Drifting is one of the most thrilling yet dangerous activities you can do when driving your car. You are purposely driving your vehicle towards a wall as fast as you can and then turning away from it at the last second without actually hitting the wall and possibly ruining your life…but hey, whatever makes you happy!
Learning how to drift can be a bit of a challenge. You need the proper car (typically a rear or a four wheel drive) and you need to master the art of turning, over-steering, sustaining the drift and exiting it. Don’t think what you see on the movies or on live TV shows is something simple. It is actually done by professionals and you need to be well trained and knowledgeable on everything involving drifting.
The Initial Turn
To start a drift, approach the turn at 30mph while in second gear. This will allow the back wheels to keep spinning once you start the “over – steer”….aka, the make it or break it moment in drifting.
Methods of Oversteering
Oversteering is the largest component that makes up a drift. This is what gets you around the most severe part of the bend without crashing into anything or flipping your car. It is very important to understand your car and what methods will work with it before attempting to oversteer.
There are so many different ways to induce oversteering. You can power slide, which is the most common form of drifting providing you have a relatively new and powerful car.
There is also the option of a clutch kick, which provides the car with a high amount of torque that allows the traction of the back wheels to break and induce oversteering.
Lift off is another common way to activate oversteering. To do this, simply lift your foot off of the gas pedal at the apex of the turn. This will send the weight of the car forward, taking the pressure off the back wheels and allowing them to spin out.
Using the emergency brake, although not very common anymore, is a successful way to induce oversteering. This very quick activation of the E-brake takes all the pressure and traction off of the back wheels, but remember not to take your thumb off the release button! Your car will spin out completely or flip if you do.
The final method of oversteering is known as shift lock. To do this, quickly drop down one or two gears on your car. This will lock the back wheels so when you press the gas once again, you will break traction and allow the car to go into oversteer.
Maintaining the Drift
In order to maintain the drift, you need to ensure you keep a steady amount of power going throughout the whole turn, around 80% is recommended. At first, you may notice the back coming around too quickly, just ease off the gas pedal (also known as the throttle) and let the car even out before continuing the turn.
Ending the Drift
Ending the drift can be just as hard as oversteering. Sometimes, the car will actually oversteer in the opposite direction if you try to come out of a drift too quickly. This can be dangerous especially if you are new to drifting and may cause your car to spin and flip over.
To properly exit a drift, you have to ease off the gas slowly but turn the steering wheel rapidly back to straight to force the wheels forward.
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