How to Drift Properly on the Roads
Drifting is a fascinating arena for the car enthusiasts who look to try it on every chance they get. Such is the excitement and the thrill of drifting that people try drifting atleast once sometime or other.
It is usually seen that motor events for allow car enthusiasts as well as racers and stuntmen to get behind the wheels and showcase their drifting skills to the crowd.
However, drifting is a bad influence for the tires, and it is dangerous if not done right.
It is usually seen that people aren’t afraid of doing it, despite constant fear of being caught or by the signs that are put up to deter the people, whether amateurs or professionals.
Keeping that in mind, we prepared this so as to help the readers learn how to drift safely.
Type of Car Needed to Drift Properly
- Powerful engine with AWD or RWD and a lot of power under the hood
- Switchable ESC system
- Limited Slip Differentials so as to make both wheels work in symmetry
- Reduced Body Roll to ensure consistent tire contact patch
- A relatively inexpensive set of tires for the rear that have little tread
- For better turning-in, stiffer anti-roll bars at the back particularly.
Tips to Keep You Safe
- As an amateur, a person should choose an empty and broad road. It is not advisable to practice around the corners initially till you get the hang of it.
- Rather than dragging around the sharp corners to complete shorter drifts, try using traffic cones to start the drift.
- It is best to prefer roads that have flat traction tarmac. If it is possible, try practicing on roads that are damp. Drifting on dry roads is different from drifting on wet roads, so try to find what helps a person do it, better and safe.
Various stages of Car Drifting
1. Turning in on the Start
This is the most initial step and is important to help a person drift safely. Some drifting guidelines should be followed.
The drifting speed constitutes the most basic instruction; in most cases, a speed of around 50 km/h is required at the rate of 3,000 RPM. This combination has to be achieved using the second gear.
This has to be done, so the car maintains the least amount of power for keeping the tires rolling, once the oversteering has been achieved.
2. Inducing Oversteering
Oversteering is the principle behind drifting and is trickier than understood. In simple language, it means that the traction between the road and the wheels has to be disrupted. Every vehicle provides a unique, different driving experience, and hence what may work for one car may not work for the other.
Till the road traction is nullified, every vehicle has different conditions they must meet. Usually, higher engine revs and smooth surface over the road are what is required for oversteering. There are different ways to oversteer, such as:
- Clutch Kick: In this way, a powerful engine works to provide constant torque necessary for overcoming the road’s friction. If a person’s car isn’t as powerful in the engine department, then, to overcome this disability, torque needs to be conserved and has to be discharged in a burst of force for breaking out the road’s grip. It can be done by hitting the clutch, then elevating engine’s RPM to the maximum level possible, and finally, then suddenly releasing the clutch to induce oversteer.
- Power Slide: There are cars built specifically for the purpose of drifting that have the desired power to break the traction easily. For them, what is required is to reach the mid bend at a precise angle and then increase the throttle; this causes the car to drift on its own. However, if the throttle is raised slowly, the car won’t undergo a drift. Similarly, a sharp increase in the throttle will make the vehicle spin 360 degrees. The spin can happen multiple times and will differ car to car. The amount of spin can’t be predetermined. It is important a person understands the car’s performance before looking to try drifting.
- Shift Lock: The higher the gear, the higher will be the engine’s RPM. Since higher RPM is a prerequisite for inducing oversteering, this method is essentially quite efficient. To go about this, when shifting down the gear, skip one or two gear slots, while keeping the same pace on the accelerator. This causes high RPM on a low gear that sustains torque to initiate a smooth drift.
- Hand-braking: Handbraking is the most viable option in case others work. Pulling the car’s handbrake while turning causes the rear wheels to slip. As the dragging starts, a person must release the handbrake as well hit the throttle for maintaining the drag. This is the most viable option when others fail to work. This requires great coordination to pull off.
- Braking: This technique is also known as the Lift Off, this technique requires the usage of car’s momentum for inducing oversteering. Initially, a person will have to speed up the car so as to gain sufficient momentum; after that, take the leg off the accelerator and softly press the brakes. It pushes the car’s rear weight in the forward direction and reduces the grip of rear tires to produce the drift.
Controlling and Sustaining the Car’s Drift
- To maintain the drift, a person needs to understand and master how to counter-steer and the way for keeping the wheels spinning.
- Countersteering has to be done in the track’s direction and can be perfected with regular practice.
- Controlled as well as less throttle will decrease the slide angle and help the car move in the inward direction freely
- However, the full throttle can cause the vehicle to overslide and will put an unbearable load on the car’s engine.
Road Drifting Guidelines: Ending the Drift
- Learning how to end the drift is just as important as learning how to drift.
- While ending the drift isn’t as tricky as initiating it, but it’s hard.
- While in the drift, the car is oblique to the road’s direction, hence, stopping it just like that will cause it to sway the car as a pendulum and will make stabilization difficult.
- This is why acceleration has to be reduced safely, and steering has to be turned rapidly to counter it. The car may swerve a few times before finally returning to straight path.