LONG BEACH, Calif. — The track is set up in downtown Long Beach for the Formula DRIFT competition.

Formula DRIFT competitor Alec Robbins was out doing practice laps Tuesday.

“Usually, the track out here is a little bit less predictable as far as grip levels and things like that go, but it’s fun,” he said.

From the streets of Japan, drifting evolved into a competitive sport. Formula DRIFT is an international championship that challenges the driver’s skill while demanding a great deal from their vehicle.

It’s a tall order Robbins is not totally sure his car is up for. Shipping delays have made it hard to get certain parts. Since he can’t stop time, he finally had to go with a different tire — not his first choice.

“It’s actually not far from here, stuck in the port somewhere. There’s been little things like that,” he said.

Robbins waited on deliveries as long as he could, but this year, the Formula DRIFT competition bumped back up to its traditional April slot. Last year it was in September; COVID did a number on scheduling.

A return to normal is a wonderful thing, but normal for Bryan Olfert — Formula DRIFT’s director of sales — means adrenaline pumping.

“That’s the amazing part, right… the almost-wreck, the almost-crash. I mean, that’s the beauty of the sport,” Olfert said.

The 2022 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship kicks off April 1 on the streets of Long Beach. Then, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach starts April 8.