Watch Running Free's AE86 Drift Team Attack Nikko Circuit and Gunsai
The legendary Running Free drift team brings back that old school cool.
Drifting may have started in Japan in the early '80s and continued to grow organically underground during the '90s, but a lot has changed in the past decade since the sport was exported and commercialized internationally. Nowadays, drift cars are built like racecars and half the grid in Formula D is running an LS small-block—you won't stand a chance of breaking into Top 16 battles without at least 800 horsepower.
Although competition drift cars today are faster, more powerful and hold more extreme angles than ever before, hardcore fans argue that the old-school finesse and technique necessary to balance a low-powered AE86 or SR20-powered S-chassis is lost in today's V8 era of point-and-throttle.
And while Formula D may be the new wave, Running Free and their friends are still out there having fun and doing their thing today. Hiroshi Takahashi is one of drifting's O.G.s and is a part of Kanagawa Prefecture's legendary Running Free drift team alongside veteran Yamashita Youichi, who also founded the renowned Run Free AE86 specialist shop that creates a lineup of quality original parts for fellow 86 enthusiasts.
This weekend, Running Free shared a YouTube video featuring what looks like an AE86 and S-chassis Day at Nikko Circuit from earlier this year. The videos are terrific and the cars make Nikko seem like a time capsule from simpler days.
Check out Running Free's day at Nikko Circuit, as well as a bonus video of Takashashi attacking the Gunsai touge (and sometimes overdoing it) in the videos below: