10/2017

10/13/2017

Bring Your Own Car





Instruction ONLY Lessons are available for purchase at Our Store.


Taking the class with your own car.

If you decided to bring your own car for the class, pelase prep your car to the conditions as below.


1.  The car MUST be RWD (Rear Wheel Drive)

2.  The car MUST have CLUTCH TYPE LSD (Limited Slip Differential) installed.  OR, alternately, welded diff or spool. 

3.  The car MUST be free from any fluid / oil / air leaks.

4.  The car MUST be free from fire hazard.

5.  The battery MUST be secured.

6.  The seats MUST be secured.

7.  The seat belts / harnesses MUST be properly attached and in good working conditions.

8.  The E-BRAKE needs to be working condition: both rear brakes need to lock hard evenly when you pull the e-brake while you are driving.

9.  Please bring at least 2 sets of rear tires mounted in wheels for each day just for the lesson purposes to maximize your seat time, in addition to your commute tires on the car if you are not towing.

10.  Please provide own tools and services for tire changes / repairing your car.  We will not be able to provide these for safety reasons.

11.  If there are any issues with your car during the class, we will NOT be responsible for any damages or time loss.

12.  Once the class starts, we will NOT be able to offer any refund or reschedule for any reasons.

13.  Steering angle modification is recommended. 



Happy Drifting! 


Wanna be the Next Formula D Star?



Our proud graduate, Alec Hohnadell (left), earned 2nd place in Formula D at WA event in 2015.  It was his first podium in his 2nd year professional drifting career and in his 4th year from the first drifting experiences.  

  

(From LEFT: Taka, Alec, JTP, Gale)


When Alec took our class, he was 16 years old.  

He used to be a professional Jet Skier before moved into drifting community, and learning drifting was one of his dreams and decided to take 4-Day Intensive course with us.

First 2-Day was 1-on-1 lesson from Taka, last 2-Day was 2-on-1 (?) lesson from JTP & Taka.

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Testimony from Alec's dad, Gale:

Taka, I wanted to let you know how much we appreciated your instruction. My teenage son has been racing since he was 5 years old but had never had the opportunity to drive a drift car. We spent four days with you and were able to link the track at Willow Springs and come back to Florida and win first place in quite a few big events. After 6 months we are signed up for the Streetwise Pro-Am series with a chance to earn his Formula D Pro License in September. I am sure it would have taken much longer to get to where he is now if he could have gotten there at all!

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It is possible to be a Formula D star within very short time like him, especially when you have right coaches with right team, and great friends & family support.

You would minimize the time to start competing with right knowledge with our special program.  We could even fly to support you at your ProAM events.


Who want to be the next star?
  

Check out our competition course if you already have your own drift ready car!


Our History



We are the original member who had involved with very first drifting practice events, which were held at parking lot of Irwindale Speedway (House of Drift) happened in early 2000.

Our school chief instructor, Taka, has been in driving industries for over 25 years, and our admin and assistant instructor, Yoshie, has been in driving industries for over 15 years.

At that time, there was no drifting schools available.  Only information we could get were videos and magazines from Japan, only available in Japanese.

We have studied and learned drifting techniques and drift car set ups by "Trials and Errors" for the growth of the grassroots for drifting community and later to aim better result in drifting competitions.

Hiro Sumida, Taka's driving partner, and him were the original drifting lesson programs' developers, called "Drift 101" in the US, who had been competing in Formula D series since their origin (2004).  

With the drift event organizer, we started official drifting lesson, Drift 101, as a partnership, and soon started offering "Drift 102" as our own advance lesson in 2006. 

Our responsibility was to create / improve the training program for the students and to develop the instructors for the school.

Yoshie was mainly a tester to give feedback to the created programs because she had least driving experiences with least knowledge about cars among three.




(From LEFT: Taka, Yoshie, Hiro, Mark, and JP)



We decided to operate our program independently later year and have changed our name to "Drift School USA" to offer more detailed and expanded programs from the first step.

It has been very grateful that we had a chance to get involved with drifting scene in the US from the origin.

Thank you very much for the support to all organizers and people to evolve our drift school in today.

Competition Course



















Steven R. (Right) took 2-Day lesson and earned 2nd place in 2013.

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Competition drifting is not "What you think you did."

It is HOW your drifting looks from JUDGES.  

Even if you can drift a course without issues, it doesn't mean you can qualify TOP 16. 

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This is the course for if: 

1. You have your own car that is ready for drifting competitions. 

2. You think you are ready, but prefer to have lessons before actually competing. 

3. You think you are at the level for qualify in single runs but never qualified / rarely qualified, and don't know why. 

4. You set a goal to compete in drifting in the future and  want to hone your skills. 

5. You want to have better chance to qualify higher position. 


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*Evaluation session is included for the first time lesson. 

*Car Set-Up session is available upon request. 

*Ride and feedback for your car sessions are available upon request (An instructor drift your car and give feedback for improvement.) 

*Download Sessions with Video Analysis (analyze how you are doing, what and how you can improve.) are available upon request. 

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Rate: $475 for minimum 4-hour lesson for a private lesson, instruction ONLY.

You can purchase at Our Store.

*Minimum Requirement:

Be able to perform donuts & figure 8 smoothly

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If you don't have any previous drift experiences and don't have a drift car yet, but want to be a professional drifter who can commit for your goal with funds and effort, please contact us for details.  




Course Overview




Drifting techniques are...Ultimate RWD Driving Control Skills.

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 Exercises you will actually do are:

1st gear: 

(Basic Maneuver Lessons = Pre-Drifting Lessons):  

* Basic Donuts
* Advance Donuts
* Basic Figure 8
* Advance Figure 8
* Basic E-Brake
* Advance E-Brake

2nd gear (about 50 mph initiation speed):

* Drifting Mini Course (Type A)
* Drifting Mini Course (Type B)
* Other E-Brake Techniques
* How to Take Drift Line

3rd gear (between 55-65 mph initiation speed):

* Drifting Mini Course (Type A) with downshift
* Drifting Mini Course (Type B) with downshift
* Other Initiation Techniques

Optional:

* Hand Motion Exercises
* Faster Course Tryout

...and More!





Our specialized lessons would save from "the worst cases" while driving either on the street or on the track.  


Drift lessons are all about RWD car control skills.  We will start from the basic and slower speed.  It will help to overcome your fear or comfortableness to confidence on your driving techniques.   

Group Course









Looking for a company activity, bachelor party, or family reunion?



Group lesson is cost effective than a private lesson.



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What will be included:

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*EXCLUSIVE Venue Rental (*$1500/day value)

*Rental Cars

*Instruction

*Indoor Classroom for download session


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*Minimum Requirement

None


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Price starts from 1-Day Group for $3995 with 3-4 drivers.  

You Can Purchase at Our Store




F.A.Q.

1.  Where is your class at  &  Where are you located?

A. Our classes are mainly offered at Willow Springs International Raceway, and our office is located around 100 miles away from Willow Springs Raceway.

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2.  How can I book the class?

A.  For online purchase, please pick 3 different dates that you are available and fill out the date in shopping cart form.  Once payment is processed, we will get back to you with the best working dates for you, venue, and us.  Then we will send the registration form to fill out as a final step.

For non-online purchase, please pick 3 different dates that you are available and let us know.  We will get back to you with the best working dates for you, venue, and us.  After the tentative date is picked, we will send manual invoice.  Once we receive the payment, we will send the registration form to fill out as a final step. 

It will be better from Tu-Thur if you would like to use the venue non-exclusive (open to public).  

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3.  How much is your course?

A.  We opened up new store page, so please refer to our STORE for pricing.  If you are looking for other than in STORE, please contact us for details.

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4.  How is your class hours?  

A.  For hourly classes, starting hour is at 10am.  However, it is possible to arrange the starting hour as your choice as long as your preferred hour is after 10am.

Standard & Challenge courses start from 9am unless you prefer to start from 10am and finish around 3:30-4pm, depending on the progress and condition of the student for the day with 1 hour lunch.  

For Standard and Challenge courses, lunch will be provided at indoor classroom lounge to maximize the seat time rather than eating outside of the venue that would take 1.5 - 2 hours.  

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5.  I don't see answers here.

A.  Please contact us either using contact form here or info@driftschoolusa.com.

If you don't receive any replies within 48 hours, please check your SPAM folder.  If you still don't receive any reply, please try sending email again.

OR 

Join our discord channel.  If you use a computer, not required to register to use.   If you use a mobile device, you would need to download the app to use.


Drifting Techniques for Driving School Instructors & Grip Racers




We had a few students with driving instructor background without previous drifting experiences.


Gary C. took our course mainly for fun and to see if there were some techniques that we use for drifting could directly apply to his students from "out-of-control" to "under-control."


Did you know there are different type of spins?

Do you know how to avoid spins on track?

If you could control your car better, you could drive safer and faster.  If you have fear to be out of control, our specialized drifting program will help you to understand WHY it happens and HOW you can control better from slower speed.

We recommend minimum of 2-Day lesson to try out 2nd gear speed.  To be more consistent and try out faster speed, we recommend minimum of 3-Day lesson.


Contact us for more details with your goal.



Below was the testimony from Gary.

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Yoshie,

I cannot tell you have much fun I had spending three days with Drift School USA at Willow Springs Raceway. Taka's instruction was flawless and enabled me to do things in a car I never dreamed possible. I don't know how long it will take to get the smile you and Taka put on my face. A thoroughly enjoyable and unforgettable experience that I would recommend to anyone with a bucket list!

Best Regards, Gary Church

Learn from the Judge: It is "NOT What You Think You DID!"






Have you competed in drifting events?  Are you planning to compete in drifting events soon?


"Yes, I can drift!" doesn't mean you can qualify the competitions.

AND,

Since drifting is a judged Motorsport, "I did great!" would not work unless judges agree.

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Want to know WHAT you need for competition runs?   But, if you are shy to ask during or after the competition for feedback?

Our Chief Instructor, Taka is one of the Formula D ProAM series Judges.  

Take a private lesson / group lesson and get better!

---

Check out our "Competition Course"



Good luck to all competitors!


Happy Drifting!

How Far 1-Day Lesson Will Go without Previous Experiences?




We get many inquires like, "How far I can learn in 1-day course?" 


It depends on the previous Motorsports experiences, how physically active you are, how quickly your body could adjust to the exercises, how much knowledge you have about physics of car motions, the physical condition of the day of lesson, and lastly...how much bad driving habits you have.  

Based on our graduates' average performances on a private lesson or up to 2 drivers from 2006, we would say about 90% of the beginner students would stay in 1st gear exercises in 1-Day Course.

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Anyway, just as an example, in order to perform counter-steer Donuts consistently, you need to:

1. Keep the certain wheel speed
2. Feel of breaking the traction
3. Counter-steer at right moment
4. Catch the counter-steer at right moment
5. Keep the drifting angle and control the steering and throttle work

Next step will be adding the transitions.  It normally would take longer to master since you need to perform transition motion with consistent left and right donuts together.


---


All above exercises are very new to most of the students. 

They all told us even doing a few successful donuts were really difficult.  They felt difficult because of the drifting videos they have been watching made them think easy things to do.  We call it "different" than "difficult", tho.

It is very important how consistently you could perform the given exercises.  Also, understanding both theoretical knowledge behind drifting techniques and practical exercises will make the learning process better and quicker.    

How quickly you move on to the next exercises without consistency will end up going back to basic exercises because you don't understand why you make mistakes.  Do you plan to come back to the fill out the missing parts?

Most of the students get exhausted (most didn't feel exhausted because of the Adrenalin effect until they went back to hotel or home.) by activating the brain cells and unused area of muscles, and they start loosing focus around 2pm.


New challenges always take time to master, and out-of-focus won't help you any better.
 

Coming back refreshed next day, students usually say, "Why did I even struggle that much yesterday?

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Anyway, above 1st gear exercises are just "PREREQUISITE" of learning drifting.  If you would like to experiences actual drifting lessons and drift mini course in 2nd+ gear, we would recommend to take minimum of 2-Day course.  



Happy Drifting!


Type of Venue Usage

Exclusive Venue Usage (Closed to Public)


*Great for any days as long as dates are available.

PROS:

Be able to sit in the car with you

Be able to secure the date (no reschedule)

For You or Your group ONLY


Ride Along is available
 

CONS: 

Costly


None-Exclusive venue usage (Open to Public)


*Works better on weekdays, especially Tu.-Thur.

PROS: 
Reasonable price

CONS:

Not be able to sit in the car with you

Need to share the seat time with non-student drivers when they show up.
Possibility of reschedule when there is last mins book for the exclusive venue usage. (We will get informed in advance from Willow Springs Raceway office.)

10/12/2017

Yoshie Shuyama



Yoshie Shuyama: 

Love and have 2 daily AE86 because of Initial D... (?)

Have 2-time SCCA SOLO II National Champion and multiple SCCA SOLO II National and PROSOLO wins. 

The 1st Japanese female driver who received SCCA SOLO II National Championship title. Because of her result, invited as a CSCC SOLO II Ladies school instructor.

The 1st female drivers competed in Formula Drift with AE86 and qualified top 32 back in 2005. 

Driven as a demo drifting driver at the Champ Car World Series at Long Beach and competed team drift at Long Beach GP and San Jose GP as the first and last female driver. 

One of the original members who brought drifting in the US around early 2000s.

Supported Taka as a spotter for his drifting career.


<<...Visit Facebook page!>>

Taka Aono



Taka Aono: 

Graduated from Creighton University as Physics Major and Cleveland Chiropractic College.


Love driving, cars and Starbucks. 

Have SCCA SOLO II National Champion and SCCA PROSOLO National Champion titles and multiple SCCA SOLO II National event wins. 

Competed in Formula Drift from the very beginning as professional with his loved AE86. His Formula Drift competition vehicle, AE86 is known as Flying 86 because of the way of his driving style with his AE86.

One of the original members who brought drifting in the US around early 2000s. Support many local drift / grip events and competitions as an instructor.

Created original basic drift lesson programs back in 2006, along with Hiro Sumida, his driving partner and Yoshie Shuyama. 

Judge at Just Drift Formula D ProAM competition series (Current). Judged at some of Vegas Drift Formula D ProAM competition and also multiple drifting judge experience at multiple drifting events.

Technical adviser for car set ups. 

Did several stunt driving and sound recording works for major TV shows and movies.


<<...Visit Official Facebook Page!>>

Let's Learn How to Drift to Know the Truth of Drifting!






Drifting is still new, only about 15 years of history in the US. 

Even if you know the alphabet, it doesn't mean you could speak fluently or understand perfectly for other than your native language most of the time, right?

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Some says, "Well, I slide my rear in rain or snow. I know how to drift."

Alright, please be careful..  

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Some says, "Well, I did that when I was in college.  It's easy." 

Oh...like, you mean around 20-30 years ago? 

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Some says, "What is the point doing / learning drifting?  It is just waste of tires and gas.  Just wanna look cool & being wasteful?"

Oh, it is just greatest ultimate RWD car control techniques. Looks cool and wasteful are just part of outcome for the extremity...?  Just in case, if I didn't tell you yet.  😂

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Over 90% of our graduates told us learning drifting, even donuts, wasn't as easy as they thought in the beginning.  Why?  They said, "By watching drifting videos, it just looked super easy."

1 min. length of videos can be...guess how many hours of video shootings have happened?  😱

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One said, "A much greater understanding of how weight transfer works, how wheel speed and steering angle are intertwined, and how to better control hands and feet.  The most important takeaway, at least for me, was the basic knowledge of how to analyze a spin."  The comment from one of our proud graduates who has good amount of track experiences with no previous drifting experiences.

When people apply both "Theory" and "Practice" together, everything will make sense...Learn step by step.

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Again, even if you know the alphabet, it doesn't mean you could speak multiple languages without the processes of understanding and trial-and-error stages.


You know how to drive already.  You know how to start the engine, accelerate, turn the steering wheel, and step on the brake.  

But...you might not have learned how to keep the car sideways...

Also...you might not have learned how to control the car sideways in higher speed...


Point is...drifting techniques could be...not as same as you have thought.

A worthwhile challenge?  Let's Drift!  🚗💨💨💨




10/11/2017

Courses





Standard Course


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FOR DEEPER LEARNINGBEGINNERS WELCOMEDFOR 1-2 DRIVERSStart from the basic
  • Available Courses:
  • 1-Day Standard Course
  • 2-Day Standard Course
  • 3-Day Intensive Course
  • ---
  • Course includes:
  • Drift Ready Rental Car(s)
  • Willow Springs Raceway Fees
  • Full Indoor Classroom Lounge
  • with A/C or Heater
  • Pre- and Post- Video Analysis
  • Lunch & Drinks
  • Unedited Driving Videos Give Away
  • ---
  • OPTION:
  • PREMIUM Package Upgrade
  • (Exclusive Venue Rental)

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Challenge Course



FOR QUICK LEARNERSFOR EXPERIENCED DRIVERSFOR 1-2 DRIVERSStart with what you know already
  • Available Courses:
  • 1-Day Challenge Course
  • 2-Day Challenge Course
  • 3-Day Competition Course
  • 4-Day Formula D ProAM Course
  • ---
  • Course includes:
  • Drift Ready Rental Car(s)
  • Willow Springs Raceway Fees
  • Full Indoor Classroom Lounge
  • with A/C or Heater
  • Pre- and Post- Video Analysis
  • Lunch & Drinks
  • Unedited Driving Videos Give Away
  • ---
  • OPTION:
  • PREMIUM Package Upgrade
  • (Exclusive Venue Rental)

Please contact us for more details.



*NOTE: There is no system to receive a Formula D Pro license unless the driver earns their license from local Formula D ProAM series or petition to Formula D.




New to Drifting?

  • Have you ever heard of "Thumbs Up Driving"?
    ---
    It is highly recommended style how to hold the steering wheel for both drifting and grip racing purposes.
    ---
    When you learn how to counter-steer, it is safe to position your thumbs out from the steering wheel.
    ---
    Don't hold steering wheel like no tomorrow, and don't grab shift knob for no reason while just cursing.
    ---
    Relax your hands and happy driving!

  • As you know, "HABITS" are difficult to break!
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    If you have been driving for a while and don't feel like improving much, you might have bad driving habits!
    ---
    It is very important to analyze the issues and to have right coaches to make the adjustments in right ways.
    ---
    It is better to find them sooner than too late, right?
    ---
    Let us evaluate and analyze your driving skills for improvement!

  • Haste makes Waste. Don't rush!
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    Take your time to set up the car & feel the car for each change you make.
    ---
    We know many people had changed the car set ups at once to save money and time.
    ---
    They realized cars didn't handle the way they expected, more like...they made them worse than before.
    ---
    They ended up spending more money and time to make it work right.
    ---
    So, change the set up 1 by 1.

  • Basic Level Rental Car:
    ---
    Red Nissan 240SX (S14)
    Stock KE24DE Engine: 120HP
    330mm Steering Wheel
    Semi-Bucket Seat
    Megan Racing Coilover / Arms
    Mechanical LSD


    One of the most common drift cars available. Aftermarket parts availability is one of the reasons to make this car as a keeper.
    ---

    Red Lexus IS300
    Stock 2JZ-GE Engine: 210HP
    Semi-Bucket Seat
    Megan Racing Custom Coilover / Arms
    Mechanical LSD
    Steering Angle Modification


    Heavy car with decent torque. Rotation speed of car is slower because of the weight and longer wheelbase design. Now Lexus IS300 is getting popular in drifting scene.

  • Basic-Intermediate Level Rental Car:
    ---
    White Toyota Corolla GT-S (AE86)
    Stock 4AG Engine: 90HP
    Full Bucket Seat
    Megan Racing Coilover / ArmsSteering Angle Modification


    Same Car Driven by Taka Aono, Tuchiya Keiichi, Takumi Fujiwara (Initial D), known as the great car to learn driving techniques.
    ***

    Intermediate-Advance Level Rental Car:
    ---

    White Nissan 240SX (S14)
    Stock VQ35DE Engine: 280HP
    330mm Steering Wheel
    Semi-Bucket Seat
    Megan Racing Coilover / Arms
    Mechanical LSD


    Nissan 350z Engine Equipped with 6 SPD. Feels more powerful than original 350z due to the light weigh chassis.

  • Advance Level Rental Car:
    ---
    Dark Blue Toyota Corolla GT-S (AE86)
    Turbo 4AG Engine: 290HP
    Full Bucket Seat
    Megan Racing Coilover / Arms
    Mechanical LSD
    Hydraulic e-brake
    Roll Cage


    Same Car Driven by Taka Aono, Tuchiya Keiichi, Takumi Fujiwara (Initial D), known as the great car to learn driving techniques.
    ---

    Light Blue Lexus IS300
    Turbo 1JZ-GTE Engine: 500HP
    Full Bucket Seat
    Megan Racing Custom Coilover / Arms
    Welded Diff
    Steering Angle Modification
    Hydraulic e-brake
    Roll Cage


    As of now, mainly used by Yoshie for drifting practice and future competition purposes.

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