The Art of Drifting


If you’re into popular culture and media, the art of drifting will not be lost to you; with movies like Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift and Initial D showing off this artform. Drifting occurs when the forced application of throttle and steering work carries the car forward to drift. This requires skill as the often persistent and balancing to fit the curve of the road is a beauty to behold.

Japan was one of the birthplaces of drifting as a sport. It was most popular in the All Japan Touring Car Championship races. The famous motorcyclist turned driver, Kunimitsu Takahashi, was the foremost creator of drifting techniques in the 1970s. This earned him several championships and a legion of fans who enjoyed the spectacle of smoking tires. The bias ply racing tires of the 1960s–1980s lent themselves to driving styles with a high slip angle. As professional racers in Japan drove this way, so did the street racers.

Keiichi Tsuchiya, known as the "Drift King", became particularly interested by Takahashi's drift techniques. Tsuchiya began practicing his drifting skills on the mountain roads of Japan, and quickly gained a reputation amongst the racing crowd.

Image from:  World Time Attack

Image from: World Time Attack

Delve deeper into the sport or the art of drifting, and you think of Keiichi Tsuchiya, the world's most famous and Japan's own Drift King. His achievements of balancing the line between road grip and seemingly lack of control is akin to a master painter and the brush that strokes the canvas. Now a sport celebrated everywhere, drifting gained massive popularity in the 2006 film "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift."

How can you hone this skilled art? Instructor Stefan Landmann, winner of the 24-hour Nürburgring gives a few insights on being a racing driver, and the art of drifting. Stefan explains how you gently put your foot off the throttle in the steering process. The technical aspect of drifting correctly combines a precise relationship between the pedal and steering wheel.

"Drifting is the art of maintaining stability in an unstable state," he explains.

The most important thing required is the sudden acceleration on the pedal whereby you hold the steering tightly and keeping your eyes firmly on the road. This helps to keep the whole action within wraps and under control.

What do you think about the art of drifting? Leave a comment below!

Fun with CarsJoel Wong