The wide, wide world of sports is getting so small it'll soon be able to dance on the head of a pin. First soccer (i.e., The Other Football) took over ESPN, now the original drifting series, Japans' D1 GP, is headed to SpeedTV for a multi-episode engagement from September to November.
There will be 15 one-hour programs, nine covering races in Japan, three U.S. races, plus an exhibition and a wrap-up show. It all begins with the event in Tokyo on September 12. You'll want to turn off your smoke alarms, for burning rubber is headed this way. Follow the jump for the press release and the teaser.
[Source: D1 GP]
THE 2010 D1 USA GRAND PRIX EVENT DATES
SPEED™ to Carry a Series of One-Hour Broadcasts
Covering all U.S. and Japanese D1 Grand Prix Events starting Saturday, September 4, 2010
Burbank, CA – June 9, 2010 – SPEED™ and D1 Worldwide Entertainment, (www.d1gp.com, www.d1we.com), the official organizers of automotive entertainment's premier drifting events in the United States announced today the 2010 USA D1 Grand Prix event line-up and that each event, plus the D1 Grand Prix Japan events will be covered by one-hour television broadcasts to be carried on SPEED™ throughout the entire drifting season.
The first SPEED broadcast is scheduled for September 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET from Tokyo, with the second event premiering September 12th at 6 p.m. ET from Oita, Japan.
"Bringing USA D1 Grand Prix drifting events to SPEED is a cool new addition to the network," said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. "Combining the young, cutting-edge atmosphere of drifting with the history and familiarity of host venues like Atlanta, Texas, Homestead-Miami, and Irwindale will be a unique experience for our viewers."
D1 Grand Prix events are held as adrenaline packed, tire smoked filled weekends with wheel to wheel, head-to-head matches between drivers drifting inches apart at speeds in excess of 120mph. Successive single elimination heats leading up to a final competition are used to determine an event winner. All drivers that endure the crashes, mechanical failures, and stiff competition receive points based on their final event standing and accumulate points throughout the season to determine the overall season champion, similar to other automotive entertainment.
The 2010 USA D1 Grand Prix events are:
August 13-14: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX (Round 1 & 2)
September 24 - 25: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Atlanta, GA (Round 3)
October 29-30: Homestead Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL (Round 4)
November 27-28: Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, Irwindale, CA (Round 5/Finale)
D1 Corporation Co., Ltd. (Japan) president Osami Suzuki proudly announced, "We are extremely proud and honored that D1 has found the proper home on SPEED to make our sport flourish."
"We are bringing true Japanese-style drift-car competition to raceways, including several NASCAR tracks, in the United States," said Bob Cook and Sam Johnson, partner-owners in D1 Worldwide Entertainment, along with D1 Corp Japan. "The excitement and adrenaline rush of D1 Grand Prix is like watching the last four laps of a NASCAR race in every head-to-head match!"
The series of fifteen one-hour television broadcasts will cover all the action, drama and insane driving as drifters clash like modern day gladiators on the asphalt battlefield at five USA D1 Grand Prix events and nine D1 Grand Prix events in Japan plus a season-ending wrap-up special. The events will be a true international competition, including drivers from both the United States and Japan. Each television broadcast will cover the Top 3 American drivers including Samuel Hubinette, dubbed the "Crazy Swede" a 2-time American drifting champion who also happens to be a Hollywood stunt driver; Hawaii-native Forrest Wang, who is one of the elite drivers in the D1 Grand Prix drifting series; and Mike Pollard, the 24-year-old sensation from Minnesota as they challenge the top D1 Grand Prix Championship drivers from Japan in their quest to be crowned the best drifter in the world.
The 2010 D1 Grand Prix events in Japan are:
March 27-28 - Tokyo Drift in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan (Round 1 and All Stars)
April 24-25 - Autopolis International Racing Course, Kamit-sue-mura, Hita-gun, Oita, Japan (Round 2)
June 5-6 - Fuji Int'l Speedway, Nakahinata Oyama-Cho Sunto-Gun, Shizuoka-Ken, Japan (Rounds 3)
June 26-27 - Okayama, Aida-cho, Aida-gun, Japan (Round 4)
July 17-18 - Tokachi, Japan (Round 5)
August 7-8 - EBISU, Nihonmatsu-shi, Japan (Rounds 6 and 7)
October 9-10 - Fuji Int'l Speedway, Shizuoka-Ken, Japan (Exhibition and Round 8 Japan Finale)
SPEED broadcast schedule (all time ET; subject to change):
Tokyo: Sat, Sep 4 - 6:30pm
Oita: Sun, Sep 12 - 6pm
Fuji: Sat, Sep 18 - 6pm
Okayama: Sun, Sep 26 - 6pm
Tokachi: Sun, Oct 3 - 6pm
Ebisu: Sat, Oct 9 - 5pm
Ebisu 2: Sun, Oct 17 - 6pm
Texas: Sat, Oct 23 - 5pm
Texas 2: Sun, Oct 31 - 2pm
Atlanta: Sat, Nov 7 - 4pm
Fuji Exhibition: Sat, Nov 13 - 6pm
Miami: Sat, Nov 20 - 6pm
Fuji: Sun, Dec 5 - 5pm
Wrapup: Sun, Dec 5 - 6pm
Irwindale: Sun, Dec 12 - 6pm
D1 Corp (Japan), the founding organization which developed professional drifting competitions and has been organizing them all over the world for over a decade, will be responsible in the United States for event set-up, track configurations, scheduling, judging and all things related to driver competition. Sponsorship and Branded Entertainment veteran Brett Lyons of Match Entertainment will lead all sponsor outreach and partnerships across the multiple D1 platforms including TV, Online, Mobile, and out of home promotional platforms. Sporting events veteran Ed Arguelles of Imagine Media Group, LLC will handle all event marketing, promotion, vendor relationships and limited sponsorships. Rainer Siek, past president of CBS Broadcast International, will be handling all international television sales and D1 Worldwide Entertainment will handle all licensing and merchandising and worldwide sponsorships, except Japan.
SPEED™, anchored by its popular and wide-ranging coverage of NASCAR, is the nation's first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle. Now available in more than 80 million homes in North America, SPEED™ is among the industry leaders in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services. For more information, please visit SPEEDtv.com, the online motor sports authority.
About D1 Worldwide Entertainment
Formed in 2009 by veteran 20th Century Fox Television executive and entrepreneur Bob Cook and entertainment marketing entrepreneur Sam Johnson along with D1 Corporation Co., Ltd. (Japan) and its president Osami Suzuki, D1 Worldwide Entertainment's objective is to bring true Japanese-style drift-car motorcar events, via D1 Grand Prix branded events to audiences around the world, The company holds all rights to D1 Grand Prix, outside of Japan, including licensing, merchandising, promotions, marketing, mobile, DD, events, music, digital, gaming and retail. The company is currently gearing up for the 2010 United States D1 Grand Prix season and has scheduled five events running May through October 2010. The company has licensed North American broadcast rights to the 2010 D1 Grand Prix season to the SPEED™ and FOX Sports Net. International broadcast rights are still available to the 2010 D1 Grand Prix series.