Don’t let the photos fool you. We may have been clowning around but Keiichi Tsuchiya is the man to talk to when it comes to “keeping drift fun” and 7tune has this world exclusive interview with him on the plans taking shape for the future of drift in Japan…
The Drift King was unequivocal in his denouncement of the current management of the series, laying the burden at the doorsteps of a few key individuals and reinforcing his reasons to split from the series. He went on to explain that as yet, the series doesn’t have a name but that the team are working on it and with a confident smile, he added that they are discussing a great many things.
When asked if D1 was finished, Tsuchiya said that, “There will be two series next year. D1 is still going to be there but we will create another series to rival it.” When asked for some details he stated that, “…the current management of D1 was greedy. All they cared about was money, money, money. So Dai chan and myself said bye bye.”
“They were just pushing more and more powerful cars. The competition was suffering because of this and something had to be done. We created D1 ( Inada and Tsuchiya ). So we are sure that people in D1 will move with us over to the new series.”
I asked if that included Mana P and Team Orange’s Nobushige Kumakubo. He responded that, “…ManaP and Kumakubo are staying with D1.”
I then asked Keiichi about the drivers and teams and he replied, “Like the fans, they are in a panic right now but we are in talks with all of them so we will see what will happen.”
On the types of cars the series could possibly have, Tsuchiya commented that, “…they will be basically D1SL level cars. This way there is a much more even playing field and the competition will be more open.” I asked if that would mean that power levels would be capped or regulated but all he would say on that subject was that discussions were well underway but confirmed there would be “regulations” put in place.
I can also confirm that the series is definitely going to begin in March and April this year with Tsuchiya and Inada in discussions with circuits, teams and sponsors as I write this and the positive, determined impression I got from him was unmistakable; don’t laugh too hard at the photo – this guy means business!
In regards to the “format” of the media for the series, the great team who put together the Hot Version and Best Motoring DVD’s will be handling it, with Tsuchiya going on to say that, “…it will be a Hot Version Drift DVD, to complement the current Hot Version circuit DVD’s. We want to create something great for the fans as well.”
On the subject of overseas participation, Tsuchiya said that it was, “Only in Japan at this stage.”
So there you have it; probably enough information to get the discussions moving in the right direction and 7tune was grateful for the opportunity to share this news with the drifting world at large.
When it comes to the revolution of drifting in Japan, and the direction of the new series in 2011, 7tune knows the score along with all the right people and we look forward to working more closely with Mr. Tsuchiya in 2011.
Words and Photos – Adam Zillin
7tune. The Ultimate JDM Experience.