WHAT'S D1 GRAND PRIX?
“Who drives with the coolest drifts?” This is what the D1 Grand Prix is all about. The D1 Grand Prix is a competition that determines winners based on how cool their drifting is. Drifting is a method of driving in which cars run while the rear wheels or all four wheels are sliding. At this time, drivers steer their cars in a direction different from that in which their cars are turning, with a degree of awareness that exceeds the limits of normal driving, to control their cars with extremely high levels of balance.
The biggest attraction of drifting is the unconventional movement of the cars. In drift competitions, drivers initiate drifts by sliding their cars at points far before corners, pass there through while revving their engines, and accelerate while burning rubber. These dynamic and acrobatic actions appeal directly to the senses of spectators.
In addition, in drifting, there is an extremely high number of steering manipulations at each single corner. This is one of the factors that contribute to winners and losers being determined based more on the driver’s skill than on the specs of the cars themselves. D1 Grand Prix is the competitions in which these skills are tested.
DETERMINING DRIVERS TO ENTER THE TSUISO STAGE
TANSO is the stage in which 30 entrants compete for the right to enter the TSUISO stage. In TANSO, cars drive through a course individually. There are generally two runs in the TANSO stage. The run having the higher score of the two runs is applied for ranking. Here, the degree of accuracy in techniques is evaluated. In addition to course lines which are announced in advance, factors such as “angle”, “speed”, “engine noise”, and “smoothness of motion” are judged as a whole. There are large point deductions in cases that driver cause spins to occur, or drive through corners with under steer.
The top 16 entrants in order of average scores given by judges can advance to the TSUISO tournament. Note that the combinations of drivers in the TSUISO tournament are determined based on the rankings in the TANSO stage. The TSUISO tournament ladder is formed, such as 1st place vs. 16th place, 2nd place vs. 15 place, 3rd place vs. 14th place, etc.
The one on one TSUISO drift elimination tournament is the highlight of the D1 Grand Prix. Highly ranked competitors who repeatedly exhibit perfect drifts and cannot be judged by TANSO stage alone compete with each other one on one, to determine winners and losers.
Two competing drivers determine who will be the lead car and who will be the trail car, and start simultaneously. The lead car driver drives to the best of his or her ability, and the trail car driver drives to match the lead car’s drifts. If the trail car shortens the distance between it and the lead car and gets inside the lead car at a corner, the trail car wins. If the trail car cannot keep up with the lead car, the trail car loses. Points are deducted for spins, under steering, if the angle of drift is shallower than that of the other car, if the distance of drift is shorter than that of the other car, and if control of the car becomes erratic. Therefore, the lead car driver may drift at larger angles, even at the cost of sacrificed speed. Accordingly, it is not necessarily the case that faster cars or higher horsepower cars will win. Note that tracing the set course line does not influence judgments as severely as in the TANSO stage. However, points are deducted from the lead car driver if his or her line through a corner hugs the inside thereof, such that the trail car has no space to get inside.
Two heats, in which the lead/trail cars are switched, are driven for each combination of drivers in the TSUISO tournament. Each judge scores the drivers during each heat, by assigning points to each driver such that the total is 10, such as “5:5” and “7:3”. In the case that the drivers achieve the same number of points after two heats, or in the case that only a slight point difference exists, the tournament enters a sudden death stage. In the case that repeated sudden death stage heats does not result in a win/loss, the judges will determine a winner by considering the contents of the heats up to that point as a whole. The maximum number of sudden death heats is 3.
The TSUISO tournament determines a winner by the elimination rounds which are performed in this manner.
HOW TO ENTER D1?
A D1 license is necessary.
It is not possible to enter the D1 Grand Prix without a D1 license. A D1 license may be obtained by: placing well at various local D1 qualifying trials; winning two or more points in the D1SL Series; and the like. In addition, competitors’ cars must have safety measures based on the vehicle regulations of the D1 Grand Prix.
Preliminary rounds are held to determine entrants (20 drivers) other than seeded drivers. The preliminary rounds involve competitors driving two TANSO heats. 20 drivers having the highest scores qualify for the TANSO stage. Note that seeded drivers are exempt from the preliminary rounds.
The TANSO stage eliminates 14 of the 30 entrants. 10 seeded drivers and the 20 drivers who qualified through the preliminary rounds held the previous day compete by driving two TANSO heats. 16 drivers having the highest scores qualify for the TSUISO elimination tournament
TSUISO Best 16
The TSUISO elimination tournament determines a single winner from among the 16 drivers who scored highest in the TANSO stage. The 16 drivers enter an elimination tournament according to the one on one TSUISO rules. The driver who remains at the end of the elimination tournament is the winner!
Each Series Tournament starts with the Preliminary Round. However, drivers who are ranked 1st through 10th in points at that point in time (in the first Series Tournament, the rankings of points from the previous year) are exempted from the preliminary round as seeded drivers. Starting in 2008, drivers who satisfy predetermined conditions and enter the tournament in a current car are also exempted from the preliminary round. The preliminary rounds are driven one entrant at a time, in the same manner as in the TANSO stage. The judging of the preliminary rounds is also performed in the same manner as in the TANSO stage. Often, there are 50 entrants in the preliminary round. Approximately 20 drivers having the highest points qualify to enter the TANSO stage in the finals.
In each round that determines champions based on points won, the top 16 drivers are ranked, and points are awarded according to the drivers’ rank. 1st place and 2nd place are determined by direct pairing in the TSUISO tournament. However, 3rd place and 4th place, 5th place through 8th place, and 9th place through 16th place are determined based on evaluations by the judges. In addition, 1 additional point is awarded to drivers who score 100 points in the TANSO stage. Eight series tournaments will be held in the 2009 D1 Grand Prix series, and the champion will be determined by total points won. In the case that drivers have the same number of points, the driver having the greatest number of high place results, such as the most number of wins, most number of second place finishes, the driver having the most number of third place finishes... and so on will be determined to be the champion.
Taken from official 2011 D1 CORPORATION website.