proposal, at which time a request is made to the applicant. Once a request is made, they must then wait for a reply. Once a reply is received, that information must also be verified, and as you can imagine, sometimes multiple requests have to be made to the same applicant for different parts of the proposal as those questions come up. Now multiply that process by the amount of proposals received, and you will have an idea of the magnitude of information that must be processed.

Adding to the legal team’s work load was the sale of Formula1 in January (more information HERE), which required a special meeting of the World Sporting Council to finalize. A lot of resources were dedicated to that meeting and the subsequent sale, further slowing the process for the FIA Drifting Intercontinental Cup.

Ryan: Can you confirm how many proposals you received, and who the applicants were?

Morgan: No, I can’t comment on that.

I then proposed asking the members of the Drifting Working Group myself if they had submitted a proposal. Morgan agreed that if they volunteered the information themselves, there wouldn’t be a problem with me writing about it in this article. So off I went to question some members of the group.

I don’t think it was a secret that Formula Drift had submitted a proposal to the FIA to host the Drifting Intercontinental Cup, but Jim Liaw made it official by confirming for this article that they have indeed done so. Another Drifting Working Group member in attendance was Niall Gunn, owner and organizer of Drift AllStars. He also confirmed that he has submitted a proposal to host the Drifting Intercontinental Cup.

The final person I spoke to was Mr. Saita, Vice President of D1GP. I asked Mr. Saita’s translator if she could help me for a few minutes, as my Japanese is practically nonexistent (save for a few silly pleasantries that make Japanese people laugh when I make any sort of attempt) and though he speaks and understands English, he prefers a translator so nothing is lost in the conversation.

Saita-San confirmed that D1 has sent in a proposal, and gave me permission to say so in this article. He couldn’t comment further as he doesn’t know any more than I do about the selection process or the outcome, but he seemed very proud to be a part of the group and we started discussing judging as it pertains to both D1 and Formula Drift.

The rest of the attendees that day stated that they have not sent in a proposal, so I am left with those 3 for now. As it stands, the previously delayed announcement is now planned for March 9th, 2017. Hopefully the legal team can work through all of the information by then so we can all have an answer. I don’t know about you, but the suspense has been building for me and I can’t wait to find out who will be hosting the FIA Drifting Intercontinental Cup!

I started working for the Canadian Drift Championship when it began in late 2004. After learning how to drift in my first R32 Skyline, I was asked to do demos for Yokohama in 2007, which led to competing for BFGoodrich in 2008/2009. I judged in Canada in 2010, and graduated to Formula Drift in 2011.

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  1. Saumurai Sam says:

    I hope the drift allstars proposal was at Yas Marina! That place is on my bucket list to visit. I would definitely go if there was a big event over there

  2. Blaze1 says:

    I’m praying for a D1 event in the states if it involves the FIA or not. Minus the 09 debacle which later became XDC I’ve never been to a boring D1 event. The 04 event with JGTC at California Speedway was one of the best weekends of my life. But I wont hold my breath. FD might be seen as a shoo-in, but I don’t see this event going down in the States or Asia and they don’t have much if any experience in Europe. They have been to Abu Dhabi once, and in my opinion it was their best live stream to date but they never went back and I think its for a reason. With all that being said I wont be surprised if Drift AllStars gets the contract, they are familiar with Europe, I think they already have a FIA centered tech requirements, and I haven’t ever heard a single bad thing about their judging philosophy.

    BTW, if Toshi Hayama isn’t already involved in this thing right now he ought to be.

  3. grahamc says:

    In my opinion, and experience, there was never any added value in involving FIA in drifting.
    Sure, in some countries FIA has a tight rein on track access and this would help in that aspect.
    In my days as an organiser in Germany we did our best to avoid getting involved with FIA simply because we knew it would send costs sky high and add unnecessary bureaucracy, destroying a form of motorsports that can otherwise be accessible with a reasonable budget. We had a very strict safety most cases exceeding FIA rules and standards. Certainly the world needs another international championship but I doubt this is the way to achieve it.

  4. grahamc says:

    Regarding D1 and the problems surrounding it, it doesn’t matter how polite or open hearted you are, Japanese culture is difficult to grasp sometimes. When D1 was at it’s peak, it’s understandable that Japanese stars were discouraged at that time as somebody was pulling the strings in Japan, (Mr. Inada) and holding the purse strings too. Talking to the drivers directly has never been a problem. In the meantime the world has moved on..