drifting

drifting

Every year, the collective wait surrounding the release of Ken Block’s Gymkhana video seems to grow by the load and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a lot of fans have waited in earnest for the release of the fourth installment of Gymkhana. So now that it’s out, it’s time to sit back, relax, and marvel at Block’s expertise in theatrical hooning.

Similar to Block’s Gymkhana TWO: The Infomercial, Gymkhana 4: The Hollywood Megamercial shows the man himself performing a seven-minute hoon-a-thon inside the lot of Universal Studios Hollywood. The whole production set-up is amazingly executed by director Ben Conrad with an ode to Hollywood-style film-making that involves plenty of pyrotechnics, gorilla stunts, explosives, and lots of tire-burning hooning action.

Block’s newly-launched Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V is the other star of the show as it blasts through a number of film sets belonging to some of the most iconic Hollywood blockbusters of all time. Heck, even the infamous mechanical shark from Jaws makes an appearance in the video.

For his part, Block wanted to set a higher bar for the Gymkhana film and found the perfect partner, Universal Studios, to stage his epic hoon-ness.
"We opted to go over the top on FOUR with a big Hollywood production and Universal Studios provided the perfect place for it," he said. "

The backlots provided real life obstacles, plus an extremely varied collection of settings all just minutes from each other. Without question, Gymkhana FOUR is the most ridiculous film we’ve done yet, but it’s also packed with some of the hardest and most dangerous driving I have done in these films.”

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen; get ready for Gymkhana 4: The Hollywood Megamercial!

Mercedes-Benz USA’s AMG Driving Academy Performance Series is getting more and more interesting with each passing episode. Now on its seventh installment, these three-minute instructional videos have given us plenty of tips from a wide variety of racing techniques, including ESP, line technique, and slaloms.

For this particular episode, Tommy Kendall returns and brings AMG driving instructor, Nick Kunewalder, with him to walk us through the art of drifting . Describing drifting as "the ballet of power-sliding", Kendall and Kunewalder teach us the techniques in executing a perfect drift, from the initiation to the transitions to inducing a slide - a critical element of drifting - and carrying that slide all the way through a corner.

Kendall also points out that with drifting, all convention on racing flies out the window because in trying to induce a slide and create the theatrical smoke from your tires, you’re basically going against everything you’ve learned as a race car driver in trying to keep control of your car at all times. But that’s the allure of drifting and its popularity has soared to such great heights that it’s become a unique sport by itself.

Source: Mercedes USA

At this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed , Ken Block was presented with two racing cars: the Gymkhana Three Ford Fiesta and the current Ford Fiesta RS WRC car . Defending the "hooning title" he won in 2010, Block spent the entire weekend sideways or in circles on Goodwood’s hillclimb and rally stages. This video was then released so we could all partake in the mad skills Block illustrated.

The Gymkhana Three Fiesta is powered by a boosted 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers an impressive 850 HP (de-tuned to a total of 650 HP in the name of tractability) and 660 pound-feet of torque. With this amount of power under the hood, the Fiesta will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2 seconds, providing the very reason why Block felt it necessary to have at it during the festival. Enjoy!

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”.

Job well done, Sir!

Hit the jump for the video.

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.

Source: Autocar

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.

Posted on by Alexander + 8

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.

Source: Mercury News

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.

Source: You Tube

Back to top