Introduction – What is Drifting?

According to the all knowing wikipedia:

“Drifting refers to the difference in slip angle between the front and rear tires of a car. When the rear wheels are slipping at a greater angle than the front wheels, the car is drifting, or over-steering. The rear end of the car appears to chase the front end around a turn, while the front tires control the actual direction of the car.- wikipedia

Image of two professional drifters racing at NOPI drift.

Umm … right. When I read this definition, I close my eyes and I am instantly thrust back to my school years when professors made it a point to say things in utterly incomprehensible fashion just to stroke their fragile egos. Then i think to myself, what the hell is a slip angle? So for those of you that are members of the ADD generation, present party included, I’ll put this definition in real world terminology. Drifting is a motorsport that involves losing the traction of your rear wheels while steering the car with your front wheels, all in a controlled manner through a series of consecutive turns. Basically, when you are drifting you are intentionally causing the rear end of the car to do a controlled burnout, thus causing your car to be sideways while turning. I like to describe this motion as the rear “stepping out”. Now you can officially desregard all of this slip angle mumbo jumbo and think of drifting as losing traction at the rear while steering with the front.

Where did drifting originate?

Drifting has been a driving technique in motorsports for decades, but its rise as a full-fledged sport began in Japan on roads called touges. (A touge is a mountainous, public, twisty road where professional and amateur street racers race and hone their skills. a.k.a “back roads” to Americans) These twisty roads, combined with the rear wheel drive cars commonly found in Japan, meant that not only were you likely to slide the rear wheels of your car around a turn on these roads, but that controlling that motion could be the difference between staying on the mountain or going cliff diving. As drivers began to hone their drift skills, it was inevitable that people would want to know who was best. As a result, our modern form of drifting was born. Now drifting has firmly planted its roots in the United States in the form of D1, Formula D and Nopi Drift. Drivers race 2 at a time on a closed course and are judged on their drifting technique, style and how well they are able to shadow or pull away from the lead driver. But more importantly, drifting is a sport that combines skill, style and personal expression all into one.

So why drifting?

Simply put, drifting is by far the most fun that can be had on four wheels. It is a relatively inexpensive motorsport to participate in, has a great, open community and can teach you car control skills that can be applied to every other form of racing.

Thats all for now. Hope you enjoy the site.

-240AM