What is Drifts?

Drifts, also known as lateral drifts or sideways drifts, are a driving technique commonly used in motorsports such as drifting competitions and rally racing. It involves intentionally causing the rear wheels of a vehicle to lose traction and slide sideways while maintaining control of the car. Drifts require a combination of skill, precision, and car control to execute properly.

How Drifts are performed?

To perform a drift, the driver initiates the maneuver by entering a turn at high speed and then abruptly applying the brakes or pulling the handbrake. This causes the weight of the vehicle to shift forward, reducing the traction on the rear wheels. As a result, the rear wheels lose grip and start to slide sideways.

Once the drift is initiated, the driver must carefully modulate the throttle and steering inputs to maintain control of the slide. Too much throttle can cause the car to spin out, while too little can cause the drift to stall. The driver must also countersteer, or turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction of the slide, to keep the car moving in the desired direction.

The Importance of Car Setup

Car setup plays a crucial role in the success of a drift. The suspension, tires, and differential settings need to be adjusted to optimize the vehicle’s ability to slide. Stiffer suspension and drift-specific tires with less grip are commonly used to facilitate sideways movement. Additionally, a limited-slip differential or a drift-specific differential can help distribute power to the rear wheels more effectively.

Types of Drifts

There are several types of drifts that drivers can perform, each with its own characteristics and challenges. Some of the most common types include:

1. Power Slide

A power slide is a basic drift maneuver where the driver uses the throttle to break traction and slide the rear wheels. It is typically performed in a straight line or during a wide turn, and it requires a powerful engine to maintain the slide.

2. Clutch Kick

A clutch kick is a technique where the driver quickly engages the clutch while simultaneously applying throttle to break traction and initiate a drift. It is often used to transition from a straight line into a drift or to extend an existing drift.

3. Handbrake Turn

A handbrake turn, also known as a power slide or a Scandinavian flick, is a drift maneuver where the driver pulls the handbrake to lock the rear wheels and induce a slide. It is commonly used to initiate a drift or change the direction of the slide.

4. Feint

A feint is a technique where the driver initiates a drift but quickly countersteers to make it appear as if they are going to spin out. This can be used to deceive other drivers or create opportunities for overtaking.

5. E-Brake Drift

An e-brake drift, also known as a handbrake drift, is similar to a handbrake turn but is performed while the vehicle is already in motion. The driver pulls the handbrake to lock the rear wheels and initiate a slide.

6. Clipping Point

A clipping point is a specific point on a race track or course where the driver aims to position the car during a drift. It is usually marked by a cone or a marker and serves as a reference for the driver to maintain a consistent line and angle.

7. Tandem Drifting

Tandem drifting is a form of drifting where two or more drivers perform synchronized drifts side by side. It requires precise coordination and communication between the drivers to maintain proximity and avoid collisions.

The Evolution of Drifting

Drifting originated in Japan in the 1970s and has since gained popularity worldwide. It started as a form of illegal street racing but eventually evolved into a legitimate motorsport with organized competitions and professional drivers. Today, drifting is recognized as a unique and exciting discipline that showcases the skill and control of both the driver and the car.

The Appeal of Drifting

Drifting has a unique appeal that sets it apart from other motorsports. Its combination of skill, precision, and controlled chaos captivates both drivers and spectators. The sight and sound of a car sliding sideways at high speed, accompanied by the smell of burning rubber, create a thrilling and immersive experience.

The Future of Drifting

As drifting continues to grow in popularity, it is likely to evolve further. Advances in technology, such as electric vehicles and autonomous driving, may introduce new possibilities and challenges to the sport. However, the core essence of drifting, the art of controlling a car in a controlled slide, is likely to remain at the heart of the sport.