As both cars shot off into the night, all 10,000 fans in the grandstands and judges stood up as the final cars entered the sweeper turn. Coming within inches of the wall and each other, both drivers displayed never-before-seen tandem drifting with only inches separating them from start to the finish.
After both runs were complete, the crowd erupted in chaos, as no one-including the judges-knew who won. The fans chanted in unison, "One more time!" similar to last year's event. Both drivers jumped back into their cars and performed another flawless run, followed by a third back-to-back run. Taniguchi was the first to exhibit any sort of weakness and the championship was ultimately awarded to Kazama.
D1 2004 set the standard in drifting, as scores of media vendors and fans from across the globe swarmed Irwindale Raceway to see the hottest thing to hit automotive motorsports since import drag racing. With only one D1 Grand Prix series taking place in the U.S. for the 2004 season, drift enthusiasts and media are looking forward to the 2005 race season for another spectacular event.