Monday, April 14, 2008

Now Paging Dr. Drift

Samuel Hubinette

Sam Hubinette, world-famous drift and open-tire racer and veteran stunt driver (see the connection?) recently spoke with Voices about the art of drifting, his fans, and an upcoming video game featuring the Crazy Swede himself. In fact, he was a consultant on the physics in the game... no wonder he goes by "Dr. Drift."

You know, in the past few years, extreme sports have really taken off. When you think about the success of the X-Games, for example, it seems like America has really warmed up to the idea of extreme forms of competition. Maybe that's why drifting is starting to catch on!

Coming from Sweden, and coming up through motocross and some rally racing, drifting was a natural evolution of the growing up around the Arctic circle with 7 feet of snow to drive through year-round.

I've also done some commercial stunt work (with the famous LA Motorsports, no less), and I've actually taught cornering and racing techniques at the Skip Barber Racing school. I guess it makes sense that between this and open tire racing, I'd end up combining the disciplines into drift racing. It's an intense, extreme sort of competition.

Now we're on ESPN 2 and making a pretty good entrance into the market. I think that the sheer thrill of it, of the competition, of the tire-to-tire action and the extreme stunts... people love to see smoking tires, and that's working out pretty for us as a racing league.

Speaking of excitement, I get a lot of questions about the move that earned me my 'Crazy Swede' nickname. Lately though, they've been announcing me as 'Dr. Drift,' which is kind of cool. Call it an upgrade, I guess!

Anyway, I usually do my signature 360 degree high speed turn, with one hand on the steering wheel while I'm waving out of the door (LEGAL REMINDER: DON'T TRY THIS. EVER.) so that I can give the spectators something interesting and memorable to see. Smoking tires, like I said, make people excited. It's always great to give the fans what they want.

And there's definitely more to come, too.

In fact, this season with our new Liquid Metal paint, the Mopar racing team is giving the fans even more. Mopar is coming out with this for 2008, and it's always exciting to see. Some of you may have already seen it on Alan Johnson's car.

I have a new suit, too, and the new Dodge Challenger will have the same aggressive look with the new paint scheme. We're going to look really cool, out there and come out strong from our design to our performance this year.

We'll still be running the Charger, too, so stay tuned this season for all the action!

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