How to Drift like an Expert: Popular Drifting Techniques Used in Formula Drift Racing

Photo courtesy of snakemasterproductions

Written by Jenniifer Blake

Many people are fans of car racing, and one of the most popular methods used to race is drifting and many amateur drivers try to emulate the drift techniques that they observe from their favorite drivers. In Formula Drift racing, many drivers use a myriad of drifting techniques to gain skill points which help improve their rankings in specific competitions.

Drifting is simply the art of intentionally allowing a vehicle to slide or laterally slip which causes the car to turn. The actual drift is very difficult to control, especially for amateur drivers and has resulted in many road accidents and fatalities. There are a number of professional drifting techniques used by experts to keep control of the car during a drift such as the: emergency break drift, Kansei drift and long slide drift.

The emergency brake drift is the most popular drifting technique used among amateurs and professional drifters even though it is also the most dangerous form of drifting. The emergency brake drift uses the car’s emergency break which creates a loss of traction that the driver can use to negotiate turns. To perform the emergency brake drift, the driver should release pressure from the throttle and pull up the handbrake while turning the steering wheel. This type of drift can be used for medium and high speed turns and is controlled by the speed of the car before the turn.

The Kansei drift is a particular drift technique that is only used with cars that are neutrally balanced; using this drift in a car that is not neutrally balanced can result in an uncontrolled drift. To successfully perform a Kansei drift, the driver of the car should remove his foot from the gas pedal while turning sharply, this act will create oversteer in the neutrally balanced car which can be controlled and used to maneuver the turn. The Kansei drift is generally used to drift through what are called high speed corners.

The long slide drift is a variation of the emergency brake drift and is used on a straightaway, before a series of turns. The loss of traction and the speed of the car enable the driver to negotiate the series of turns more quickly than without the drift. This technique is very dangerous but is very spectacular and should only be performed by the most skillful drivers. This type of drift is dangerous at high speeds but even more dangerous at low speeds since the loss of traction of low speed can cause the car to lose control or possibly flip.

Drifting techniques have long been used by amateur drivers to impress and wow crowds due to its difficulty and spectacular effects. The techniques states above are used by the experts to perform the most amazing drifts and by following the tips stated above, so can you.


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