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A Short Comprehensive Guide to Drifting

A Short Comprehensive Guide to Drifting

Drifting is one of the most spectacular motorsports, characterized by controlled oversteer and a unique blend of driving skill and personal style. This guide will share insights on the finer points of this thrilling sport.

How Does Drifting Work?

Drifting involves controlled oversteer, where the car corners faster than it should or accelerates hard in a corner, causing the rear axle to skid as the rear tires lose traction. An engineer would describe it as having a significantly larger slip angle on the rear axle compared to the front axle. This controlled maneuvering distinguishes drifting from uncontrolled swerving, such as sliding on ice or in a wet parking lot.

What Characterizes Drifting?

Drifting stands out as the only motorsport where the driver's style is evaluated alongside driving technique and skill. This sport is visually spectacular and highly individualistic, with extroverted cars, open regulations, and unique driver styles reminiscent of surfing, snowboarding, or skateboarding.

How Does a Drift Work?

There are numerous ways to initiate a drift into a corner, with many options for how and when to put the car into the curve, at what angle, and how to transition from one direction of drift to another. The key is maintaining control and precision in these maneuvers.

How Do Driving Styles Differ?

Drivers have distinct styles, with some relying on instinct and feel for the car, while others take a more technical approach, seeking harmony between what the car wants to do and what they think it should do.

How is Drifting Judged?

Drifting is judged on four criteria:

  1. Speed: The faster, the better.
  2. Drift Angle: The larger the better, though a balance is needed as a larger angle can slow the car.
  3. The Line: Drivers must approach specified points precisely.
  4. Style: The most important criterion, evaluating how the drift is initiated, the car's movement, steering corrections, and throttle use.

In competitions, judges evaluate drivers based on these criteria, with twin battles being the highlight, where one driver leads and the other follows, trying to stay as close as possible.

What Makes a Drift Car Special?

Drift cars are uniquely modified for optimal performance. The primary difference is in the steering angle; drift cars have a steering angle of 70 to 80 degrees compared to the normal 35 to 45 degrees. Additionally, drift cars must be rear-wheel drive, and cooling is crucial due to the high power and heat generated.

What is the angle of a drift car? Drift cars have a steering angle of 70 to 80 degrees, significantly more than ordinary vehicles. This modification is often achieved using an angle kit, such as an angle kit for E36 or E46 models. These kits are essential for enhancing the steering capabilities needed for drifting.

Essential Drift Car Components

To achieve the best performance, several components are vital for a drift car. For example:

  • Angle Kits: Used to increase the steering angle, crucial for executing drifts. Popular models include angle kits for E36 and E46.
  • BMW Motor Mounts: Essential for maintaining engine stability under high stress.
  • BMW Control Arms: Help manage the car's suspension and handling.
  • BMW Tie Rods: Crucial for precise steering and handling.
  • Toe Plates: Used for wheel alignment, ensuring optimal tire contact with the road.

How to Start Drifting

Drifting on public roads is illegal and should be done in closed-off areas, preferably racetracks. Beginners can start at various drifting schools or through driving safety courses. Drift simulations on PCs, like Assetto Corsa, can help practice the coordination needed for drifting.

Essential Skills for Drifting

Good coordination, basic fitness, and a healthy level of responsiveness are crucial for drifting. Practicing in simulations and understanding how a car behaves under different conditions can significantly help beginners get accustomed to the sport.

Drifting is a blend of skill, style, and precision, making it one of the most captivating motorsports today. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, there's always something new to learn and experience in the world of drifting.

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