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loosecannon Dork
12/27/17 4:41 p.m.

I don't mean to say that more people participate in drifting than in autocrossing (pretty sure that's not the case) but what I want to know is why YouTube channels where they build drift cars are massively more popular than YouTube channels where they work on autocross cars?  There are quite a few YouTubers making a living from messing around with drift cars but I am aware of zero YouTubers that make decent money from building autocross or even road race cars. Are autocross cars boring?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/27/17 4:45 p.m.

Good Autox is really boring on film, even somewhat boring in person.  

Years ago, I used to like to watch local hot-shoe, Jack Burns take the course.  He would set blistering fast times (often in HStock cars) and it was the dullest and most amazing thing to see.  No noise, no squeal, no drama.  Just smooth and resulting in fast.  

Difting on film has noise and smoke and interesting irrational sideways moves.

Kreb UltraDork
12/27/17 4:47 p.m.

Why is Hip Hop music more popular than Classical?

12/27/17 4:49 p.m.

Because drifting brings in money and TV cameras.  Winning plastic trophies and jackets isn't vey exciting for spectators.

Ransom PowerDork
12/27/17 4:53 p.m.

I think what John said, with a side order of what's gotten pop culture exposure. 

Oddly, motorcycle gymkhana looks way more impressive, despite being at even lower speeds (I think).

Also, very few autocross cars are as spectacular as the MGB. So not sure autocross is getting a fair apples/apples shake. Wonder whether cars that get autocrossed but whose primary "category" is different get more exposure. How much Pro Touring YouTubery is there?

Ovid_and_Flem Dork
12/27/17 4:54 p.m.

AutoX is participant driven.

Drifting is.spectator driven.

loosecannon Dork
12/27/17 5:03 p.m.

I understand that drifting looks more impressive than autocrossing but most of these YouTube channels I'm talking about rarely actually show drifting. They are usually just a lot of "I'm installing a bash bar today" or "putting new tires on the 350Z today" kind of thing. How do you get 2 million subscribers out of this? The content isn't very spectacular and half the time these guys don't have much automotive repair knowledge other than knowing the JDM engine designation for every car since 1990. I dunno, maybe I'm jealous or just confused how they have so many followers with the content they have. Watch the Speedway Motors video from SCCA Solo Nationals, I would love to see the build videos from some of those cars 


irish44j UltimaDork
12/27/17 5:04 p.m.

Because autocross is totally boring to watch, even the fastest cars. I autocrossed for years, and tons of my friends do too. I love racing and cars. You couldn't pay me enough to watch an autocross video, of any car, unless it hits a telephone pole or something. Literally no motorsport is less borign to watch than autocross (including drag racing, imo).

I don't care for drifting, but ill watch the vids sometimes.

As for car builds, people watch good builds that are informative and entertaining. Doesn't much matter what motorsport it is, IMO. My rallycross build is like the 3rd-most-viewed build on R3Vlimited - not because the car is that awesome, but because I update it and document EVERYTHING in detail with lots of pics. There are a ton of awesome cars being built on that forum, but they are not well-documented and/or the threads are dull to read or low on photos.

That said, if a built thread is titled "my autocross car build" I probably won't look at that thread. Autocross is boring to watch, so by extension autocross builds sound like they'd be boring to read  ;) YMMV.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
12/27/17 5:07 p.m.

Young adults didn't grow up watching an anime series about autocross.

loosecannon Dork
12/27/17 5:08 p.m.
irish44j UltimaDork
12/27/17 5:08 p.m.

also, YouTube channels and build videos are all about how well you market them, not how good the video is necessarily. Whats your audience? Drift is like 99% young guys with smartphones and social media accounts. We all know that autocross has different participant demographics

759NRNG Dork
12/27/17 5:17 p.m.

Drifting makes no sense to me.....runnin' the cones I have yet to witness in person. Thinking out loud , my biggest hang up is course recognition, can't grasp the 'coneology' ....if there where overhead 'shots' might boost viewership???  

loosecannon Dork
12/27/17 5:19 p.m.

Whatever the case, I'm disappointed that YouTube channels for autocross or road race builds can't get 10% of the numbers that a drift car build gets.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
12/27/17 5:21 p.m.

Many motorsports fans watch it for the potential of crashes, which autox fortunately has very few. 

irish44j UltimaDork
12/27/17 5:22 p.m.

In reply to loosecannon :

I autocrossed for a decade and still do occasionally. But I found even the SCCA nationals video to be pretty boring, honestly. Slo-mo of cars driving a slalom and interviews middle-aged guys in Ray-bans yapping about course design (and lousy music). 


by comparison, here's a vid that our neigboring Allegheny Region rallycross made for their first season. Not terribly tight competition. Not a real high-quality video. Few cars that are all that cool or nationally-competitive.. But the video is about 100x more interesting than the SCCA one to watch, IMO,...and slo-mos look better when rocks are flying everywhere :)

One other thing you notice is that in autocross there's no scenery. There's cars, and cones and that's it. In drift there are scantily-clad women and ridiculous-looking stance and lots of smoke and noise. In rally/rallycross there is beautiful nature, dirt and rocks and splashes and mountains. In drag there's smoke and noise and flames shooting and grandstands. ...

also about half the cars in this video are driven by GRM members ;)




iceracer UltimaDork
12/27/17 5:24 p.m.

In reply to loosecannon :

The problem is that most parking lot events are too slow to get loose as you see here.

When we ran our speedway autocross it was very popular.

RevRico UltraDork
12/27/17 5:35 p.m.

In reply to irish44j :

I was there, I saw my car in the video, that still makes me want to go out for the first time. Holy crap, I hadn't seen that before. 

And yes, that pretty much answers the original question. 

I did a full season of autocross, it was alright, but without the pace of AHR events, I really don't like it. Meaning I went to a few other venues and stood around for hours between trips around the parking lot listening to people argue about half a psi of tire pressure or the extra half gallon of gas in their tank slowing them down. Even as a participant, it's just hard to watch. 

You get people sliding in the dirt or turning their tires into smoke, things get a lot more interesting. I also think it's partially tied to the cars. Autocross seems to gather the spit shine crowd where drift or rally x bring out the "body work held on with zipties" crowd. Obviously that's a broad generalisation, but more younger people are more interested in getting sideways and breaking something than just missing a cone, especially if they're watching for entertainment.

NOHOME UltimaDork
12/27/17 5:54 p.m.

To most people, a cone course looks like a sea of randomly distributed cones. As a spectator, you know there is a designated path in the matrix. But... Unless you play the game, there is no spectator appreciation for what is going on out there. 


From a Youtube hits point of view, you could place the build  vids as "Drift" and nobody would be the wiser.



LanEvo HalfDork
12/27/17 6:06 p.m.

For most people, auto-x means a bunch of middle-aged guys standing around a parking lot in dad shorts and sensible shoes watching people drive nice, neat lines around a sea of cones. The winner is some nerd in a homemade kart that looks like a little Shriner’s car with wings and aluminum flashing stuck on. 

Hard to compete with bikini chicks, tire smoke, spectacular wrecks, flame-spitting antilag, etc. etc. in terms of visual interest. 

NickD UltraDork
12/27/17 6:08 p.m.

What everyone said here. Drifting is way more fun to watch. I enjoy autocrossing, I don't enjoy watching, especially because my local autocross region is 60% H/Street stock Mazda3s, which are only marginally more enjoyable to watch than paint dry. Meanwhile, I make the drive to Wall Township, NJ to watch Formula D because it's an absolute riot to watch. Check out a pro Formula D car sometime, they are ridiculous. Widebody, 75 degrees of steering angle, tube structure front and rear, rear-mount radiators are the norm, crazy engine swaps with 4-digit horsepower backed by 4-speed dog boxes and quick change rear ends.

oldrotarydriver New Reader
12/27/17 6:09 p.m.

Wild cars ... and a blast fence with wheels?

From LooseCannon's earlier link.  When I saw that vehicle at 2.25 come sliding through, my first impression was someone at a shuttered air base had mounted four wheels and an engine to a jet blast deflector fence.  That's a lotta downforce in a vertical plane.  :-D

Please.  Show me how he / she built that!

loosecannon Dork
12/27/17 6:26 p.m.

Yes, yes, drifting is more interesting to watch than autocrossing but A) Is it 10,000 times more interesting? B) The YouTube channels I refer to are NOT drift channels, they are just people bolting go fast parts to sporty cars, just like we do in autocrossing, road racing and rallycross. 

RevRico UltraDork
12/27/17 6:47 p.m.
loosecannon said:

Yes, yes, drifting is more interesting to watch than autocrossing but A) Is it 10,000 times more interesting? B) The YouTube channels I refer to are NOT drift channels, they are just people bolting go fast parts to sporty cars, just like we do in autocrossing, road racing and rallycross. 

Judging by the dog shown a card trick look I get from most people when trying to explain what autocross is, yes it is. Most people have an idea what drifting is, but have never heard of autocross. 

They don't even have to be channels, just use the tag. Since Tokyo drift, and I guess initial D (I've never actually seen it) it's become ingrained in the car culture to non car people whether anyone likes it or not. Autocross just doesn't have that kind of exposure or recognition. 


Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
12/27/17 6:51 p.m.

Out of all the build videos I've seen online, yours is the only one done specifically for autocross, and most of the ones I'm thinking of aren't drifting. So maybe it's largely a matter of less people are filming their antics. 

kb58 Dork
12/27/17 6:51 p.m.

Never done drifting... that said...

I did a fair bit of autocross back in the 1980s and even for me - a participant - I got bored*. As many above touched on, you can get a very quick summation of A/X's appeal by literally turning your back on the cars and facing the crowd. In San Diego at least, there wasn't one. Well, there was the infrequent girlfriend of a participant, often sitting in her own car in the parking lot, bored. As was said, it's just not visually exciting, regardless what we think. If it was, there'd be people watching and there simply isn't, end of story.

*I should note though that everything I learned was very useful in what DID get my attention, track day events. To be fair, spectator numbers at those events are no better than A/X, but we just don't care; we're in it for ourselves.

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