Japanese imports have carved out a large market for their cars here in America, though the same cannot be said about American cars in Japan. Indeed, the combined sales of the Big Three in the Land of the Rising Sun barely break into the 5-digits, while Japanese automakers continue to chip away at Detroit’s domestic share.
But there is one Japanese sport where American cars are becomingly increasingly dominant. We are referring of course to drifting, and even over in the Japanese homeland, cars like the Shelby GT500, which can be seen tearing up a D1 Grand Prix event in these next two videos.
While some import fans like to credit Japan with “inventing” drifting as a sport, it is in fact a sport that goes back to the days before NASCAR. Seriously, watch those old racers get those hunks of American iron as sideways as you can imagine. So it is nice to see drifting once again become “Americanized” as cars like this Shelby dominate the competition.
This particular drift car is a 2011 or 2012 Shelby GT500 with an aftermarket Kenne Bell supercharger. In a sport where the most popular cars are often what we call the Nissan 240sx (also known as the Silvia in Japan), American muscle has quickly risen to the top as viable competitors. It was just a few years that Vaughn Gittin Jr. brought the Formula Drift championship home for Ford and its Mustang.
Now it looks like Ajiko Racing, who owns and competes in this Shelby, is trying to find their own success in Japan. We wish them the best of luck shattering the quaint quiet of the Japanese countryside with their vicious Shelby.