Meet the Staff: Robert Robinson

Robert Robinson

Hello, I’m Robert Robinson! You might remember me from such internet media projects as OMGDrift, Touge Speed… and King Nobody. I’ve been hanging around the fringes of OMGDrift since long before its inception and I hope to assist in making this little passion project of ours bigger and better than ever. More on that later but first, a bit of insight into who I am, where I come from and why I’m investing myself now, more than ever, into OMGDrift.

I first started following drifting, like many Americans, in the very early 2000s when I’d download old VHS rips of JDMoption videos from Kazaa during a graphic design course in High School. At the time I was pretty adamant that while drifting was cool to watch and was a valuable skill to develop in terms of car control, it was never something I’d want to get actively involved in nor would I actually call it a “real” form of motorsport. I found myself to be a bit of a purist, placing more value on circuit and rally racing where your goal was to simply be the fastest driver across the finish line. Still, there was a part of me that despite how dismissive I was of it, found myself continually drawn toward drifting.

It was in 2005 or so when I finally went to my first professional drift event held by D1 at the now doomed Irwindale Speedway. It was an amazing environment that I still remember to this day. Vendor row was full of a bevy of amazing JDM products normally reserved for catalogs and the internet. Walking through the pits and having such intimate access to the drivers before top16 got underway was what struck me the most. Chanting ‘one more time’ along with the crowd, feeling like we had a say in the outcome of competition, felt energizing as a spectator… like a weird vehicular version of Gladiator. From that point on I was completely hooked.

I began seeking out local grassroots events and volunteered as part of Formula Drift’s street promotions team, canvassing my little neighborhood auto parts stores, shops and local businesses where weekly car meets were held with my admission coupons to spread the gospel of drift. In 2008 I launched Touge Speed… and I decided to tag along to film an open drift day at WSIR in Rosamond, CA held by the folks at 626Drift. It was through this group of friends that I met Drew Fishbein who often shot these events as well by invite of Cody Sarem of Team Mulsanne fame. Getting involved with the SoCal drifting community, and spending an extensive amount of time on web forums like Zilvia, I found out that a small go-kart track in Riverside, CA was going to open their gates to hold night time drifting events. Natually, I got in contact with one of the gents I knew from Zilvia who was helping to facilitate these events to get set up with media access. It was filming here that I met Ross Fairfield.

The three of us attended numerous drift events together throughout the years, from grassroots, to FD and D1; all the while I was moving along in life getting married and planning out what the next stage was in life for me and my budding family. We knew that while we both were SoCal natives, we wanted to start a family in a locale that was a bit more conducive to a small town community, with 4 seasons, without losing a grasp of civilization. We came up with a plan to move to Denver that involved finding jobs with companies that we could establish ourselves while having an opportunity to transfer to CO when the time was right. So in July of 2009 while Drew, Ross and I travelled to Las Vegas for Rd. 4 of Formula Drift, my wife was able to schedule a series of interviews there over the course of the FD weekend that would ultimately lead to our relocating to Las Vegas for a short 7 month layover, before she was able to transfer to a position in Littleton, CO.

Through the journey of finding a new community in which to call home, I always sought out the local drift scene and made it out to whatever events I could to film. It was during my short tenure in Las Vegas that while I was sitting in the DMV, I received a phone call from Ross informing me that plans were in the works to launch a new drifting website dedicated to providing drifting coverage from all over the world. This was the genesis of the page these words grace today, but in a far more “barney-esque” color palette. The tagline was “Relax.. We’re professionals!” and it fit the vision perfectly. A collective of aspiring media professionals who were out to showcase everything there was to love about drifting. Everything that made drifting fun, exciting, and perhaps most importantly, a bit impractical and even a little absurd. OMG wasn’t meant to be where you’d go for the latest conspiracy theories about judging bias, or condescending the n00bs for their inexperience, it was a simple place to praise the outlandish display of loud, flashy cars destroying tires in a cloud of smoke.

I knew as soon as discussions about OMGDrift began it was something I wanted to be a part of, and as I would publish videos from local drift events, I’d send them along as site content. My involvement increased as my “professional” career allowed me more time to get out of the office and go to more drift events; then, in the tail end of 2016, Drew dropped the bombshell that OMG was going to be closing its doors. It really wasn’t too much of a surprise to the rest of us as the climate in the modern drifting community was really starting to wear on us all, and then as Drew has already outlined in his previous post, things got out of hand. As sad as it was,  the time had come to let OMGDrift go.

After a short go of the King Nobody experiment and a handful of discussions with people about the impact of OMG’s missing presence in the drifting community at large, Drew starts sending me not so cryptic texts alluding to OMG’s imminent return, and after each one my response is something along the lines of “IN!” Then on the evening of May 18th, Drew sends me a quick, yet to be released video, that you’ve all probably seen at this point of our good friend Officer Dan Brockett essentially announcing the return of OMGDrift. Now the waiting game began while Drew sets all the back end work in motion and less than 2 months later, on July 14th, A tweet pops up on the tagboard during Formula Drift’s 5th round in Canada making OMG’s return official. The hype was real, and the response we got from all of you, the readers and fans of this odd little corner of the drifting community, was overwhelming.

It would not have been surprising to any of us if OMG was forgotten about during our absence, or if our return had been greeted with a resounding “meh.” However, since the announcement of OMG’s return, I’ve had a number of interactions with fans at the track providing great words of support and encouragement, sharing how disappointed they had been at the lack of our voice amongst a sea of negativity. I’m not trying to stoke the fires of our own egos here, but rather trying to say thank you. Thank you to those that have believed in our product, and our brand of drift commentary. This sort of support is pushing us to be bigger and better than ever, while still staying true to our roots of showcasing all that makes destroying our cars in such spectacular fashion so darn entertaining, while not trying to take ourselves to seriously in the process. Drifting is fun, it is creative, it is expressive and more than anything, this is exactly who we are collectively.

So first off, if you’ve made it this far into my mad ramblings without clicking back to the home page, bravo; I promise not to make everything I write so long-winded. I am looking forward to everything we’ve got planned for OMGDrift, and I think you be should too. Of course I can’t really go into everything that’s in the works, but check back often as we provide in-depth coverage of the drifting community, events, shops, personalities and more, as well as reach out to you, our readers for your thoughts and contributions to make OMGDrift not only one of the biggest names in drifting but one with the biggest connectivity to its fans. And speaking of contributions, Drew has put it out in the past via the official OMGDrift twitter, and instagram accounts, but we are always looking to add contributors to our staff to provide regular quality content from all over the world. So if you’re an aspiring photographer from Estonia, a talented videographer from Chicago, or even an opinionated blogger from Vietnam, drop us a line. We’d love to chat and determine if you’d be a good fit to join the ranks here and help provide the most in depth and varied coverage possible. Otherwise, leave your comments down below as to how my photos had very little to do with the actual content I’ve written, or TLDR, and what you’d like to see from us to continue making OMGDrift your first choice for all things drifting. As always, make sure to give the page a like and a follow on Twitter, instagram  and youtube, and you can find me there as well @OMG_RobRob. Thanks for reading!

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Meet the Staff: Robert Robinson