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Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Okay, someone explain drifting to me. I am a big racing fan, but know nothing about this.

    From what I have seen, you don't race head to head with other cars. I seriously doubt it is racing against a clock either, since a proper setup, and keeping the car straight will always be faster than breaking traction loose. Is this done solely with throttle control, rear braking, or a combination?

    So, am I correct that this is the automotive worlds version of guitar center wanking, with no real point other than to show off and drive it sideways? Sure, beating on cars is fun, but I really hope the fast and furious crowd doesn't take this crap to the streets.
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    It's handbraking a frontwheel drive car. The contest, IIRC, is to see who can do the longest drift. Retarded, IMO, since the cables used to actuate the handbrake are not meant for this type of stress. I saw someone attempt it the other day in a white pontiac grand prix, and they didn't do it very well, fishtailed it, and ended up looking just like a jackass.
  3. A friend of mine used to drive a piece of crap old Saturn. It was a crappy car, but we had sooooo much fun in it. In the snow, we'd go to an empty parking lot and attempt 360's. When it wasn't snowing, he just drifted that thing all over for the hell of it, just to beat on it cause he wanted to get a new car anyway. Eventually, he drifted it right off the road and into the front of someone's parked Jeep.

    Moral of the story-drifting is fun, but stupid.
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    BTW, I drive a Saturn. And I love it. And it's a wagon.
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Kinda. The handbrake can be used to initiate a drift, but you can do it with momentum and basic maneuvering. The brake can get the rear end to swing around, but most of the drift comes from the throttle control. If you watch a drift video with the in-car camera, you'll see them use the handbrake sparingly, at the beginning of turns. The whole point is to keep moving, which won't happen if you *yank* on the handbrake and spin the steering wheel.

    To clear up any misconception, DRIFTING IS NOT RACING. It is not a form of racing competition, and a lot of people just like to wave their hands dismissively and say "That's bad racing form. These guys don't know how to race. They can't drive, so they do this retarded form of racing." Well, good for you champ, but it's not racing.

    Think of it like surfing. It's pure exhibition. It originated in Japan when the kids would take their lightweight rear wheel drive cars (rear wheel drive is the key here) out on the winding mountain roads. The basic point of a "drift" is to induce oversteer and slide through a turn - while maintaining control of the vehicle and surviving long enough to get through the next turn without hitting the barricade. You're basically sliding through a turn, and it's a contest of seeing who's better at getting sideways.

    Drift competitions are judged subjectively ('cause it's not racing, in case you missed that part), like a surfing competition. The winner is whoever has the cleanest execution and the longest drifts. There are competitions with two cars on the track at the time - in these events the tail car has to follow the drifts of the lead car as close as possible. And I mean close! Think about entering a car at 80+ miles an hour - sideways - inches from the car in front of you. If you can pass the car (while drifting, a normal passing maneuver will lose you points), you win.

    Essentially, yes, it's just showing off. Most of the NASCAR good 'ol boys can't come to grips with that, but that's ok. If you want to watch pure-bred racing with clean turns and great racing technique, then go watch an F1 race. If you want to watch something that's cool for the sake of cool and the equivalent of the X-Games for cars, then watch drifting. A lot of stupid kids try to do it on public roads and mess their cars and the cars of others around them. It's been a part of Japanese culture since the early 90's, when rice-rockets were just starting to come into their own right. The current "ricer" phenomena is loosely based on the more extreme end of the custom mod scene from Japan, and is getting away from what the scene started out as.

    Some classic drift cars are the rear-wheel-drive AE86 Toyota Corolla, any gen of Mazda RX-7s, and one of the most popular cars ever tuned in Japan, the Nissan S13 240SX (which, in Japan, was called the Silvia and had the venerable SR20DET turbo motor as opposed to the N/A 2.4 liter version we got in the Sates). The S13 (S13 indicating the model generation) was so popular that when the S14 was introduced, Nissan still had a factory cranking out S13's for something like a year.

    edit: There are some US cars that are getting in on the drifting scene, too. Big-displacement power works pretty well - lots of power, right away with no turbo lag. There have been some pretty successful Dodge Viper drift cars. Pontiac built a drifting GTO, but I'm not sure how that's been doing. The main problem with the US cars is the weight.
  6. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Front wheel drive is not drifting!!

    Sorry :p

    It's all about understeering the car around the corners and LINKING underteers. The closer the rear of the car to the outside barrier the better. The closer the nose of the car to the inside barrier, the better.
    You steer with the go and stop pedals as well as the wheel.

    People who say it's stupid are ignorant. It's bloody hard to do what those drivers do and takes alot of skill.

    There are drift 'races' in a way, though it's more like a chase. One car following the other. The closer the car behind can get the more points. Also if it out manouvers the other car, more points.
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    That's cause it's front wheel drive. ;) The hand brake is used to break traction at the rear wheels, and then the throttle is used to maintain the drift. If you just pull on the hand brak and hold it, you can do some pretty neat sideways stops, but you're not drifting.
  8. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    yes, you are correct. Drifting is as dumb as it gets. In any racing series in the world, driving like that will get you fired (except for dirt cars, sprints etc.) Unfortunately it has already caught on with the ricer crowd here on the street. Drifting is stupid, end of story.
  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Thank you for your intelligent and elquently phrased insights regarding drifting. Your contribution to the thread was invaluable, and shows that you have a clear knowledge of what you are talking about.

    Again, thank you.
  10. lbpark

    lbpark Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Mobile, Al.
    There's one American driver who drifts in a late 70's or early 80's El Camino. Apparently he's pretty good too.

    But, like many others, drifting is not my cup of tea.
  11. any one who says drifting is stupid,etc. should actually try to do it. it is DAMN hard. and i think its kick ass. but stupid people who cant handle their cars and try to drift around a corner and end up backwards are retards.
  12. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Understeer: a condition where the front wheels of a car lose traction and slide, generally pushing a car out of a turn. Usually undesirable.

    Oversteer: a condition where the rear wheels of a car lose traction and slide, generally pushing a car into a turn (or ultimately a spin). Can be desirable and productive in getting a car through a turn.

    Drifting (1): a condition where both front and rear wheels are sliding about equally, a neutral handling condition that often indicates the driver is at the grip/handling limits of the car while still being in control.

    Drifting (2): an exhibition sport where one slides a car around intentionally while remaining in control, generally employing all of the above handling states.

    I've seen some *very* impressive videos of exhibition "drifting" and I know that at that level there's a lot of skill there. Sliding for sliding's sake rather than as part of pushing a car's limits in a racing context just seems masturbatory to me. YMMV.
  13. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Sometimes when my Rottie and I play chase in the house (hardwood floors), he runs so fast when he takes a corner, his ass "drifts" and he slides out of control.

    He doesn't need a handbrake. :spit:
  14. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Please provide your (or your parents') full name, address and your attorney's contact info so people can sue you if they get hurt following your advice.
  15. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Given that, your Rottie obviously has an issue with the

    rear end weight ratio.

    You forgot to tell us about what happens when you take that
    corner, :ninja: given that your ratio is about the same as


  16. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio

    I DO have a handbrake!

  17. There's nothing stupid or excessively dangerous about racing, or drifting. Both require lots of skill and practice. On the track under controlled conditions.

    Its doing either intentionally on the street or in public that is stupid and excessively dangerous.

  18. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    or in your livingroom.
  19. In the middle or late '30s through the mid '60s this was the fastest way to get through some corners for a skilled race driver such as Tazio Nuvolari, Juan Manuel Fangio or Sterling Moss. By the late 60s the suspension systems and tires of the race cars became sophisticated enough that drifting no longer was the fastest and it fell out of favor.

    I remember a very fast circuit around the Riverside Raceway in the early '60s in the passenger seat of an XK150 and being terrified and then lulled into amazement as we drifted around one particular corner.
  20. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Not surprising, as The Donkmeister used to race puny little
    rice fueled cars before he found his true love, posting at a
    truly intelligent bass forum.

    I did learn that MR2 drivers call their air filters 'diapers' from
    him. I though that was what they wore under the racing
    gear for when they missed a turn, but now I know better.