The official definition of a ‘drift’ according to the Drift Session is, “Exceeding your tires’ limits of adhesion, exhibiting a lateral slip, resulting in an oversteered condition. We’ll break it down like this: 1. ‘Exceeding your tires’ limits of adhesion’ means that there is no longer enough traction available for your tires to maintain grip with the roadway. This can be caused by numerous things including: using too much horsepower at a given point in time, too great a degree to cornering angle, too much speed carried into a corner, slippery roadway conditions, etc. 2. ‘Exhibiting a lateral slip’ means that your car is traveling towards a vector that is not consistent with the direction your vehicle is facing; aka your car is facing sideways, but still moving towards the direction you were previously pointed. 3. ‘Resulting in an oversteered condition’ is basically defined as your vehicle angle being greater than the angle of the corner negotiated. The combination of these three elements is what we will use as the basic components of a ‘drift.’
Here you will find a pretty comprehensive list of popular drifting techniques. Some are easier to achieve than others, but try and see what works best for you. Most professional drifters don’t incorporate all these techniques into their arsenal, so don’t think you have to learn them all to be good at it. Although there are some need-to-know techniques that are a must such as the heel and toe shifting. Anyway, I hope this helps…Just practice in a safe and legal location.
To make the car start to slide you dip or kick the clutch suddenly causing the car to temporarily lose traction and starting a rear wheel slide whilst on or entering a bend. Effectively using engine braking – when the clutch is dipped engine speed drops when clutch is released the wheels are moving faster than the lower engine speed requires causing a pull and breaking traction. Alternative a blip of the throttle raises the engine speed so when the clutch is released the driven wheels spin faster than they should so traction is broken.
Dirt Drop Drift
This technique is banned on most tracks. You allow the rear wheels to leave the tarmac surface into a lower grip one such as dirt, gravel or grass. The cars speed will remain pretty stable through this technique as the rear tyre friction is much lower.
Similar to a Dirt Drop Drift again banned on most tracks. The rear wheels hit the rumble strip at the side of the track. The vibration is enough to upset the delicate balance of grip momentum and traction and the rear of the car slides.
The easiest technique, used by beginners and pros to initate a drift and pretty much the only guaranteed way of sliding a FWD (front wheel drive) car (Its still not a proper drift though!). The handbrake is jabbed on causing the rear wheels to lock up and slide. When a slide is attained the handbrake is released allowing more control of the car and preventing too much loss of speed.
Requires a feel for the balance of a car and needs you to sense the shockwave of swing as it flows through the car. Coming up to a right hand bend you steer to the left. Then as the back of the car moves left you steer to the right, the back of the car loses traction and starts to drift, then you countersteer and catch the drift. This is a popular technique and is often combined with other techniques, like the clutch kick, to help break the rear traction. Practice this one in large open areas.
This requires a lot of speed. Approaching a bend you need to decelerate throwing the weight of the car to the front wheels. When the back wheels become light you can steer the front into the bend and let the back wheels drift. Control is maintained with careful steering control and throttle inputs. A good technique to start drifting but requires experience as the speed involved is not very forgiving.
Points are awarded for each pass, and usually one driver prevails. Sometimes the judges cannot agree, or cannot decide, or a crowd vocally disagrees with the judge’s decision. In such cases more passes may be run until a winner is produced. Sometimes mechanical failure determines the battle’s outcome, either during or preceding a heat. If a car cannot enter a tandem battle, the remaining entrant (who automatically advances) will give a solo demonstration pass. In the event of apparently close or tied runs, crowds often demonstrate their desire for another run with chants of ‘one more time’.