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Now that you have watched that drift video on Youtube, you might want to know how it is done. Read on to find out more about the techniques required.

29 Oct 2007 | Category: Miscellaneous Advice

Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift showcased what has gripped the motorsports world by its throat. Cars sliding around impossible bends and tight corners, the smell of burnt rubber and smoke coming out thick from the rear wheel are all part of it. Welcome, to the world of drifting.

Movies like Tokyo Drift and Intitial D have spurred interests in Drifitng to a new high.

Drifting and power slides are often mistaken to be the same. However, there are differences that you need to know before you declare yourself Drift King of Mount Faber. In a power slide, the driver will throw his car into a drift then he will counter that drift, straighten out and exit that corner. But in drifting, rather than countering the first drift, the driver will throw his car out into another drift or, he will maintain the drift for as long as he can without spinning out. So, drifting requires a lot more skill and co-ordination and is a lot more complex than doing just one power slide. In a nutshell, it would be safe to say that drifting is a series of controlled power slides.

How did drifting start?

The foremost creator of drifting techniques would be Kuninitsu Takahashi back in the 70s. He would hit the apex of a turn at high speed, drift through the corner and exit, maintaining the same high speed. He won several championships and a legion of fans. One of which was, Keiichi Tsuchiya. Tsuchiya soon started practicing his drifting skills on the mountain roads of Japan and gained street-cred amongst the racing crowd. In 1988, he helped organize one of the first official drift competition in Japan. The earliest drift competition outside of Japan was held in Willow Springs raceway, California. Since then, drifting has gained massive followers and even had movies (like Initial D and Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift) made about it.

Drifting Cars and Techniques

Some popular drift cars are the Toyota AE86, Toyota Supra, Nissan Silvia, Nissan Skyline and the Mazda RX-7. These are favoured because they are rear wheel drive cars. Rear wheel drive cars are easier to throw into a drift because power is on the rear wheels making it is easier to "slip" the rear wheels

There are different ways to engage your car in a drift. Techniques vary from beginner to advance. Let's start with the basic and move on to the more difficult ones.

Note: These techniques apply to rear-wheel drive cars unless otherwise stated.
Hand- Brake Drift - Clutch in, handbrake up then once traction to rear wheels is lost, release clutch, accelerate and counter steer.
Powerslide - Done at corner exit with gas pedal down hard.
Shift Lock - Accelerate, quick downshift, let engine rev hard. Momentary wheel lock will occur.
Clutch Kick - Clutch in and out several times. This is will shock the powertrain and cause an imbalance to the car. Rear wheels will then slip. Apply "toe-heel" position for control.
Braking Drift - Hard brake into a corner, hard throttle off to exit. Driving wheels will lose traction. Steer accordingly. This method can be applied to front wheel drive cars as well.
Inertia Drift - Turn away from turn and then quickly turn back. This will cause the car's weight to transfer from the inside of the turn to the outside of the turn causing the rear to swing into the desired drift line. Apply handbrake to lock rear wheels.

The techniques mentioned above are just some of the many methods used by today's drifters. To drift your car with these techniques is not easy. A lot of practice is required for it to be done properly. Before you get any ideas about being your neighborhood's local drifting hero, let me remind you that this article is meant to be informative and not act as your practice guide to drift techniques. Drifting is a sport and with any sport, risk is involved. It should only be done on the track and with proper safety precautions.

A car in drifting action. Drifting has made big even in America. It is all about control. Failure to control will result in a disaster.

There you have it, your introduction to drifting. Drifting has certainly been the most exciting thing to happen to motorsports since the introduction of Race Queens and it is here to stay. You had better start liking the smell of burnt rubber.
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