Tips On How You Can Drift Like A Professional
Drifting is in every little boy (and even girl)’s wishlist of things that they want to do when they start driving. However, it’s generally frowned upon to drift in a society where law and order are all important. However, we’re here today to tell you a few tips on how you can drift like a professional.
Note: Please only do this in a professional drift circuit with professionals around. We are not condoning any Initial D kind of mountain drift racing or tearing up the rubber on the roads. Practice safety at all times.
1. Choose a proper location
Drifting actually isn’t all it turns out to be like they show in the movies, where every flat piece of land is a drift-worthy. In real life, you would have to go down to your local drift circuit to get your drift on. However, if you have a group of like-minded friends who have drift-worthy cars, you can consider renting out an empty carpark with sufficient space for your drifting session. We cannot emphasize the space enough; sliding a car at about 70-80km/h is not something you want to do in an alley.
2. Choose a proper car
Now this may be a deterrent to many people, but it’s one of the most important things to note. Your 3 year old base model Myvi is not going to be able to drift because it is not properly set up for the task. Ideally, you’ll want your drift car to be rear-wheel drive, packing quite a bit of engine power and have a limited slip differential (LSD) and good body control. You’ll also want a car with an average length wheelbase, and preferably a car with a front engine not too far back for the maximum control. The added bonus is if your car has decent steering lock as well.
3. Apply balance of power and brakes
Now that you’ve got your car and your location, it’s time for some drifting. Most people think that all you need is to speed up and slam the brakes (and maybe add in the handbrake) for maximum drift. While that’s the general idea, you’ll need to be more precise to be safe. First, you’ll need to turn and unsettle the back end of your car to make sure the car is sliding. You can use your handbrake, which is the most commonly used method, or you can try to throttle your car if it has enough power to do so. Once you start sliding, you must apply power and hit the accelerator in the gear that gives you a lot of rev (usually first or second gear works well) and make your tyres spin.
Congratulations, your car is now going sideways, or as the kids call it, you’re drifting. But wait! It’s not over yet. This part may be the most crucial for all new drifters to learn. Cars are usually pointed straight, but since your car is now sideways, you’ll have to remember to look where you want to go, and not where your car is pointing. You’ll want to do a bit of opposite lock steering as well. The easiest and quickest way is to let go of the steering wheel and allow the steering lock to wind itself on, because the inertia in the front wheels makes them want to carry on in the direction they were going. You’ll must maintain your rev power at this point.
5. Hold that drift
Remember that drifting is an art, and art requires balance. Too much power and you’ll spin. Not enough power and the rear tyres will regain grip, and a weight transfer plus the opposite lock you’ve applied will try to pitch the car into an even worse spin, in the other direction. So remember that your rear tyres are still spinning and you should be going against it with your steering angle and you’ll be perfect.
6. Coming out of a drift
When you’re coming out of a drift, there may be a transition as your direction will rapidly change. This may unsettle your rear and cause you to spin. It’s recommended to exit a drift by looking at where you want to go and steer the car towards it. Ease the power back slightly to control your trajectory and make sure your rear wheels manage straighten out and match the road speed gradually.
Congratulations! You’ve completed your first drift. Wasn’t that simple? Maybe you can give it a try at your nearest drift circuit. Did you find this article helpful? Leave a comment below!