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Drifting is a driving technique and a motor sport where a car slides at an angle, with its side moving in the direction of the turn.
Things to do Before You Begin Drifting
- Set up a cone in the middle of the lot. Drive up on the cone and rip the handbrake in an attempt to do a 180. Practice this until you are no more, and no less than 180 degrees from when you started.
- Learn how to countersteer by ripping the handbrake from a speed of 10-20mph and trying to control the car to a destination until the car stops.
- Increase speed of each of these things until you are comfortable
- try to do the 180 cone turn but instead of stopping, hit the gas hard and power out and away from the cone.
- Find a car with both rear-wheel-drive and a manual transmission. Ideally it should be a sports car with as close to a 50/50 ratio as possible, and enough power to keep the tires spinning is ideal.
- Head to an open area (i.e. an empty parking lot) safely free of pedestrians and motorists and police!
Hand brake technique:
- Accelerate and shift into a gear with room to rev. Second gear is generally used because it allows the widest variance of speed and is best for harnessing the engine’s torque.
- Push in the clutch.
- Flick the steering wheel to the inside of the turn as if you were going to turn around it. While simultaneously pulling the hand brake.
- Immediately out some pressure on the gas pedal, let out the clutch, and steer the car in the direction of the slide, using throttle to control the angle of the drift.
More Throttle will make the car turn more, and also move the car away from the turn center.
Less throttle will reduce angle, and allow the car to move towards the inside of the turn more freely.
Clutch Kick technique:
Used while you are already moving to increase angle and/or revive wheel spin.
While you are drifting, you may feel the car begin to lose its drift angle and power. If this happens, you can kick the clutch to attempt to revive to tires spinning speed. This is similar to powershifting, and you are in escence trying to ‘chirp’ the tires again and again.
- Enter a drift.
- while you still have the power put on, kick the clutch pedal in and out a few times as fast as you can until the car is drifting again.
- end with your foot off of the pedal.
- continue the drift, and when you feel the car begin to lose angle/power try to clutch kick again.
- Find a large, open area.
- Accelerate to a speed of 20-30(depending on lot size and room)
- Turn the wheel hard and floor it. You should feel the rear end slide around if this is done correctly. Only use full throttle to start the drift, after this you should use proper throttle control to continue through the corner.
- Go to a large, open area.
- Pull the handbrake or use the parking brake, riding it out the first time or two to get over your initial fear.
- Set up a cone in the middle of the lot.
- Drive up to it at speed (between 20 and 30 is desired).
- Pull the hand brake and turn toward the cone. Immediately after you feel the back end come around, turn to the opposite direction. This is known as opposite lock.
- Repeat the opposite lock at that speed until you can control your car well. Practice this for at least several weeks regularly until it becomes second nature. (Don’t do this on roadways. It is dangerous to others and can get you fined.)
- Slowly increase speed until you are proficient in a speed you are comfortable with. Get to know that speed–you should never drift above that speed unless you are practicing.
- Upgrade. At the same initial speed, flick the steering wheel opposite of the turn and swing it all the way into toward the CONE (not turn, you aren’t ready at this stage). As before, when you feel the rear end come around, go to opposite lock.
- Approach a turn at a comfortable speed, preferably in mid 2nd gear.
- Pull the handbrake while turning into the corner, try not to lock the rear wheels.
- You should still have the power on, try not to go less than 1/2 throttle at any time during the drift.
– When you feel the car start to understeer, and lose angle, pul the ebrake harder.
– When the car seems to turn too much, give it progressively more throttle, and release the handbrake some.
- No two cars react identically; try to “feel” yours to familiarize yourself with its reactions.
- In a rear wheel drive vehicle, you don’t need to pull the brake as you improve, but it is often necessary when first learning.
- Starting out in the rain will save tires, and allow you to practice at slower speeds.
- Check out the Drift Bible, which outlines some of the more complex techniques involved in drifting a car.
- Try to find “How To Drift: The Art of Oversteer” by Paul Morton for really DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS AND PICTURES
- Good choices of cars to drift include: Nissan 240SX, 180SX, 350Z, Mazda RX-7 and Miata, Toyota Supra, AE86, Corolla, Silvia S14, and Silvia S15, Chevrolet Corvette, Viper, GTO, Solstice, G35, SC300, and Skyline GTE/GTS etc. These cars have close to a 50/50 weight ratio, rear wheel drive, manual transmission and enough power to keep the wheels moving.
The Skyline GTR is AWD. Even though it has ATTESA which allows the weight to be distributed, it also has a system called HICAS or on later models SuperHICAS which makes sliding the tail out harder. When this occurs, it tries to snap the tail back into place. You can uninstall the HICAS/SuperHICAS and install a lock bar to correct this problem.
- Never drift on the road. It is illegal. It might seem fun, but it’s really not worth the risk.
- Don’t go faster than you can handle. Recovering from a spin takes skill and experience.
- Because severe or uneven wear is a driving hazard, be sure enough tread remains on the tires when finished drifting, but the tires should either be checked out by a professional or changed immediately.
- If you intend to drift a SUV or pickup, use extreme caution, as these types of vehicles can flip over. This can be done but you must be very experienced at drifting.
Things You’ll Need
- A car with
- an engine
- A race track or open lot (recommended you have asked local authorities, tickets are not cool)
- Cones or other markers
- How to Race Your Car
- How to Race a Junker on a Dirt Track
- How to Drift on a Bicycle
- How to Drift on a Go Kart
- How to Do a Burnout
Sources and Citations
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