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Steering Drift Racing into the American Limelight

Contributed By Jim Liaw

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In 2003, Liaw co-founded Formula Drift, based in Long Beach, California, to become the premier drifting championship in the world. The influence and exposure created from this new motor sport called drifting has brought him and Formula Drift recognition from various media outlets domestically and internationally.

More from Jim Liaw

In the world of motorsports, few individuals have had as transformative an impact as Jim Liaw. As the co-founder of Formula Drift, Liaw played a pivotal role in not just introducing but also scaling up the sport of drift racing in the United States. His journey in the automotive industry is marked by innovation and an unfaltering dedication to growing the motorsports community.

Back in 2003, Liaw and his team orchestrated the introduction of the Japanese D1 Grand Prix series to the American audience, a pivotal move that planted the seeds for what would become a booming drift scene in the country. The success of this event laid the groundwork for the creation of Formula Drift, a series that has grown to possess one of the largest social media footprints among all motorsports in America. Under Liaw’s leadership, Formula Drift has evolved from a niche motorsport into a mainstream spectacle, drawing audiences and participants from around the globe.

Yet Liaw’s influence extends beyond the racetrack. His strategic vision led to significant partnerships and innovations that have continually advanced the sport. Recognizing the importance of community and industry support, Liaw has worked tirelessly to foster relationships with sponsors, teams, and drivers, ensuring that the ecosystem around drift racing is as robust as the events themselves.

Transitioning from the adrenaline-fueled arenas of drift racing, Liaw also took on the role of General Manager at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show. This position has allowed him to broaden his impact on the motorsports world, leveraging his extensive experience to enhance the reach and effectiveness of the PRI show. Here, Liaw has introduced new initiatives like integrating e-sports and simulation racing; a testament to his foresight in recognizing emerging trends that can enrich the motorsport experience.

Liaw’s career trajectory showcases his ability to adapt and innovate within the rapidly evolving automotive landscape. From igniting the drift racing scene in America to steering major industry conventions, Liaw has also been instrumental in shaping the evolution of motorsports in the 21st century. His ongoing contributions continue to inspire and influence the realms of racing and automotive enthusiasm, ensuring the legacy of his work will fuel the passion of motorsport fans for years to come.