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Drifting series to start and end U.S. season in Southern California

The "drifting" series Formula Drift unveiled its 2014 calendar Thursday with a seven-event U.S. schedule that starts and ends in Southern California.

Drifting, first developed in Japan and later embraced in the United States, involves race cars that slide sideways, or drift, through corners of a twisty course and with the drifters often competing in pairs.

They are judged on accuracy, speed and how closely they stay together, among other factors, and the result is a racing version of a ballet accompanied by screeching brakes and plumes of tire smoke.

Formula Drift said its first U.S. round would take place April 4-5 on the streets of Long Beach.

That's followed a week later by the Super Drift Challenge at the same location that is part of the racing leading up to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, an IndyCar Series race, on April 13.

Formula Drift said the seventh and last event on its U.S. schedule is set for Irwindale Speedway on Oct. 10-11.

The series' schedule also includes events in Thailand, Japan and Australia.

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