Sunday, May 27, 2007


What Is Drifting?

Basically, drifting is getting your car sideways down a road. It doesn't sound very hard does it? Sounds a lot like power sliding huh? Well it isn't. It's much more complex. Instead of a drifter causing a drift and then countering to straighten out, he will instead over-counter so his car goes into another drift. That is the reason many drifters do it in the mountains, because there are many sharp turns strung together. So in essence a good drifter has the ability to take five or six opposing turns without having traction at any point in time.

How is it Done?

There are two ways to start a drift. The first is the clutching technique. When approaching a turn the driver will push in the clutch and shift his car into second gear. Then rev the engine up to around 4000-5000 rpm (it all depends all the model of the car being used) and then slightly turn away from the turn and then cut back towards it hard while at the same time popping the clutch and causing the rear wheels to spin. At this point the drifter has a loss of traction and is beginning to slide around the curve. Now comes the hard part. You have to hold the drift until the next turn. To do this you must keep your foot on the accelerator while at the same time adjusting your car with the steering wheel so you don't spin out. It's not as easy as it sounds. Then as the drifter reaches the end of the turn and approaches the next turn which is in the opposite direction he must cut the wheel in that direction and in some cases, if the previous drift was to slow and they start to regain traction, they must pop the clutch again to get the wheels spinning. And that is how you drift a rear wheel drive car.The second technique is used by a few drifters in rear wheel drives, but is the only way you can really drift a front wheel drive. You have to use the side brake. A front wheel drive can not whip it's tail out because the tires are being driven in the front as opposed to the rear. So when approaching a turn you pull the side brake to cause traction loss. And the rest is pretty much the same except that it's much harder to take more than one turn with a front wheel driver

Who Does It?

On the average it is men in their early to late twenties, but more and more often you will see girls participating. There are some older men who do it such as Keiichi Tsuchiya (the drift king) who is in his fifties.

Where Do They Drift?

There are three places where drifting occurs. The first and probably the most popular is in the mountains (Tohge). Drifters flock to them because they are realtively desolate with few people and they have perfect groups of S turns to test a drifters abilities. This is usually where you will find the hardcore drifters driving Hachi-Roku's without bumpers. The second is what I like to call the docks, but it is also done in isolated parking lots. This is where drifters learn or warm up for the mountains. Last but not least is the circuits. This is where competitions are held and contestants are judged on a specific group of turns on a 100 point scale. Circuits are very popular but are usually only open one day a week (Sunday or Saturday) and you have to pay to get in.

What Cars Do They Use?

There are seven cars most commonly used for drifting. The first is the AE86 Levin/TruenoTOYOTA COROLLA GTS-TWIN CAM (referred to as a Hachi-Roku), because of it's rear wheel drive lay-out and the fact that it's relatively inexpensive it is probably the most common drifting car. The second and third are the Silvia S13 and S14, which come in two different models: the turbocharged K's and the non-turbo Q's. Because of their high horse power and free-revving enginges they are excellent drifting cars. The third is the 180SX, related mechanically to the Silvia, the only difference is in the body style and the fact that is lighter and has a better front/rear balance ratio. The fifth is the FC3S RX-7. I believe that this would be a more popular pick among drifters if it was not as problematic as it is. The Cefiro is another excellent drifting car. It has a powerful RB20DET engine and good handling characteristics. The last is the Laurel which is also powered by the RB20DET. . Another good drifting car is the Skyline GTS-T which you don't see very often. It has a rear wheel drive layout and boasts a 260hp engine. A car you also don't see very often, but is the epitome of a drifting car, is the Sil-Eighty. It is a hybrid of a Silvia and a 180SX, either with a Silvia S13 front end and a 180SX back or the opposite. Because of their rising popularity Nissan started manufacturing the Sil-Eighty last year.

Is It Illegal?

Yes and no. It's kind of like a don't ask don't tell thing. The Kesatsu (police) usually ignore it unless it is done in a public area. The docks which is a very popular drifting spot is about half a mile from a police station but they very rarely bother coming down and passing out tickets.
:burnout: :burnout: