Drifting is a globally recognised motorsport, where the driver intentionally oversteers a car to break the traction of the rear (or sometimes all four) tyres around a corner. If you've ever witnessed a car gracefully sliding sideways through a corner, emitting tyre smoke and inducing an adrenaline rush, you were most likely witnessing the captivating sport of drifting.
It originated in Japan in the 1970s, where enthusiasts, known as ‘zoku’ at the time, would compete in time trials on mountain roads, also referred to as ‘touge’ in Japan.
Drifting has now become hugely popular with the British Drifting Championship headlining the act. Drivers are judged according to the precision, speed, angle, showmanship, and line taken through a corner or set of corners. There are various local events throughout the country, like the recent Japfest 2023 and the Drift Matsuri which brings together local enthusiasts to compete, enjoy their passion and experience the adrenaline rush.
Now, if you’ve ever wondered ‘Is it hard to drift a car’ read along. Let’s begin by saying never drift on the public road. A sensible decision would be to practice your drifting moves in a race circuit.
The Challenges of Drifting
1. Car Setup: Drifting often requires modifications to the car to optimize performance for sliding. These modifications include adjustments to suspension, tyres, and power delivery. Setting up a car for drifting can be a complex process that demands a good understanding of vehicle dynamics and engineering, or getting professional help.
2. Car Control: Maintaining control while sliding at high speeds is no easy task. Drifting demands precise control over throttle, steering, and braking inputs. It requires the ability to countersteer (turning the wheels in the opposite direction of the slide) to keep the car balanced and prevent it from spinning out of control.
3. Techniques: Drifting involves several techniques like clutch kicking, feinting, handbrake turns, and weight shifting. Mastering these techniques requires practice, patience, and a deep understanding of how the car responds to different inputs. It takes time to develop the muscle memory and instinctual reflexes needed to execute these manoeuvres flawlessly.
4. Judgement and Timing: Drifting is more than just sliding sideways; it's about linking corners and executing smooth transitions. Judging the speed, angle, and timing to initiate and exit a drift is crucial. It requires anticipating the car's behaviour and making split-second decisions, all while maintaining complete control.
Becoming a Drift Master
While drifting may seem like an impossible feat to accomplish, it is an art that can be mastered with passion, dedication, and a commitment to learning. Here are some steps to help you embark on your drifting journey:
1. Learn from the Experts: Attend drift schools or seek guidance from experienced drifters who can teach you the fundamentals and advanced techniques of drifting. They can provide valuable insights and help you avoid common mistakes.
2. Start Slow: Begin with a rear-wheel-drive car, as it is the preferred choice for drifting. Familiarize yourself with the car's behaviour and limits in a controlled environment, such as an empty parking lot or better yet, a racetrack.
3. Practice, Practice, and Practice some more: Regular practice is essential to improve car control and technique. Start with basic drift manoeuvres and gradually progress to more complex ones. Build a solid foundation before attempting advanced techniques that will set you apart from the rest.
4. Join the Drifting Community: Engage with the vibrant drifting community in the UK. Attend drift events, join local clubs, and participate in competitions. Surrounding yourself with fellow enthusiasts can provide invaluable support, inspiration, and endless opportunities for personal growth.
Finally, while you master the art of drifting, you'll most likely be burning a lot of tyres. Reach out to us for exciting discounts on your tyre purchases, or sign up for our mailing list and get an extra 10% off your first order.