Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More Rules In Drifting

If you've been in a drive event before then you should be familiar of these rules that the officials set to ensure that the drivers, passengers, and spectators are
safe. If you haven't been in any drift events then you should go through these rules and read them briefly so you know what to expect.

Driver Rules
- All drivers must register their vehicles prior to drifting. At Vehicle Sign In you'll be charged according to the event and given instructions on where to pit your vehicle.

- All first time drifters must notify the attendant at vehicle sign in to receive a track orientation.

- All drivers must be registered to drive. Once registered, drivers may share vehicles amongst other registered drivers, but may not allow non-registered persons to drive.

- Drivers must be wearing long pants, covered shoes, a shirt that covers the shoulders (no tank tops), and a racing helmet. Racing suits are strongly encouraged. Helmets must remain on and strapped as long as your vehicle in on the track.

- Only one passenger, other than the driver, is allowed (per vehicle) while drifting.

- Passengers must board or exit their host’s vehicle prior to entering the track itself.

- Passengers must sit in the front seat of the vehicle and wear proper safety restraints at all times.

- Drivers are responsible for making sure that each passenger follows appropriate rules and regulations.

- Drivers must be wearing long pants, covered shoes, a shirt that covers the shoulders (no tank tops), and a racing helmet. Racing suits are strongly encouraged. Helmets must remain on and strapped as long as a vehicle in on the track.

- All body parts must remain within the vehicle compartment while on track.

- All drivers and spectators must park their vehicles in the designated parking area.

- All drivers and spectators must remain behind the safety barriers at all times. On the Road Course, no spectator may get closer than 100 feet from the roadway, excluding the Main Gate and Pit Area. Safety barriers are not always set up so use your judgment when choosing an area to watch the events.

- Spectators at Long Course Turn 1 may not go past the starting line for the course. All spectators must also remain on the lower straightaway at all times.

General Track Safety
- Road Speed is 10 mph in all areas of the track, unless you are an active driver on the track.

- With the exception of the center road and parking area, all drivers must follow a counter clockwise direction on the track (unless the track is reversed for the day).

3. Vehicles must not leave the roadway during a drift run.

4. If your vehicle leaves the road (during a drift run) reduce speed immediately and return to the road at low speed, so you do not kick up dirt and rocks (onto the road or into your car's paint).

5. All drivers and passengers must be wearing safety restraints while proceeding on a drift run.

6. Drivers must wait in a single file line (in their vehicles) in the staging lanes prior to entering a course.

8. No trucks, vans, or SUVs are allowed to drift without approval. Any soft-top convertables must have adequate rollover protection. The Drift Session reserves the right to refuse track use to any vehicle deemed unsafe for participation.

9. All passengers must be at least 14 years old.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Another Drift Car Suggestion

Last post I told you about the 240sx which was a the best drift car to start with. Yes, I really do mean that but there's a better or should I say cheaper car that you can afford. Its made by Toyota and it's called the Trueno/Levin aka AE86 or "Hachi Roku" in Japanese meaning eight six.

This car is not only cheap to buy, but cheap to upgrade as well. Why do I recommend this car to you? Well if you're in a tight budget, then this car will only cost you about $500-$2000 so it is very cheap so no excuses there. Also when you do purchase this car, first impression of the car will astonished you because you'll notice that it is very light and agile. That is because the car is very light it only weighs about 2100 pounds the average weight of the new car these days range anywhere from 3000 pounds and up. You wonder why all of the new cars are overweight, that is because of all the extra equipment such as, air condtioning, abs, satelite navigation, air bags, the lot.

Now this car has none of that so that is one of the reason why it is light. So what's the advantage of having a light car when your drifting? Well you can dive in deeper through the corners and iniating drift from the apex of the corner; therefore, faster and longer drift will occur. Plus the car is much easier to control at the limit so you can push the car very hard and it will forgive you.

This car is affordable, cheap to run and to own (insurance), very light, and easy to modify. Yes, I would go with this car when you're in a shoestring budget.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Drift Car Suggestion

Now if you had been following this blog since day one, then you know that one of the very first thing I told you to do is to pick a rear wheel drive car. It's much easier to drift a rear wheel drive car than the front wheel drive cars or all wheel drive cars. I've even suggested some of the cars to go with like 240sx, Mustang, Camaro, 350zx, and so forth.

The car I probably would highly recommend to you is a Nissan 240sx. Why? because this is the basis of all drift car or should I say the genesis of drift cars. They are relatively inexpensive and you can drift the car straight away without any modifications whatsoever. Also there are lots of aftermarket parts to choose like the engines, brakes, suspension, seats, turbos, and much more. You will be bombarded with arrays of parts that you'll go crazy after a while. The good thing about this is that you have a lot to choose from and that also means that there are cheap parts that you can get so you don't have to spend so much money on aftermarket parts.

It is amazing how versatile the 240sx is because this car can be pretty much what you want it to be. If you want it as a drift car that would be perfect or drift car that is also a daily beater fine as well. You can also make this car a track monster if you want it to be so there are endless of possibilities for this car.

So if you want to start out drifting, this would be the car of choice because those points I mentioned above is what it is. The Nissan 240sx is a car of choice for either the Pro drifters as well as the beginners.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Should You Have a Stiffer Suspension

So did you decide to buy a racing suspension? If you said yes to that question then you know that there will be a lot of pain and suffering in riding that car of yours with a racing suspension. Here are the list of problems that you will have to cope with when you have a stiffer suspension in your car.

* Do you want a bumpy and uncomfortable ride.
* Your significant other secretly hating you because of the harsh ride she has to put up with.
* Cops will want to pull you over because of the low ride height of your car.

Now these are some of the problems that you will encounter when you have one installed in your car, but the benefits for using it in the track are just magnificent. When you take your car to the track with a stiffed racing suspension, it feels as though the car belongs to the race track. For start the car with modified suspension feels poised and planted when you tackle the corners.

The car will not roll so much with a stiff suspension, so that leads to a quicker time and ease of use when doing so. Also when drifting your car you have more control when you drift around the corners. When you do have a racing suspension installed; you can adjust how stiff your suspension will be. If the car your planning to upgrade is your daily driven car, then you may want to reconsider because driving with that kind of suspension is uncomfortable and sometimes will wear you out.

If its your weekend car though then you have a choice to do so because you won't have to drive it everyday, and its much more fun in the track so take it out there and enjoy the car there.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Heel & Toe Downshifting

When tackling a corner, you should try to do a heel and toe downshifting because it's a much easier to transition going from 4th gear to 1st when downshifting. Racing drivers and also professional drifters uses this technique all the time. Doing this heel and toe downshifting is good for your clutch because when you use this technique, it gives your clutch a break from the heavy downshifts and rapid deceleration.

Let me explain how this heel and toe downshifting helps your clutch in a long run. Imagine you're driving at speed of 50 mile per hour and you quickly approaching a tight right turn corner. Your instinct will tell you to slow down as much as possible downshifting at the same time. Okay you've braked hard then at the same time shifted from 4th gear to 2nd gear; your car jerk while you downshifted and then you've slowed down enough to go around the corner.

You thought that you were Michael Schumacher after you made the it through the corner. Now when you shifted the gears from 4th, 3rd, and all the way to second gear the car jerked a lot. When you released the clutch, the mechanical locking effect between the engine and the front wheels forces the engine revs to match the rotational speed of the rear wheels. In this case, 25 mph in second gear would mean the engine has to be at roughly 2,600 rpm. When you let out clutch after moving the shifter to second gear, your car's engine must instantly go from idle to 2,600 rpm. This sudden change causes the car to jerk, as well as causing undue wear-and-tear on the clutch, transmission and engine mounts.

Now what the heel and toe does when you downshift is that it makes the transition from the higher gears to the lower gears much smoother, and therefore, faster entry when cornering and also faster exit speed coming out of the corner because the you are in the right gear at the right time. Also lessening the stress for the clutch by matching the speed of engine and wheels, so you'll not experience that jerking motion when you do this technique.

Here's Is How You Do It
When practicing this, you should try it in a straight line because it's much easier accomplish this technique in a straight line.

* So start out to accelerate from 0 to 50 miles per hour. Then brake with using your right foot's toe.
* Use your left foot to depress the clutch.
* This is the hard part because you have to simultaneously do shifting, gassing, and braking. So while still applying the brakes move your heel up so it looks horizontal. So your toe is pointing at the clutch. Then you're using right foot's heel to blip the throttle at the same time you're applying the brakes. When you blip the throttle the rpm will rise and that's when you dowshift.

These are two videos of heel & toe downshifting to illustrate the whole process of it:
1 of 2
Another One
2 of 2

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Good and the Bad About Racing Suspension

If you are planning to upgrade your stock suspension to a racing type of suspension then here are some of the good and the bad of having one in your car. lets start off with the bad portion of having one in your car.

The Bad
* A hard and uncomfortable ride
* It's expensive, go take a look at a price for a whole set if you don't believe me

The Good
* Better Handling
* The center of gravity is much lower so the result is faster entry in a corner
* Predictable handling because you have less body roll
* It makes your car look like a semi racer/ Drifter car a good thing

There's more that to the good and the bad, these are the ones the I can remember from the top of my head. If you have any thoughts or more ideas to input; you sould comment and tell me the reason for the good and the bad of having a racing suspension.