Drifting Toyota

Drift Like a King!

Drifting competitions involve fast cars, but they’re different from racing events in that they aren’t solely based on speed and how fast you can go. These type of competitions are based around four different areas: speed consistency, line, angle, and style. (WorldTimeAttack)

It’s been repeated over and over that speed isn’t an important factor in drifting, because it isn?t. In competition, speed is only judged by consistency throughout. It’s judged by the speed when entering, when drifting, and through the judged area of the track. Drivers that maintain a solid consistency are awarded more points, but the actual speed itself isn’t a big factor.

Line and angle are the actual driving and drifting parts of the race. Line is judged based on what is requested by the judges. Usually, it’s the traditional racing line, but that’s not always the case. Competitors who can accurately maintain what the judges consider to be the correct line are rewarded more points. Angle is the drift itself. The angle is based off the exact rotation, and how long itself. More points are given to drivers who generate the maximum angle before the apex corner, link corners using consistent driving motions, maintain wide angle of drift for long periods, and control their vehicle well.

Style is all about the driver’s own personal twist on drifting. Whether it being fast and aggressive transitions, the amount of handbrake corrections needed, their constant speed, and whatever other criteria the judges feel they need to outline, style boils down to how well they do it.

The drivers are briefed of their criteria and the track before hand, giving them the opportunity to adjust accordingly before the competition.

Even the pros and stuntmen we’ve seen in the movies have gotten their start somewhere. So whether you’re just interested in learning more or you want to jump start your career in drifting, learn the basics, get someone professional to teach you, and don’t crash.

Now, incase you don’t know, drifting is when you intentionally oversteer your car to make swerve turns. This isn?t the fastest way to go around a corner, but it’s definitely the coolest and most smooth. So how do you achieve these swag turns and look like you’re straight out of Fast and the Furious? Well buckle up and glue your eyeballs here, we’ll go through it.

The Basics (How to drift like a BA)

Drifting applies the same ideas as losing control of your car on slick roads: remain in control of yourself, don’t slam on the breaks, and don’t let the car smell your fear. It’s the entire name of the game, and one of the more important as with any extreme sport. The concept behind this is when you essentially stab the clutch, you shock the drivetrain. The power that?s left spins the rear wheels and where you’re steering brings the slide. After the initial slide you need to maintain the throttle. It’ll be tempting to stop because no one wants to feel out of control, and at first that?s how it will feel, but you don’t need to worry.

The science behind all of this is when you let off the throttle and let the car straighten out, that?s when you have most chances of losing control of the car. Expert drivers use a combination of both acceleration and steering wheel motions to keep the curve going without spinning out completely. One of the tricks is to ease off the power smoothly and turn the steering decisively back to the straight position.

Getting out quickly may lead to fishtailing or the pendulum effect which leads to less control. (DriveFast) Remember, drifting is not about speed, so this is not about going as fast as you can. So keep that throttle going even though your basic instincts to stay alive will tell you otherwise. You need the throttle to be continuous for a successful drift. Once you become good enough, it?ll feel just like second nature.

Technique (DriftLock)

Different drivers have different techniques they like to use, but they all still involve the basics. So while there are many you can use and will eventually learn, there are two basic ones every beginner should master first.

Handbrake Drift

The handbrake drift is used by beginners and pros alike but it’s the easiest technique to initiate a drift. The only thing with this move is, It’s not a proper drift. The way this technique is used is by pulling on the handbrake, letting the wheels the slide, then releasing the handbrake to regain control of the car and prevent losing speed so the driver can keep going.

When practicing this technique a few common mistakes are made by beginners like approaching the corner too slow or too fast. Going too slow doesn’t give you enough speed to give your car the amount of rotation needed, but going too fast can give you an uncontrolled spin or making you understeer so you don?t keep the required line. The other is holding onto the handbrake too long, making you turn farther than needed or wanted.

Clutch Kick

This technique is another that is exactly as it sounds. By using the clutch, increasing the revs, and then letting off the clutch, you send more power to the rear wheels where they lose traction. From there you can decide how smooth or aggressive you want your movements to be.

What to watch for here is not sending yourself spinning or sending off too much power that you end up hurting the drivetrains and yourself. This is one of the easiest ways to drift because it’s straightforward and simple. Too much throttle and your car will overshoot; too little and your car won?t do anything at all. Find the balance, and don’t forget to countersteer to hold the slide.

A couple banned techniques: (DriftingStreet)

Some techniques are just too dangerous for even the best of the best drifters. While they may look cool, these stunts should only be attempted by those who really know what they’re doing.

Dirt Drop Drift

Not for beginners and definitely not for the faint of heart, and It’s even banned in most circuits and tracks because of the level of danger. You’re literally flicking the car into a position where It’s sideways and the wheels hit the dirt. The reason this is dangerous is because normal tracks of mud, or slick keeping the traction low. On dirt the traction is much higher, and there is no guarantee that the dirt will be in the state you need it to for a successful drift. Don’t try this without really knowing what you’re doing.

Jump Drift

Similar to the dirt drop drift but not completely the same, It’s also banned in certain circuits and race tracks. This technique should not be tried unless you know the other techniques very well. It’s for experts, and even then it’s debatable whether the drift should be attempted. In this technique the back wheel of the car on the inside of the turn bounces over the curb so it can lose traction, resulting in the over steer. This is a medium speed technique, as high speeds make the turn unpredictable and more dangerous.

Even the pros and stuntmen we’ve seen in the movies have gotten their start somewhere. So whether you’re just interested in learning more or you want to jump start your career in drifting, learn the basics, get someone professional to teach you, and don’t crash.