As drifting earns more respect as part of the racing world, the quality of professional drift cars grows and evolves. Over the past decade, engineers have started to understand the sport’s dynamics a lot better, and racing teams have more resources to improve their cars. These are factors that were evident at the 2014 Formula Drift Tech Day in Long Beach. Tech Day is an annual pre-season inspection of all the cars that compete in the series, and guests can learn a lot about the sport of pro drifting. Autobytel sat down with Jim Liaw, the president and co-founder of Formula Drift, to talk about some of the recent changes in the sport and the way drifting is influencing auto manufacturers for the better. Jim says that the popularity of drifting has called attention to the fact that rear-wheel-drive cars have a certain appeal, which might renew interest in designing rear-wheel-drive sports cars that are more affordable than the typical luxury cars. The growth of Formula Drift has also encouraged the race cars in the series to evolve from street-legal production cars with modifications, to fully customized dedicated drift cars.