THE ART OF SIDEWAYS DRIVING
Drifting is a style of driving which began in the early 90’s, made famous by Japanese GT race car driver Keiichi Tsuchiya.
It was heavily practiced in it’s originating country of Japan in winding mountain roads (touge)
Favourable types of vehicles suitable to drifting are rear wheel drive. Popular chassis including but not limited to are Silvia, Skyline, AE86, JZX and more.
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
The art of drifting is to be able to control your car sideways right from the beginning to the end of multiple corners. This is a combination of steering wheel input and throttle control. Though there are other various techniques used in drifting these are essentially the two skills required to keep a car sideways.
It is now the fastest growing form of motor sport with local, national and international events held around the world, all with extremely high skill drivers competing in tandem battles for the top spot.
THE 4 CRITERIA
Speed – How fast you approach the corner and whether you maintain the momentum to the exit
Line – Judges will specify certain parts of the track which you need to drift towards, these can be as simple as clipping points or as dangerous as getting near a wall at insane speeds.
Angle – This depicts how much counter-steer you have whilst drifting, washing off your speed into a corner with big angle is a great show of control of your car. Usually, the more the angle the better as long as speed is not sacrificed.
Style – Many drivers have different styles, they can range from being smooth and safe, to sharp and aggressive. How fast your car changes directions or the crowd favourite of big clouds of smoke from the rear wheels as examples.
Ultimately, a great competition run is one that incorporates all the above perfectly, it is all about balance. Sacrificing speed for more angle as an example is unbalanced.
Competition aside, grass roots drifting plays a big part of the drifting scene, a community of enthusiasts who just enjoy drifting for what it is, driving sideways with friends and having fun. That’s what drifting is all about.