FOUNTAIN - There are few motor sports in existence where a driver earns more points by the amount of smoke to come from his or her car.
But that is exactly one of many ways drivers in the events of TC Drift Week rack up points Thursday to Saturday at Pikes Peak International Raceway.
Based on the number of drivers, spectators and corporate sponsorships, 2013 Drift Week could be the largest drift event in the history of Colorado motor sports, TC Drift event director Kasey King said.
Drift is a method of motor sport that uses a sideways slide around corners of the track and drivers are judged on a point system. Points are awarded in four categories including speed, line, angle and style. Line refers to a driver's ability to properly navigate the course, and angle is determined by the degree of "sideways" at which his or her car drifts. Style is determined by a driver's throttle input, transition speed around multiple corners and the amount of smoke a driver creates with the car's tires.
"It's a sensory overload," 2009 Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg said. Forsberg was on hand as one of Drift Week's professional judges.
The course at Drift Week proposes four corners for drivers to manipulate to the finish line. More than 100 professional and amateur drivers in four divisions of competition are involved in the three-day event.
Forsberg said he was most excited to see the event's Saturday main course and tandem events.
"The competition revs up as things go on," he said. "By Saturday, the drivers have more confidence with the track."
TC Drift is three years deep in its history, having put together its first event in 2010 at the Colorado National Speedway. However, this is the first year the organization hosted an event at PPIR where TC Drift was better suited, King said. TC Drift was born from the Fort Collins-based Triple Crown Sports of which King's father is chief executive officer. After 30 years of existence, TC Sports organizes more than 300 events a year with franchises all over the country.
On hand to announce the events is Jarod DeAnda, also known as the voice of the Winter and Summer X Games, who said the Colorado event was a testament to the growth of the sport and its popularity in Colorado. It sets precedence for other drift events in the state, he said. DeAnda not only sees the event as a boost for Colorado motor sports and fans, but also the drivers competing in TC Drift Week.
"These guys have afforded you the opportunity to sort of have your way with the track," DeAnda said at an on-site driver's meeting Friday. "Let's make some history."
Drift-ing in from the coasts
Kasey King has seen more than his share of drift competition prior to organizing events in Colorado. King has drifted tracks in California, Texas, Nevada and Arizona, and among other coastal areas where the interest and bigger funding exists. However, he is pleased to see the motorsport gaining momentum in Colorado and other inland states.
Race announcer Jarod DeAnda said part of the drift boom can be attributed to the resources available to younger enthusiasts looking to keep up with the sport and its star drivers. This helps interest in the motor sport move in from the coasts, he said.
"The beauty of racing lives on the Internet and TV," DeAnda said. "Before kids only had DVD and movies."
King said as a team, TC Drift aspires to touch as many dry markets as it can. He has also competed in events in Ohio and Nebraska.
As a driver, King was inspired to cross over into the administrative side of motor sports after seeing poor event management. He became a drift driver after his first ride-along, coincidentally at Pikes Peak International Raceway as well, in a yellow Ford Mustang.
"I had a great time and knew I could do better than the guy driving the car," King said.
TC DRIFT WEEK 2013
7 a.m., gates open
9 a.m.-noon, open track
Noon-1 p.m., Pro and Pro-Am practice, Track No.1
12:30-5:30 p.m., Cageless tandem competition, Track No. 2
1:30-3:45 p.m., Pro-Am competition, Track No. 1
3:15 p.m., Top four finish
4-6 p.m., Pro competition, Track No. 1 (top 16 qualifiers)
6 p.m., awards ceremonies
Fan cost: Day pass, $15, three-day pass, $25; kids 12-under, free
Coverage: 3 p.m., live Web cast begins on CBSsports.com ULive
Divisions: Professional , Pro-Am, Grassroots A (amateur), Grassroots B (beginner)