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Drifting 101

1927 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  centurion

Most of you may already know how to drift and have done so previously but realistically, there’s going to be a few buyers who don’t know how to drift and they may not know where to start, myself included. So I’ve found a video guide from Keiichi Tsuchiya (the man who brought drifting to the U.S) on the basics of drifting.

First off, if you’re just starting out it may be best to practice going diagonal in a large empty lot with a pylon to get used to going diagonal. Maybe even borrow someone’s old RWD manual car if you’re worried about damaging the RS.

Technique #1: Hand Brake Turn

Drive towards the pylon at a manageable speed of around 30-40mph, don’t hoon it down the lot, and then when you’re approaching the pylon, rip the handbrake without stepping on the gas. Try to control the car’s destination until it stops by itself. Now practice this and try to do 180° around the pylon.

Once you’ve got this down it’s time to give it a go on track. When you’re approaching the turn you first brake, then turn the wheel, step on the clutch, pull the handbrake, release the handbrake and go into counter steer and wait until the car is facing the exiting direction. Once facing the exit, you start stepping on the gas gently. Keiichi states that you don’t have to worry about how you exit the corner at first since you’re just starting out.

Technique #2: Shift Lock Drifting

This is also something you practice on track. We’re not pros so staying around 40mph here is a good start.
Throttle all the way into third gear, you’ll then have to do 3 things at once; brake, turn the wheel into the corner, and kick the clutch. By letting the clutch go at the apex, the resulting shock load of torque should power steer the wheels thus initiating the slide. Then you slide while counter steering and the rest should be the same as the hand brake method.

Technique #3: Power Drift

Throttle control is key with this method of drifting and Keiichi claims that it’s the easiest method for beginners. From what I can understand in the video, the driver will need to steer into the corner and then give it gas at the corner exit to make your car drift sideways. As you exit the turn you’ll need to counter steer to stay on track.

What he doesn’t mention but is shown with his footwork is that coming toward the corner, you’ll need to brake and heel-toe downshift. Once you’ve finished braking you’ll need to steer into the corner and then initiate the drift by flooring the throttle for a second. The back end should lose traction and this is where you counter steer.

This is what I’ve gathered by researching and watching his video. A good starting point but it doesn’t replace the need for more research or instruction from someone who can drift. Feel free to comment, post any corrections or tips if you’ve got any so we can start building a comprehensive drifting guide.
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The key thing for RS owners is (an obvious one) to make sure you budget for tires, they aren't cheap. If you do however decide to take this seriously and make it something you do at a good frequency, finding drift spares will help and cut down on cost A LOT. Drift spares and a set of wheels dedicated to drifting... don't use your OEM RS wheels.
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Anyone in Cali should check out Drift 101:

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I'm not in Cali but I'll probably try drifting with my friend's old manual Toyota first and see how that goes.
I'm not in Cali but I'll probably try drifting with my friend's old manual Toyota first and see how that goes.
Just don't get any battle scars, it might not go well with your friend :D
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