Drift is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner. Car drifting is caused when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle, to such an extent that often the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa, also known as opposite lock or counter-steering).
As a motoring discipline, drifting competitions were first popularized in 1970s Japan, and today are held worldwide and are judged according to the speed, angle, showmanship and line taken through a corner or set of corners. The desired line is usually dictated by the judge or judges, who describe their desired line as well as highlight areas of importance, such as clipping zones, clipping points and touch and go areas.
This driving technique was ended on December 1, 2009. The Drift as driving technique was debuted on early 1930s.
Japan was one of the birthplaces of drifting as a sport. It was most popular in the All Japan Touring Car Championship races. The famous motorcyclist turned driver, Kunimitsu Takahashi, was the foremost creator of drifting techniques in the 1970s. This earned him several championships and a legion of fans who enjoyed the spectacle of smoking tires. The bias ply racing tires of the 1960s-1980s lent themselves to driving styles with a high slip angle. As professional racers in Japan drove this way, so did the street racers.
Keiichi Tsuchiya, known as the "Drift King" (ドリキン? Dorikin), became particularly interested by Takahashi's drift techniques. Tsuchiya began practicing his drifting skills on the mountain roads of Japan, and quickly gained a reputation amongst the racing crowd. In 1987, several popular car magazines and tuning garages agreed to produce a video of Tsuchiya's drifting skills. The video, known as Pluspy, became a hit and inspired many of the professional drifting drivers on the circuits today. In 1988, alongside Option magazine founder and chief editor Daijiro Inada, he helped to organize one of the first events specifically for drifting called the D1 Grand Prix. He also drifted every turn in Tsukuba Circuit in Japan.
One of the earliest recorded drift events outside Japan was in 1996, held at Willow Springs Raceway in Willow Springs, California, hosted by the Japanese drifting magazine and organization Option. Daijiro Inada (founder of the Japanese D1 Grand Prix), the NHRA Funny Car drag racer Kenji Okazaki, and Keiichi Tsuchiya gave demonstrations in a Nissan 180SX that the magazine had brought over from Japan. Rhys Millen and Bryan Norris being two of the entrants. Drifting has then since exploded into a form of motorsport in North America, Australia, Asia and Europe.
Drifting has evolved into a competitive sport where drivers compete (almost exclusively in rear-wheel-drive cars) to earn points from judges based on various factors. At the top levels of competition, the D1 Grand Prix in Japan pioneered the sport. Others such as idc Irish drift championship in Ireland, Formula D in the United States, World Drift GP formerly Drift Allstars, King of Europe and the British Drift Championship in Europe, WDS in China, RDS in Russia, Formula Drift Asia in the Malaysia/Singapore/Thailand/Indonesia, NZ Drift Series in New Zealand, Australian Drifting Grand Prix and Greek Drift Championship (Drift Wars) have come along to further expand it into a legitimate motor sport worldwide. The drivers within these series were are able to keep their cars sliding for extended periods of time, often linking several turns.
Drift competition Edit
Drifting competitions are judged based on line, angle, speed, style and show factor. Line involves taking the correct line, which is usually announced beforehand by judges. The show factor is based on many things, such as the amount of smoke, how close the car is to the wall or designated clipping point, and the crowd's reaction. Angle is the angle of a car and more importantly the turned wheels in a drift, speed is the speed entering a turn, the speed through a turn, and the speed exiting the turn; faster is better. Style is scored on a combination of a rate-to-angle during the initiation, how fluid the car looks through the course, and how committed the driver is through the course. The rate-to-angle is how quickly during initiation or Furidashi (振り出し:starting point) and transitions or Furikaeshi (振替し:transfer) a car gets to its sliding angle. Fluidity is how smoothly a driver maneuvers their car around the course, taking into the account the amount of corrections that a driver applies through the turn(s), and the smoothness with which the car transitions from one corner to the next. Commitment is about how much throttle the driver applies, and the confidence and dedication the driver shows when approaching track edges and barriers. That is the quicker the driver is able to come to angle, the more speed and angle they can carry through the course, the fewer corrections they apply through the course and the closer they drive to the track edges or barriers, the higher the style score.
Drift cars are usually light-to-moderate weight rear-wheel-drive coupes and sedans, offering a large range of power levels. There have also been all-wheel drive cars (AWD) that have been converted to rear-wheel drive such as Subaru WRX, Toyota Avensis as Scion tC, Mitsubishi EVO and Nissan GT-R. Early on AWD cars without conversion were allowed in some drifting competitions, usually the rules allowed only a certain percentage of power to be sent to the front wheels, but are banned in most (if not all) drifting competitions today.
Despite the export of Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) vehicles to continents outside Japan, drifters in other countries prefer to use local examples as drift cars.
A high volume of JDM imports were brought to countries such as Australia and New Zealand, however it is not unusual to see Australian/New Zealand domestic vehicles such as the Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon used in drifting competitions.
The American market saw a relatively high volume of JDM cars being imported over the last decade, despite Japanese domestic vehicles being right-hand-drive only. Locally-sold imports such as the Lexus SC and Nissan 240SX feature heavily in American drifting, however they are usually modified with JDM engines to mirror their Japanese domestic equivalents (usually with a Toyota 1JZ-GTE/2JZ-GTE or Nissan CA18DET/SR20DET/RB26DETT respectively).
In the UK there are a high level of Japanese imports used within the drifting scene, due in part to the UK sharing a right-hand drive layout with Japan. However these cars often cost more than UK-market cars, partly due to import costs. There are plenty of UK and European models used as drift cars as well, older BMW's are particularly prominent due to cost and availability, with Volvo 300 series and Ford Sierras also proving popular.
In the Formula Drift Professional series, cars range from highly tuned Japanese automobiles reflecting the original styles of drifting, to all new age makes and models. Due to no power limit restrictions in the series, it is not uncommon for competitors to use a variety of different powerplants. Popular variations of Chevrolet "LS" engines are often being seen bolted down to Japanese frames.
|Nissan Silvia||S15||6 cars||5 cars||3 cars|
|Toyota Levin/Trueno||AE86||3 cars||3 cars||2 cars|
|Mazda RX-7||FD3S||2 cars||1 car||2 cars|
|Nissan Skyline||R34||1 car||1 car||1 car|
|Nissan Silvia||S13||2 cars|
|Toyota Chaser||JZX100||1 car|
|Subaru Impreza||GD (RWD)||1 car|
|Toyota Altezza||SXE10||1 car|
|Rhys Millen||Pontiac||Solstice GXP|