Basic Drifting Tips

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Interested in learning the art of drifting? Here is a good informational video from the Drift Bible, presented by Keiichi Tsuchiya, known in the drifting world as the "Drift King"

The drift king uses this video to explain the most basic car control instructions, which are essential to drifting in any situation.

Techniques

The 180 and 90 degree turns show the importance of steering control. The most important lesson is that your wheels always have to point your front wheels in the direction you want to go.

Note: Although Tsuchiya mentions the need for a Limited-Slip Differential for the following steps, it is not required. The LSD unit facilitates the drifting a lot at an early stage and at higher levels of drifting, however I feel that it is essential to learn the very basics in stock conditions so you can get a better understanding of the car behavior.

The 360 degree turn is basically doing donuts. The main idea that I’d like to point out is that if you focus on his steering work, the wheels are always pointing straight or outwards (counter-steering). Many times you see others performing donuts by just turning in and pressing the gas. That’s not drifting. Watch closely to learn.

Tsuchiya also practices drifting with the use of the emergency brake. Using the e-brake is a great tool to break the rear end loose, but it is not an on-off switch: there is a certain amount to hold the e-brake up. By using your steering practice from the previous instructions (keeping the wheels always pointing the direction you want to go), you can determine how much e-brake is needed to slide the rear end loose to complete the turn.

Maintenance

For those who are scared with the tire costs, have no fear: the tires you use in the rear can be bought at the local junkyards. They are much cheaper and will grip less (which will give you more sliding action). As you get better, you will want to start using better grip tires. When you are sliding, your car is always heading in the direction your front tires will be pointing to, so it’s important to make sure you have good grip tires in the front at all times to make sure the car follows the line you are driving.

Note: Maintenance is much more important than upgrades. If you are drifting a car that is more than 10 years old, the rubber suspension components such as bushings start to break apart, making the car handle a lot worse. Many times you think by buying suspension upgrades you will fix that, but if you buy shocks and springs, you are still not replacing the bushings. Maintenance is key to have a good, fun, drift car.

Most importantly, whenever possible, practice at a drift track. It is legal and a much safer environment keeping you safe and sparing your car from any serious damage.

Above all, practice and have fun. That’s what drifting is all about!!


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