We apparently couldn’t have picked a better time to get a little drifting crazy because, as of June 19, 2011, Mauro Calo has officially entered the Guinness World Book of World Records with the longest car drift. Calo and his completely unmodified Mercedes C63 AMG sports sedan have smashed the existing World Record by 394 meters achieving a total distance of 2308 meters. This feat will get his name scrawled on the record books, adding yet another title to his established driving career.
To achieve the record breaking distance, Mauro chose part of the Handling Circuit at Mercedes-Benz World, Weybridge Surrey. The circuit provided a complete 360 degree circle of tarmac which saw him complete almost 8 laps.
Andrew Mallery, Commercial Operations Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars commented: “When Mauro approached us to hold his record breaking attempt on the circuit at Mercedes-Benz World we were happy to offer him the support. He has been a valuable member of the driving experience team for several years and is a respected driver in the industry, so there was no doubt he would achieve his aim”.
Just like everything else, the history of drifting has spurned many different versions, some more likely than the other. Pinpointing exactly where it began is as easy as finding a needle in a haystack, especially when you consider that, technically, the technique of drifting has been around since about the mid-1950s.
What we do know about its origin is that the Japanese played a very important role in ushering the technique’s popularity, so much so that it has become one of the most popular forms of automotive competition. Unlike other forms of ’racing’, drifting is different in that it’s not so much about who comes in first as it is about who can smoke their tires the most.
In a drifting competition, the most important things are line, angle, speed, and show factor. For the uninitiated, the line is pre-determined by judges before a competition with the drifters scoring points based on whether they take the correct line. The angle is the angle a car takes during a drift. The speed is determined by the speed of the car as it enters a turn, the speed through a turn, and the speed exiting the turn. Needless to say, as with any other competition involving high-powered cars, the faster a car goes around a turn, the rosier he smells in front of the judges. Then there’s the show factor, which, in essence, is arguably the most important part of drifting. This involves, among other things, the amount of smoke the tires burn, how a car navigates around a track in the most daredevil of ways, and how the crowd reacts to the driver’s performance.
That being said, from all that we know and enjoy about drifting these days, it’s equally important for us to learn about how this sport came to be. From humble beginnings in the Land of the Rising Sun to the worldwide phenomenon that it is today, drifting has become a popular sport for millions of fans who take great satisfaction in watching smoke come out of tires.
Head past the jump to find out more about the history of drifting.
One thing we ought to know about world records is that at some point in time, somebody’s going to beat them. It may not happen for a while, but sooner or later, there’s going to be someone - or something - that will eclipse it.
Currently, the record for the world’s longest drift sits on the mantle of Vaughn Gittin Jr’s study. The drift champion set the record back in December 18, 2008 with a run of 1,914.15 m (6,280.01 ft) at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas. It’s said that Gittin Jr. could have done longer had the threads on his tires not gotten completely eviscerated.
Fast forward to today and word has it that Mercedes-Benz is planning on besting Gittin Jr.’s record. The man for the job is Mercedes demonstration driver, Mauro Calo, who not only wants to break the record the same way Gittin Jr. did when he broke the previous record of 4,137 feet, but wants to reach 10,000 feet, which is a little under two miles long.
While the task seems to be far easier said than done, Calo is confident that the record will be his after his attempt at Surrey, England while using either a Mercedes C63 or E63 AMG. Calo’s attempt will be made exceptionally more difficult considering that he plans to attempt it on a perimeter track that’s barely ’as wide as a car length’.
No timetable has been set on when this attempt will take place, but seeing as news of it is going around, we won’t be surprised if it takes place before the year ends.
Whatever the case may be, we’ll be sure to give updates when the day for the record-setting attempt draws near.
While the rest of the world enjoys a different kind of donut - one that involves a lot of glazed sugar - us gearheads only care about the kind of donut that results in burnt tires and lots of smoke.
So when we chanced upon this video of 57 cars doing a simultaneous donut in Australia, we couldn’t help but wonder whether this was some kind of world record. After carefully digging through the archives of the Guinness Book of World Records, we found out that this 57-strong exhibition of smoke-filled donut madness is in fact the record-holder for the most cars performing the same stunt simultaneously.
This public demonstration broke the previous record of 29 cars, which was set in Rendlesham, UK a little over two years ago on March 1, 2009. Less than a year later - January 23, 2010 - this 57-car simultaneous donut broke the record at the Queensland Raceway in Willowbank, Australia.
Actually, the original number for this whole meet was supposed to be 66 cars, but nine cars were left out from the final tally because they couldn’t perform donuts for the required time of 10 seconds.
Either way, a record’s a record at the end of the day. And even if 66 wasn’t the final number, 57 is still a pretty awesome sight to behold.
Check out the 29-car simultaneous donut in the UK after the jump.
The 2006 film Fast and the Furious: Toyko Drift brought to light one of the many styles of driving competitions in existence, but this form of vehicular art didn’t originate on the big screen. Before Sean Boswell (played by Lucas Black) took to the fishing grounds for unique tutorials, people everywhere were learning how to slide sideways around tight corners. In fact, origins of drifting date back to the 1970s when Motorcycling legend turned driver, Kunimitsu Takahashi, used the technique to beat his competitors coming out of a turn.
So what is drifting? Basically, it is a driving technique that allows drivers to skillfully slide their cars through turns by using either their brakes or clutch. When the braking technique is used, drivers have to hit their brake pedal or emergency brake when approaching the corner. Control is maintained with the use of steering and throttle input. This causes the rear tires to lose their grip on the road and swing outward. When using the clutch technique, the end result is the same, but the method is completely opposite. When the driver approaches the corner, he/she pushes in the clutch, downshifts, revs the engine, and then releases the clutch. The added power makes the tires spin so fast that they lose traction and spin outward. In both instances, the closer the rear end of the car gets to the wall and the more smoke the tires produce, the more points the driver will get in the competition.
Check back with us soon to find more interesting tidbits as part of our Car Infographics series.
Kelly Bise has a high-powered Chevrolet Camaro that just can’t seem to make its luck at Texas Mile. Once, while on a quarter mile attempt, the car was flying at 220 mph when both its rear tires turned up flat. On another occasion, as his driver was attempting to become the fastest Camaro in a standing mile, the car caught fire at speeds in excess of 243 mph.
Determined to not let past foils get in the way, Bise and his driver named Josh took the high-powered Camaro to Texas Mile for one more attempt at the books. With steely determination and unnerving poise, Josh was able to finish the standing mile with the Camaro unscathed. In the process, he was able to reach a top speed of 244 mph, becoming the fastest car to run during the recently concluded Texas Mile and, in turn, also became the fastest Camaro in the world in a standing mile.
Mad props for the impressive run, buddy. The sideways drift at the end was also a nice touch to conclude the session.
As avid video gamers that have a preference for whatever form of high-octane, four-wheeled racing action, we still have a soft spot for the down-and-smoky world of DiRT 3. The latest installment of the game isn’t scheduled to hit stores until May 24, 2011, but we’re already getting some good preview videos of what to expect when the time comes for us to part ways with our hard-earned money.
You certainly won’t confuse this game for the posh and shiny world of Gran Turismo 5, but what you do get is plenty of smoke, burning tires, and off-the-rails action. To give us an idea of what to expect in the game, resident drifters Ken Block and Tanner Foust - or at least their virtual likeness - slide their drift-ready Ford Fiestas through a make-shift course.
Interested in shredding your tires while performing burnouts for hours? DiRT 3 will give you all that and more when the game drops next week. For now, you can check out the video of Block and Foust doing what they do best.
Red Bull has more than a few ways of giving us a good ’ol morning jolt. The people of downtown Atlanta can attest to that.
Recently, the energy drink / racing team brought two of their esteemed drivers - Rhys Millen and Ryan Tuerck - to Atlanta for a smoke-inducing drift session as part of Red Bull’s Peachtree Drift Battle. While it wasn’t entirely a head-to-head duel between Millen’s Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Tuerck’s Pontiac Solstice Coupe, the two did provide a highly different way for commuters to start their day.
It’s not every day you get a chance to see rampaging drift cars plowing through Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. And as one commuter will attest, we’ll never look at Peachtree Street the same way ever again.
Check out the video for all the pulse-pounding and - in this case, morning-jolting action - as Millen and Tuerck give the innocent bystanders of downtown Atlanta a different kind of wake-up call.
Anytime we have an excuse to get a scantily-clad babe on our pages, we make sure that everybody gets to share in our blessings. Even more awesome is when you pair said hottie to a little drift action, courtesy, in this case, of Mr. Gymkhana himself, Ken Block.
In this video, a model from Zoo Magazine gets a chance to pose with Ken Block and his Gymkhana 3 Ford Fiesta. After the introductions were done, the hot model rides shotgun alongside Block for a little drift action on an improvised Gymkhana course at the Battersea Power Station on the River Thames in Battersea, London.
It’s a pity that we don’t get a clear view of the model’s reaction as Block takes her for the ride of her life. But judging by her reaction when the course run was finished and the dust had settled, it sure looks like she had a blast.
High-level drifting and smoking hot babe aside, the video was actually part of a promotional event for the DIRT 3 video game, which incidentally coincides with the debut of the Gymkhana in the video game.
We don’t know if there are going to be hot models in bikinis in the game, but for the sake of everything we hold sacred, we’d love to see it.
Strap on your safety harnesses and get your handbrake ready, the 2011 Formula Drift Professional Drifting Championship Series is about to begin and you could be there, cheering from the sidelines for your favorite professional drifter! That’s right, we have six tickets to give away to the first round of the 2011 Formula Drift at Long Beach, CA and all you have to do is tell us why you deserve to be part of the action. It’s that easy!
“Formula DRIFT consistently pushes to grow the sport of drifting and entering our eighth year as a professional series we are proud of where we have been able to take the sport,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “We are fortunate to work with the top venues for motorsports in the nation and provide quality entertainment to fans across the country.”
Prize Courtesy of Formula Drift
Check out all of the details after the jump, including rules, details on how to enter, and the full Formula Drift schedule.