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Come Drift With Me

The brutal battle for the Russian Drift Series crown

Drift racing is an extreme motorsport where drivers slide cars round turns in head-to-head contests at race-tracks or in empty parking lots.

Born on Japan’s winding mountain roads in the 1970s, drifting is now popular around the world. In Russia, enthusiasts compete on ice courses in expensively self-tuned vintage Ladas.

A red and a blue Soviet car compete on ice in front of group of people during the first stage of Ice Drift Kirov, Russia, 2018.
Drift racing competitions are held all over Russia. Racing on ice is the cheapest way for new drivers to test themselves in drifting competitions since their tires don't burn much on the snow.

 RTD asks why drift racers are ready to spend money they don’t have, drag their families around the country to drifting competitions instead of going on holiday, and spend every spare moment tinkling with engines and patching up their battered cars.

An orange and a red car emit smoke as they skid side by side around a corner of the track during Russian Drift Series competition in the  2018 drift racing championship
You can buy a used car for the price of a smartphone, but in the Russian Drift Series, cars must have at least 400hp and drivers spend fortunes on tuning their cars in an "arms race" for the most powerful ride.

RTD follows Fedor Vorobyov from Moscow and his garish 1977 Kopeyka VAZ Lada from his first foray into winter racing to hair-raising collisions at the Russian Drift Series, in pursuit of a top-five position. During the race, he takes on four-time RDS East champion Ilya Fedorov from Vladivostok, who is venturing west for the first time with his mid-engine orange Nissan.

A drift racing car's back falls off during the Russian Drift Series championship in 2018.
High speed collisions mean that lovingly-tuned cars often get badly damaged during duels between drift racing drivers.

 Meanwhile, young advertising executive Alexandr Dmitrenko, who trained in Japan and splashed out on an aerodynamic BMW 3-series E92, sets out to be the best. But over the year, he may have to adjust his ambitions in the life-and-death struggle that is the Russian championship.

A glamorous grid girl holds an umbrella over leading contender Vorobiev, who is lost in thought.
Russian Drift Series stages provide a fun day out for the whole family, complete with grid girls and hot-dog stands, but leading contender Vorobiev mustn't lose his concentration before the end of the day.

 With RTD, travel from Ryazan to Sochi on race-tracks complete with glamorous grid girls and hyped-up crowds. And hear from the director of Russian Drift Series why giving drivers creative freedom over their car fuels addiction to the sport.

Stage winners celebrate on the podium surrounded by grid girls and spectators during the Russian Drift Series 2018
The Russian Drift Series is growing in popularity and putting Russian drifting on the map.