May 28th & 29th I attended my first Final Bout event and it was the most awesome experience, next to Sema that I've ever had to date. First off, the mission of Final Bout is one that I can empathize with, centered around fun, because over the last few years I've been getting really turned off by the "Pro" drifting series here in the United States. For one, the sport has become a, who can go as fast as they can around corners, competition. Where as I grew up watching the drifters of Japan, such as Kei Tsuchiya for a more vivid example, and took notice to how gracefully they would execute turns in mediocre powered cars. These guys didn't need V8's to have fun in their drift cars and as a spectator that aspect of it has really taken the fun out of watching drifting. Many of the cars I see when I walk the pits have mismatching motors to chassis and show no brand loyalty what so ever. What ever happened to the thrill of being the underdog and making the best out of what was paired with your vehicle?
It was such a relief to be amongst people who clearly have the same unexpressed notion as I when it comes to the sport of drifting. There were many low powered classic cars that did nothing short of keep up with the pack. It just goes to show that you don't need LS motors in your 4 banger chassis' just to get sideways and create lots of smoke. You can see examples of this once you scroll down and hit the play button. The teams that "competed" in this event were full of character, expressed through both their cars and themselves. Each car clearly represented their own style with inspirations from the Japanese racers with their wild vinyl and clever wheel and suspension setups. It was great to see the camaraderie that the Final bout culture has created. Teams welcoming each other to the event, over hearing with comments between drivers like, "Hey man, great to see you guys again, your cars look awesome. Have you done anything knew to her?" No true rivalry just friendly battles. This was showcased best in the free run portion of the event where members of different teams were free to tandem with whomever they wanted to. This was my favorite part of the event because in my eyes it would show who was an adaptable driver which is what I think it takes to be a team drifter. You're drifting alongside some guy you've never driven with and here you are fender to fender or in some cases fender to door, trying to keep the gap as thin as possible while maintaining angle. Not hard right? Lets see how hard it really is! Enjoy!
Words by Shane Hunter / Videography by Shane Hunter