Theory: A tyre grips the road up to a maximum point of adhesion, when this point is exceeded the tyre will start to slide until adhesion is restored. So finding and pushing just beyond the point of adhesion is the name of the game.
Once a car begins to drift driver control comes into play – the exact amount of turn on the steering wheel towards the direction of travel to catch and control the drift. At precisely the right moment you have to catch the drift with a measure of opposite lock and use the throttle and steering to control the drift – a sustained drift on a straight is called ‘drift lock’.
Rear wheel drive cars are the only choice for drifting particularly higher-powered models but one of the key requirements is a limited slip diff. We've seen really impressive drifts from low powered cars. A quick burst of acceleration at the right moment is just enough to break the adhesion of the back of the car.
As a car decelerates the weight is thrown to the front wheels that is why the wheels lock up under heavy breaking. A front wheel drive car is harder to drift in but uses deceleration to lighten the back of the car and make it swing wide.
To perform a left tail drift in a front drive car – build up the speed. Decelerate fairly heavily but performing a simultaneous right flick on the steering wheel – a shock wave will shoot through the car (you can feel it happen there is no easy way to explain it.) As this shock wave passes the centre point of the car steer into the direction of the tail drift, if the tail does not swing out then a short flick of the handbrake will start the drift.
We then need to catch the drift and control it using gentle throttle control and smooth steering - opposite lock (so steer to the right, just enough to keep the drift going but without overcooking things causing a spin and without undercooking throwing the drift in the opposite direction.)
The following are the main drifting techniques and most are used in combination with each other.
Dirt Drop Drift
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