Drifting by car, an adrenaline-pumping maneuver for true professionals

Drifting is one of the most adrenaline-pumping and spectacular car maneuvers. If you don’t know how to drift perfectly, however, the feat can be quite dangerous, because you lose control of the car. That’s why drifting is considered a gesture by true motoring professionals. Not surprisingly, there are sports competitions for drifting champions.

Speed and adrenaline-pumping maneuvers . These are the two main ingredients that make motoring a success, at any level. For lovers of cars and driving, few things are more exciting than a racing car that launches at full speed on the asphalt of a track or that ventures into overtaking and risky maneuvers. And drifting is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular displays of talent in the world of four wheels. A maneuver that has also given life to a real sport and that has been consecrated cinematically by the Fast & Furious film series. So it deserves to be known better.

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What does “drifting” mean?

The literal translation into Italian of the English term drifting is ” adrift “. In fact, in the drift maneuver, the car seems to drift , because the driver voluntarily loses control of the rear and manages the whole car with only the front wheels. For this reason, it is also called a controlled skid or, in a more slang, a skid . From the outside, the effect that can be seen is spectacular and adrenaline-pumping: the racing car seems to slide off the track , then regain control and go back to speed quickly, having retained much of its speed. This is a very popular rally maneuver, for tackling curves without using the brake too much. Over the years, then, real drifting sports competitions have been established, in which the winner is the one who is more precise in performing the maneuver and gets as close as possible to an obstacle without knocking it down. In addition, drifting is also widely used in car shows, such as those offered by professional stunt-men in theme parks and reviews.

How to do a car drift maneuver

Such spectacularity corresponds to a considerable difficulty of execution . Drifting correctly is not easy. There are several techniques , which differ from each other especially in the first part of the maneuver, the one that serves to trigger the drift. The simplest is that which involves the use of the handbrake , which is pulled with a firm blow when the curve is reached at speed; then you start to counter-steer and start accelerating again. A variant of this technique is the so-called bridge lock , in which the normal brake is used instead of the handbrake, downshifting and abruptly leaving the clutch once the curve has been set. The most professional technique, however, is the pendulum , which associates an abrupt braking with a decisive counter-steering, carried out with the car launched into a curve at high speed. It should be noted that, given its danger, drifting must only be performed on the track or in large and deserted places , where there are neither people nor obstacles of any kind. In addition, you should be aware that the maneuver involves considerable tire wear.

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The best machines for drifting

In general, to be able to carry out a drifting maneuver it is necessary to get behind the wheel of a rear-wheel drive car. With front-wheel drive cars, in fact, you risk being able to do a more or less spectacular spin, which is very different from a controlled skid. Even among rear-wheel drive cars, however, not all of them are effective in drifting. Not surprisingly, in official competitions cars designed specifically for this specialty are used, often derived from street car models.

Sports drifting competitions

On the other hand, the creation of ad hoc machine models is the natural consequence of the transformation of drifting into a sport specialty . The precursor of the sector, in the 70s, was the Japanese driver Keiichi Tsuchiva , considered the father of modern drifting, born within the Japanese Touring Car Championship. Over the decades, the number of competitions has multiplied, even outside the Japanese borders, which however remains the area with the most important events. These are races in which, as already mentioned, the ability of the pilots to drift correctly and their accuracy are assessed, according to strict judgment criteria. Worldwide, the most famous competitions are the D1 Grand Prix (Japan) and Formula Drift (USA and Japan). The Drift Masters European Championship is also very popular with pilots. In Italy, however, the most important race is the Italian Drifting Championship, divided into three categories: racing Pro, Racing Pro 2 and Street Open.

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