This Might Be the Best Drift Event in America

a man taking a picture of a car on a road with smoke coming out of it
Drifting the American Touge in a BMW E36Teddy Pieper, Velocity Concepts LLC

It's not every day that a group of proper drift cars—240s, E36s, 350Zs, Corvettes, and on—get to slide door-to-door up and down an Appalachian mountain. As unreal as the possibility of that sounds, Drift Appalachia continues to make that dream a legal reality, and professional drifter Chelsea DeNofa thinks it's the best drift event in the US.

Bringing his E36 318ti drift hatch all the way to West Virginia, the 2023 Formula Drift Champion went tandem with a variety of cars, including another E36 driven by Kenric Meyer. Ascending the hills of West Virginia, the roads in question are best enjoyed with a helping of throttle and a slight cut into the deep banking. It's certainly no track, but it might be even better than one for these hooligans.


"We grew up as drivers and organizers seeing grainy, low-resolution footage and VHS tapes of what drifters in Japan did on their own mountain roads, but a touge here in the States always felt like an unattainable dream," a blurb on the Drift Appalachia website reads. "Not only have we made it possible for drivers to shred a touge legally on real mountain roads right here in the US, we are also proud to be able to contribute to the local economies of the locations we visit. "

Indeed, DeNofa's video shows the group of semi-professional-looking drifters descending upon the town of Beckley, West Virginia, stoking a crowd of locals. Later that night, the group also engages in the requisite gas station gathering, contributing to the local sound economy as well.

Offering a handful of sessions a day with the choice to go up or down the hill, Drift Appalachia is continuing this year with another event known as Stage Four. Set to take place in Powell County, Kentucky, driver applications for the event are currently open.

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