LEWISTON — Those of you hoping to see professional drivers burning rubber on downtown streets will have to wait another year.
Organizers of Drift The Streets, an event scheduled to bring drift racing to Lewiston on May 13 and 14, have announced the event will not take place this year, and instead are shooting for a 2018 event.
The street drift competition has been organized by the Lewiston-based Don’t Panic Consulting, which received city approval to host the event in 2016.
According to a recent announcement on the group’s Facebook page, “Our executive board in consultation with the city of Lewiston and our business partners has made the difficult decision to move our 2017 event to the summer of 2018.”
The announcement states that U.S. Drift, an official circuit for the sport, is on board with adding Lewiston as a national tour stop during its 2018 season, but that, “The opportunity to be a national date in partnership with U.S. Drift was not possible for 2017.”
In the meantime, the consulting group said it will still be holding a Mother’s Day charity car show and other events over the next year. According to the announcement, Benjamin Santos, the new chief marketing officer at Don’t Panic Consulting, will take over as the lead organizer of Drift The Streets 2018.
“From the very start, Don’t Panic Consulting has been fully committed to bringing an event of this caliber to Lewiston and remains steadfast in that endeavor,” the announcement said.
Drift competitions pit drivers against one another, where they are judged more on technique and skill than on winning a race. The sport received a boost a decade ago from the blockbuster film, “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” featuring a teenager who becomes a drift driver.
Plans approved by the City Council last year called for a track that would include parts of Lincoln and Oxford streets, even taking drivers through the parking garage at the corner of Mill Street. The surrounding area would have vendors and a car show.
Organizers told the Sun Journal last year that the proposed track would be lined with temporary barriers and restricted to speeds no higher than 57 mph, and crowd barriers would keep people from getting too close.
The business said all tickets that have been purchased for the 2017 event will be refunded in full.
A drift-racing event in downtown Lewiston originally slated for next month has been moved to 2018.