Fast and furious


Photo courtesy of Inline Images

Mauricio Garcia stuns crowds as he displays his talent.

A large number of students on campus do not currently have their driver’s licences yet. However, for junior Mauricio Garcia, driving is a piece of cake compared to what he does with his car.

Garcia is a drifter. Instead of using his car to drive from home to school, he drives around a race track using a technique called drifting.

“Drifting is probably one of the craziest thing you’ll see a car do,” Garcia said. “You’re going high-speed around a turn, and you’re sideways; you’re basically on the edge of losing control of the whole car.”

Drifting is a dangerous racing technique that involves oversteering the car so that the car slides on its side. According to, drifting is rarely faster than maintaining grip during a turn. Despite the risky nature of drifting, it became a popular motorsport.

Although the exact origin of drifting is not known, Japanese motorcyclist Kunimitsu Takahashi is often credited for his decision to switch to racing after a serious crash in in the 1961 Isle of Man TT race. He caught people’s attention with the way he approached corners at full speed and slid through the turn until he reached the end. With time, the sport of drifting was born.

“It all started with video games,” Garcia said. “Then one day, [my friend Aaron Sly’s dad] took us out to the track one day, and we had the track all to ourselves, and we were just messing around trying to replicate what [Aaron and I] saw on YouTube.”

In order for Garcia to practice drifting, he visits Adams Motorsports Park in Riverside. On average, he practices six hours every month.

Last summer, Garcia participated in round four for the annual Top Drift pro-amature competition, and he placed 19th out of 32. He explained that most of these drivers have years of experience, and he was really honored to be able to get that place for his first drifting competition.

“I’m still actually just learning everything about drifting,” Garcia noted. “But in the future, I would definitely like to go pro and pursue this career in my life.”

The initial cost for new drifters is not as high as expected, ranging from $3,200-$4,000, according to Garcia.

“Just go try it out,” Garcia recommends for those interested. “You’re not going to get it the first time, but if you just keep messing around with the car and try to learn the feel of it, I think you’ll definitely have fun, and at the same time you’ll learn a lot about the controls of a car.”