NISSAN WEEK AND THE NEW D1GP: Some new info about Tsuchiya and Dai’s drift series

March 2, 2011 7:10 am Published by

So, today is Skyline day (R32), yesterday was Cefiro day (A31) and Friday is Laurel day (C34), so do something nice for your car this week if you drive a Nissan. It’s also Mini day and Sunny day, as “3 2” can be pronounced “mi ni” or “san ni”. Unfortunately for me, there’s no zeroth of October, so I’ll just have to wait and see what date S.T. Garage set for the 1JZ Meeting this year.

Putting that aside for now, I heard some interesting things yesterday…

Just in case you haven’t heard about this before, Keiichi Tsuchiya and Daijiro Inada recently decided to disassociate themselves with the D1 Grand Prix series that they helped create and popularise. Long story short, it was due to disagreements with the management over the direction the competition was taking, which essentially ended when Tsuchiya gave an ultimatum: D1 Corp fire the management or he’s out, which is how it ended up.

Since then, both he and Dai-chan had announced that they intended to start their own drifting series, but there hasn’t been much more about it since then.

Well, yesterday’s video shoot for Hot Version at Nikko Circuit revealed some new information: There’s going to be three classes in the competition. A normal class, super class and ladies’ class. Car tuning specs are aimed at “the kind of mods that a normal person can afford”, meaning no 1000hp monsters or works cars, and the entry fees will be much cheaper than other competitions. The difference between the classes is going to be based on skill only, not on the car.

“If people want to build cars to a high level, they can drive them in D1.” said Dai-chan, when I asked him about it.

There’s no word yet on how they’ll be working with the regulations, but the evolution of the Street Legal series might give them some idea. Essentially, it seems they’re not aiming at taking on D1 itself, but at creating a series that is more like what D1 used to be in the past. How this conflicts with similar series like MSC is yet to be seen.

It turns out they don’t have any intention of starting the series this year, so it’s going to be a 2012 gig.

Also there yesterday was 2010 D1 Street Legal champion Naoki Nakamura. Looking very out of place in a suit, he formally apologised to the assembled drivers, which included the likes of current D1 drivers Koguchi, Hibino, Tezuka and Daigo Saito, as well as Taniguchi and Orido, for the fuss he had caused with his arrest for street drifting. Tsuchiya accepted his apology on everyone’s behalf and insisted that Nakamura be given a second chance. Chalk him up as a driver in their series then!

The day was a fairly good indication of what things might be like with the new series. Politics and alignments are probably going to play a bigger part than ever in who will be seen at what competition in the future. Even at this particular video shoot, a couple of drivers who you’d think would have been invited were nowhere to be seen. One certain female driver, who actually turned up at one point to see what was going on, was actually quite upset that she hadn’t even been told about the event. I got the feeling it might be due to her alignment with a certain coloured team.

If you’re wondering about the awful photos, I didn’t have a proper camera on me since I was actually working at the shoot. As you can see, I tried taking some pics before it fogged up after walking from miserable sleeting weather into a lovely and warm meeting room but…

…it soon became completely useless!

It shall be interesting to see how this all turns out.

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This post was written by Alexi


  • Ben Comana says:

    So we can consider Ebisu to be out of the calendar?

  • yeahhhh!! Love teh skyline, that thing is teh sh*t!!!! Love R-33 with widebody veliside kits!!!

  • saru-kun says:

    D1 and FD are snooze-fests. I hope this new series takes inspiration from the old Option ikaten meets circa mid 90’s. Small circuits that force drivers to exhibit car control and creativity should be the emphasis.

  • streaty says:

    very excited about the new series, I used to love D1 but slowly lost interest as the level of car and budget went well beyond what “normal” people could afford. I find the MSC series and to a lesser degree D1SL far more interesting so if this is set to follow a similar formula i can’t wait!

  • Isidro says:

    Definitely interesting. So I’m guessing that Nomura wasn’t invited either?

  • Killian says:

    Cool i guess! oh well 2012 will bring something interesting to the table now. Great post Alexi! Without your insight we would be left in the dark for along time if not maybe forever! Thanks!

  • Donnie says:

    Good stuff … I knew things were going to be arkward at a point yet awesome.. Good stuff for Nakamura

  • kOOpA says:

    Sounds good. I am entertained by seeing talented people driving “normal” cars more than full blown race cars.

    Are there MSC videos? Because they would sell like CRAZY.

  • MajorPayne says:

    Just in case you hadn’t heard? Have you never heard about a little place called 7tune? Those guys posted a global release on this months ago.

  • doctorsars says:

    maybe this will revive the early/mid 2000s style, that’d be pretty awesome

  • D1RGE.EXE says:

    Well, this seems to be good news, but unfortunately, true to form. Starting a new series, and before it even begins, they are already starting political drama by inviting only “certain” teams. Sounds like the exact reason many dropped out of D1 from 2004 on. I love these guys and what they have done for drifting but they are no angels either.

    Doesn’t anyone remember all Tsuchiyas insults to the drivers and “interesting” judging choices from early D1(before corporate overhype)? I hope this is better, I’m tired of every series having major faults.

  • Andy G says:

    I have been ranting about this to friends lately! Take it back to the days of D1GP 03/04 seasons….back when cars were lucky to break 400hp and it was frantic and wild and exciting…

  • Andy G says:

    Could the D1GP’s decision to ban Nakamura been one of the problems that pushed Tsukiya away from the GP perhaps?

  • Man, I really wish I was there, Alexi I READ YOUR ARTICLES IN BANZAI! I lovvveee theemm sooo mucch, shame that I live in the USA because magazines from the UK are $10.50.

  • TecD says:

    So the guy thats apologizing is leader of team burst right? I hope Nomura ken comes back too 😀

  • Anthony says:

    I think it’s great news for the sport!

    Could it be a good idea to split each class into “car manufacturing year’ classes? I mean [79′ and lower] [80’s] [90’s] etc.

    For your foggy picture problem, you might want to take a look a this paper ( It is usefull if you want to do some post processing on foggy pictures (I’m currently finishing a master degree in image processing…an looking for a job).

  • Rob says:

    Wow, I’ve never seen Nakamura dressed up before. Looks kind of weird.

    I just love drifting in general whether it’s D1, MSC or a practice day, so I’ll always welcome another series. The best drifting I’ve seen in my entire life was at D1 Ebisu. So I have no reason to rubbish any of the series.

  • Sergiogon says:

    Tsuchiya has a name on = The Drift Muscle and has some schedule :

    Game 1 Friday, May 08 (Sunday) Circuit Maze Sea
    第2戦 6月5日(日) 備北ハイランドサーキット June 05, Game 2 (Sunday) Circuit Bihoku Highland
    第3戦 7月17日(日) 日光サーキット Game 3 Friday, July 17 (Sun) light circuit
    第4戦 10月10日(祝) 鈴鹿ツインサーキット Game 4: October 10 (Mon) Suzuka Twin Circuit
    第5戦 11月3日(祝) スポーツランドSUGO 西コース Round 5 November 3 (Holiday) Sportsland SUGO West Course

  • de8soul says:

    we want ueo!!!

  • thom says:

    +1 for Ueo!