Learning how to drift equals true fahrvergnügen (Pt. 2)

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Alain Prost driving a Dacia Duster during qualifying session of the 2nd round of Trophee Andros 2010.

Hold 'er right there, cowboys and cowgirls. Drifting requires lots of practice, performed in a safe place. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Kevin Miller/Wikipedia)

You’re well on your way toward learning how to drift. Never mistake reading a blog post for real practice, however. These tricks can help you get started, but don’t try to read them while you’re drifting, please. CLICK HERE if you missed the beginning of this article on how to drift.

How to drift trick No. 1: The clutch kick

Drifting with this technique involves first kicking the clutch of your manual transmission vehicle suddenly. This makes the car temporarily lose traction and begin a rear-wheel slide when you’re entering a turn. Use engine braking by alternately applying and releasing the clutch to drop speed and maintain the pull of the slide. If you need help starting the drift, tap the throttle to raise engine speed just enough. When you let go of the clutch, the driven wheels spin faster.

How to drift trick No. 2: The dirt drop

This is a bit of a renegade technique, so save it for when the man isn’t watching. You allow the rear wheels to leave the tarmac and get onto a lower grip surface like dirt, gravel or grass. Speed will remain relatively stable, as rear tire friction is lower on the loose surface. With adjustments for timing and levels of acceleration and deceleration/braking, this drifting technique isn’t that much different.

How to drift trick No. 3: The jump drift

This is not your everyday drifting. On the track, the rear wheels will have to hit the rumble strip. The ensuing vibration should be just enough to upset the balance of grip momentum and traction, sending the rear of the car sliding.

How to drift trick No. 4: The handbrake

Perhaps the easiest drift technique, this handbrake drifting technique is the only guaranteed way to slide a FWD car, even if it isn’t a “proper” drift. Going into the turn, apply the handbrake just enough to lock the rear wheels. Once you’re sliding, release the handbrake and use your steering and acceleration techniques to regain control.

How to drift trick No. 5: The feint drift

Know the balance of your car before attempting this one, and only practice in large, open areas. When approaching a right-hand turn, go left to achieve opposite lock. The rear will go left, and you’ll steer right. Correct your course via counter-steer and you’ll catch the drift. Combined with the clutch kick, this can easily break rear traction.

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How to drift trick No. 6: The inertial drift

Feel the need for speed? You’ll need it to pull this one off. Decelerate as you approach the turn, throwing the weight toward the front wheels. The back wheels will feel light, and you’ll be able to steer into the bend while the back drifts. Careful steering and throttle presses are essential, as is the appropriate initial speed of your vehicle. This can only be determined via practice. Feel the living force, automotive padwan.


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