Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Year in Review of 2007

This blog started 3 months ago and it's still growing. I have a lot more to teach about drifting and I only covered as much as I could in the short of months that I been blogging. Rest assured that you will find more useful skills and techniques that I will teach you and I'm very grateful that I can help you learn how to drift.

If you're new to drifting, I suggest you check my older posts for more information about learning how to drift and I hope you find this useful and every way. Like I mentioned many times is that practice is crucial to get better at drifting; with practice comes experience so keep drifting and keep learning. Here in this blog I will provide you with the essential knowledge of drifting. So do your part and start ripping some of those rubbers.

Here are my older posts to check out if your new to Drifting:
- How to Choose a Car For Drifting
- A Pre requisite Before Attempting to Drift
- See How Easily You Can Learn How to Drift

I will post a lot more in the coming year and some of the things you will learn are a bit more technical. Like setting up your car, choosing the right tires, suspension, and many more. So buckle down and get ready for more learning because I will do a massive brain dump and you can profit from it by just reading this blog.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tracks in California

If you're from California, then you should have a good I idea of places where you can drift. If not then I will list the 2 tracks that I go to all the time to practice drifting. One of the tracks that I know of is in Sonoma, this place is close to the golden gate bridge. Yes, this place is in San Francisco, and the name of the race track is Infineon raceway.

The other race track that I go to as well is in Rosamond, which is close to Mojave desert. The race track is close by the desert and the track is called Willows Spring. These two race tracks are the tracks I go to, to practice drifting. I will give you an overview of how amazing these tracks are and why I recommend them to you.

Let start of with the Willows Spring Circuit, this place is just the places we need when you're trying to practice drifting. There are a lot of run off areas in which you can use just in case you make a mistake. The long straight is about half a mile, which leads to castrol corner where your entry speed will very high. This is essential to gauge your skill by controlling a drift in a fast and precise action. Turn two is the rabbits ear and it's a hairpin, a very long right hander hair pin that is challenging. This corner will test you on how long you can hold the drift. I suggest going in as deep as possible and start your drift mid way through the corner to completely clear the corner.

Turn 3 is a left hander that connects to turn 4 with a right hander, These to corners are a left and a right which makes it a S bend. This corner can test your control of the drift by switching left to right. Turn 5 is a another left hander and then to the morade ridge which is turn 6. From turn 6 all the way to 7 is a slightly bent straight. Try to do some freestyle drifting in the straights so you can see how well you can manage to do it. Then a fast sweeper in turn 8, try going fast before the turn then before the corner; initiate the drift to clear the corner. Turn 9 is another fast corner which lead to the main straight, this is it try your best drift to clear the corner to ensure some praise from the people watching, yay...not.

Overall this place is fantastic and you'll meet a lot of drifters and car enthusiast, some are expert and some who are beginners just like you. This a perfect place to hone your skills and get social with other people who has the same hobby as you.

Finally the Infineon race track is another place where you can hone and perfect your skills in drifting. If you're from the northern California, you should check it out and see for yourself that this place is an amazing race track. This track consist of a lot of challenging corners and a lot of elevation. This circuit is longer and bigger than the Willows Spring so expect to see a lot of people as well. I won't go in much detail in describing this track because experiencing it is much better.

I will try and give you more updates on the race track that I go to so you can try it out yourselves. But these two circuits are the ones, especially the Willows Spring where you'll see a lot of drifters such as yourself. Have fun and good luck to your drifting endeavor.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Understeer & Oversteer

The top portion is showing understeer. Check the red Ford Focus going off, that's what you call understeer. While on the other hand, the bottom picture shows you oversteer. Look at the red car again on the bottom pic. and you'll see that the back end of it is sliding out, and that my friend is oversteer.
So whats the difference? It's very simple and straightforward... when you encounter understeer. Your car is trying to go outward instead of the inside line. This means that if you are turning left on fast left hander corner, when you're turning suddenly your cars direction starts to move outward. You were aiming at the inside line of the left hand corner, but your car's front end starts to move towards the gravel. To sum it all up, you turn your car, but won't turn to where you want it to turn.

Oversteer is when the back end of your car starts to slide off first causing a powerslide if you can hold it. This is much better than the understeer because you have a chance to correct the error, and sometimes it can lead to a faster time. The overteer is desirable when you're trying to drift because if you want to drift; you start off with the oversteer and then hold the slide for a while and it will be a stupendous drift if you can hold the oversteer for a long time.

Front wheel drive cars tend to understeer alot while rear wheel drive cars tend to oversteer. This will only happen when you push the cars to the limit.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Street Knowledge of Uphill and Downhill

When racing uphill, turbo cars are the best and mostly suited for the job; however when it comes to downhill. The race will be decided on who has the most guts and skill to cope with the danger of driving downhill. Because driving downhill is dangerous and even though you have plenty of power in your car. You won't be able to use it all when it comes to downhill.

So why is it that the car with a turbo will do a much better job than natural aspirated car. Because when driving uphill, the more torque in your car, the better. Also the more power you have, the better because your exit after the corner will be much faster. Naturally if you bring a car with no turbo againts the which has turbo. Then the turbo car will be thrashing the naturally aspirated car. Not unless the NA car has more power than turbo car and it has a perfect balance in that car.

With Downhill you need a light and agile car to quickly go through the corner. You don't need a lot of power because you got the gravity to push you down. Or should I say the inertia of the car when going downhill will provide adequate speed. Going downhill is a much tougher race when compairing with the uphill race because you are now going much faster and you'll feel more pressure because you're going downhill. There is a possibility of you falling off the mountain and god knows what will happen to you. It takes a lot to master going downhill because yo will need a lot of courage and skills to master going downhill.

Obviously if you want to trash your opponent in both session of uphill and downhill battle. You'll need a car that is light with plenty of power, good suspension set up, brakes, and a perfectly balance car. You see when you have a perfecly balance car, you have a bit of everything that I mentioned above. Naturally you'll have your uses for more power when going uphill and the lightness of your car will help immensely because you have more control of your car. Heavier cars are hard to control at the limit.

Once you have a perfectly balance car, you now possess a car which can go fast in either uphill and downhill. A perfecly balance car will do even better when going downhill because of the light weight and agility of the car. With the surge of power here in there, you have a car that is very competitive and you can challenge a lot of people who has a much faster car.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mountain Racing - Uphill & Downhill Battle

Ever seen the anime called Initial D? If you've seen it, then you'll know that those cars in Initial D races in the mountains. Basically drifting really started out in the mountains where many of the street racers (hashiriya) raced their cars uphill and downhill.

When the racers line up their car to each other; one car would lead the other would follow. The one who's following will have to stick to the leading car to win, if the car that is chasing is left behind, then he loses. Same goes to the lead car, if he can't shake off his chaser, then he loses.

The First run would be a uphill battle and the two cars have to reach the peak in able to reach the goal. Then comes the downhill where bravery kicks in and no holds bar. These mountain racing takes place in a remote mountains where there is no cops that will come around and apprehend the street racers. It's one of the most dangerous street racing that there was because you have plenty of chances of falling off all the way down the ravine. There's a lot of mountains where there's no guardrail and chances are higher of you falling off.

Still there is people who would risk their lives to live the moment of adrenalin rush in mountain racing. People who are aspiring racers but could not afford to go the track or just wanting to have some fun racing in the mountains. You just can't help the street racers that wants to just have a good racing in the mountains and learn first hand racing in their own cars.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Word Of Warning Before Attempting to Drift

Safety is of a paramount when you are involve in any motor sports. Drifting is not what you call safe, that would be absurd, many racers are risk takers, but you don't need to put yourself in danger when trying to drift.

When you start out drifting, find a place that that has alot of space for errors, like a big parking lot or a secluded area where there's no police that comes around. You need all the space because if you do make a mistake; you'll have plenty of room to recover.

Also before you choose a car on which you will use for drifting. It's important that you realize that the car you're going to use will get damaged. So don't get emotionally attached to the car that you will be drifting because it will get damage, and don't even bother putting any bodykits because, you'll be wasting your money.

Start off with a junky car which has rear wheel driver and a manual transmission. You can use this car to polish up your skills and get better at handling it sideways. At least if you wreck the junky car that your practicing on, you won't be angry and irritated about it.

Stick with this rule and your drifting quest will be much safer and easier that way.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Jargons of Drifting

Jargon - language that is used primarily in certain profession, medicine, automotive industry, and etc. All these professions used certain words that is unknown to the person who's never been in any particular field.

That is my version of that vocabulary, now I'm not here to teach English 1o1 to you but it's important that you know some of the words primarily use in drifting.

Powerslide: The American way of drifting, specifically the name the English people use to describe drifting.

Drift: Obviously I'm not going to claim that the Japanese called this at first, but they refer to a car sliding through corners drifting.

Figure 8: If you havent gone through my post of "prerequisite before attempting to drift" then I suggest you check it out. Figure 8 is just as the name says, your making a figure 8 on the tarmac through the tires of your car. A good way to practicing the basics before drifting.

Hachiroku: If your new to drifting and Japanese people refer to their car by the body type. Hachi Roku literally means 8-6 so the AE86 is referring to the Toyota trueno or levin.

Angle: When you drift your car there is angle which tells how sideways your car is. So basically the more angle you have the more points you'll get from the judges after drifting through the course.

I'll stop there, I could go on and on about the terminology but I don't want you to fill your head with too much jargon's. I'll post more drifting terminology on the later post.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Practice Drifting in the Rain

Dangerous, yes but you should know better than to do it in your street. Find a race track close by or a secluded area where there's is no potential danger of getting caught and practice there. Go to wherever that place might be and go there more often when it rains because when you practice in the rain, you'll get good at controlling the slide of the car. At first this is not a good way to start out, but as soon as you get use to drifting and have learned the basics that I told you. Then you should now practice in the rain, this will invariably accelerate your growth in the field of precision handling.

Go slowly at first attempt and try to gauge where you'll enter a corner and drift. Remember when in a wet track you will slide easily so you find yourself going slower than usual. Speed is not good in a damp track so just watch how fast you go because you might go too fast and understeer and hit a wall. When the track is very wet, you could encounter hydroplaning. This occurs when you go through a puddle of water and the wheels of your car is no longer on the pavement. So basically your car is floating through the puddle of water. So avoid spots in the track where there's a puddle of water. Aside from this danger, you can pretty much enjoy drifting effortlessly in the rain. First try out the techniques that you learned from my other post. You should find it quite amusing seeing how you can do these drift techniques easily when your in a damp track. Like I said you'll learn a lot from just practicing in the rain condition.

You'll get better and better at drifting when you continue to practice in the rain. So keep it up and never lose focus.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Drifting Competition

Unlike the usual racing events that we people normally see in the TV, drifting is quite different.
Racing is basically competing against fast drivers and whoever crosses the finish line first wins. Drifting competition is more of a sliding style battle coupled with short burst of speed and controlled chaos. Those are some of the ingredients that comes along when competing in a drifting event. The only similarity drifting has with the real racing is the qualifying. Yes, that is the only similarity, but when it comes to winning it's not about who crosses the line first. The way to win is to impress the judges who are carefully watching you as you drift around the corner.

These judges are professional drivers and ex drifters themselves, so they know how to rate drivers. One thing I have to mention is that the judges based their scoring in angle of the car when drifting, your line, the entry speed and the speed you carry while drifting. The drifting scenes have grown inexplicably over the years and many enthusiast are trying their hand at drifting. Competition ranges from all street racers to your daily track attackers, and the pros. The professional drifters that we were accustomed to were the Japanese drivers from the D1 GP now they have drivers all over the world to try their hand at drifting. Drifting is now growing in UK, especially Australia and here in the US as well.

You too can compete and race at your own level, so don't get discourage if you're a beginner right now. As I keep posting read it because I will give you a handful of tips about drifting and your car's set up and more.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Underpowered Cars or High horsepower Car Which Would you Choose

Alot of your drifting technique or should I say style of drifting will depend upon your cars performance. The reason for this is that you can manage to drift a car when its at speed, but if you can't gain momentum enough speed and you'll likely drift in a quick succesion rather than longer hold drift. The reason is simple, when your car doesn't have that much power it won't help you hold the drift for long. The low horsepower car is much harder to drift than the one with higher horsepower. This is because due to the fact that you need to go faster and faster to be able to slide and maintain the drift, and frankly in a low horsepower car you will have quite a hard time. There's a certain point once when your car is in the middle of a drift, and you want to completely clear the corner with a dab of the throttle. That is possible with a high horsepower car but a low HP car need more than just a dab, you need to hammer it since it won't react until you pressed the pedal harder. This can affect your drift once your in the middle of it because you want a subtle increase in throttle not a whole lot. But what can you do what can you do? Practice will help and different style of drifting is required. If you could remember from the other post that I told in drift techniques called the Sliding Power this technique required plenty of horsepower to ensure you get to hold your drift for a while. This technique won't work in a low horsepower car. So you have to use other techniques in able to drift a low horsepower car and that's you will need to have a different style of drifting. I'm not trying to discourage you if you do have a low horsepower car, it just means that you will learn different drifting style to harness your car and for it to be able to drift. I don't mean to say that you need a lot of horsepower in able drift, its balance that were after and surely this is the way most drifters do it.
With the high horsepower car, this is easily the way to drift, but too much power can harm your control over the car, thus your car will sometimes just overteer uncontrollably. Steering, footwork, and your line of drift comes so fast that you have to react fast, this is needed when you have bucket loads of power. Horsepower ranging from 400hp to 5oohp are considered high horsepower cars and a bit hard to control sometimes with their volcanic power and torque. Likewise this gets you to have a different style of drifting, like going fast before the corner and braking hard to reduced the speed and then sliding it. If you go too fast in the corner, you will inevitably crash. That's one thing that low horsepower is good at, you just keep the floor flat so you can clearly drift through the corner.

Whichever car you have you will be able to drift it, but with difficulties on both. Its a good thing because with hardship you can learn a lot and you can get good at drifting whichever car you have.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

History of Drifting

The origin of drifting can be traced back in its native land which was in Japan. On the many rural mountains of Japan, the street racers would go up to the mountain and race there. From there started an event called touge racing ( Toh-gey - mountain racing) and at that time it was growing in popularity. One of the many founders of drifting was Kunimitsu Takahashi he was an exceptionally talented racer. From Takahashi to Keiichi Tsuchiya, Keiichi was the man to follow up on drifting when it was still developing.

Keiichi became known as the dorikin (Drift king) in the street because of his skills. He eventually turned pro racer and went on to achieved many great feats in his racing career. In 1977 Keiichi began his racing career driving many different cars in amateur racing series events. Racing these underpowered cars was difficult but again a great learning experience. Later Keiichi was picked up to drive the ADVAN sponsored Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno (JDM Corolla GT-S). During many races on a downhill corner he would drift the car and carry a better corner speed than his competitors. This technique is what made him the Drift King, not, as most believe, that he was first in the drift scene. In 1988, alongside Option magazine founder Daijiro Inada, he would help to organise one of the first drift events, the event was a success despite very few drivers were capable of drifting then.

Alot of the techniques that were used in drifting was derived in rally racing, where the fastest way around a corner is to slide. That is why some of the current drifters around are ex rally racers and they are very good at drifting because of their experience in rallying.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Grip or Drift

So by now you're familiar with drifting, but while your getting good at it. Its good to mention the other way around the track. Which is grip driving, this is the opposite of drifting. While most of the drifting is for the show of how skilled you are in holding a powerslide. The grip driving is simply going faster in the corner. You really want push the car to the limit and set a fast time. The grip driving is for doing a time attack or track battles. Its two different ways of approaching a corner and clearing it. So long as you practice hard enough you can learn both of these two driving style. As a amateur racer myself I prefer more in grip driving because it brings adrenaline rush in me. I also drift to showcase by powersliding skills, but the most important thing is to do one at a time. Don't just think you can learn both at the same time. If you focus on drifting then stay at it until you get good, and if you started on grip driving then do the same thing. My point is to learn one first rather than trying to do both at the same time. I will cover more grip driving more in depth in later post.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More Drift Techniques

As you learn and practice the drift techniques that I showed to you. You can try to learn these drift techniques that is more advance but its not very difficult to do. Once you've got better at drifting you'll want to learn more, here are more drift moves to learn.

Braking Doriifto - this drift is done by applying braking before you enter a corner. Once you lose traction by braking a little harder, you then steer the car to the right or left which ever corner you're trying to go. It takes practice to be able to do this drift, you really need to get good at braking, downshifting, and controlling the steering.

Sliding Power - its a weird name but this is done by drifting with a car that has a lot of horsepower. To ensure that you can hold the power and the slide, you should have mastered the steering control to do this drift successfully. When you're entering a corner, you use your braking just enough to slow down and to prevent you from going off track. Then you stab the throttle to induce rear wheel spins; therefore, your car will oversteer. Once it oversteer, you must hold the steering wheel and continue to apply throttle to keep drifting until you clear the corner.

High Speed Drift - high speed drift is done on a high speed corner. When you're approaching a corner, before the corner you let off the throttle then turn the steering wheel slightly right or left. If the car doesn't drift from when you let off the throttle, then your car is not set up for it. I'll cover drift set up for the later post, but at least you know the basics on how to do the high speed drift. This drift is normally done on medium powered cars, powers ranging from 290 HP to 320 HP rear wheel drive cars.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

See How Easily You Can Learn How to Drift

Drifting is not hard at all, it just takes time and pratice. If you read the post before this one, you were given a prerequesite before you start drifting. If you practice those exercises, these drift techniques that I will cover here will be much easier for you to learn. So without further distractions here are some of the drift techniques that you can try.

Swaying Start Drift: This technique is very easy, ok its easier said than done but here is the down low. When your approaching a corner turn to the opposite direction then suddenly correcting it by going to the right direction. What your doing is that your swaying the car to transfer the weight from the back. This motion will make your car go sideways, and all you have to do when your drifting is hold it until you clear the corner.

Down shifting Drift: Doing this technique requires you to do a lot of down shifting. Here's a scenario, your approaching a fast right turn at a conservative speed. Then at the turn in point you brake a little bit then throw down the gears. When your doing this as you down shift you feel the car jerk forward, when that happens turn the car abruptly to the right or left. The cars weight when you down shifted goes all the way to the front and in turn makes your car light at the back end. So the back will slide much faster and easier.

E- Braking it! - Sounds cool huh, this technique is the easiest one that you can do. This is very easy because all you have to do is turn the car right or left at the same time your pulling the emergency brake or parking brake. Your car will slide easily and beautifully when done right, and also if you want to challenge yourself just a little bit. You can go faster then do this technique and your car will slide longer and faster.

So, there it is I hope these techniques of drifting can help you become good at it. Don't give up if you can't do it right now because with practice you can get good at it. And I repeat don't try this near your street or everywhere else, just do it at the track its much safer for you and your car.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A prerequisite before attempting to drift

We've all been there, trying to be Mr. I know it all and drifting before mastering the basics. If you haven't learn the basics of drifting, you'll have a hard time drifting because it is from the basics that you can polish up your drift techniques. So what are the basics? Well to start off its simple and very easy to do. The one basic drift that you should do is the 180 degree turn. To start you should be in a secluded place where theres no imminent danger of an on coming car or a police. Begin to accelerate shifting from 1st gear,2ND gear to 3rd, once you hit at least 40mph going nowhere but straight. You then pull the e brake and turning right at the same time. Your car has to end up facing the opposite way of where you came from. This is the 180 degree turn, easy and simple. Keep practicing this until you can turn at your own will and at the speed you want. What this does is give you a first hand experience of sliding your car and controlling it. The next basic drift is a little bit harder, but not impossible. Once you mastered the 180 degree turn, you should then try the figure 8's. Sound unfamiliar? Don't worry all is it is that your doing a 180 degree turn back to back. This is a transition from the 180 degree turn, so start out the same as the 180 degree turn then when you do a 180 turn keep the car sliding until you hit the opposite side. Once you hit the opposite side, you hammer the acceleration pedal and then going to the opposite side and doing it again. The experience you get from the figure 8's is very important because you're learning the drift control and speed control, both of which are essential to be good at drifting. Once you can do a full figure 8's easily, you can now drift more easily and confidently.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

How to Choose a Car For Drifting

To start out drifting you must have a rear wheel drive car. You can almost drift any car but I would recommend you to have a rear wheel drive car because its much easier to drift. A rear wheel drive car is much more easier to powerslide just look at the D1 Grand Prix. You would hardly see any front wheel drive cars; moreover, you'll learn much faster if you have a rear wheel drive cars. Rear wheel drive cars such as: Nissan 240sx, Honda S2000, Nissan 300 & 350zx, Mustang, Camaro, and Rx7. These cars are perfect for drifting, but I'll admit that all of those cars are expensive you might want to consider buying something else. Regardless of price, as long as it is a rear wheel drive then you can drive it all day. Also for the rear wheel drive cars that doesn't have alot of horsepower. You'll have a hard time drifting it because the car doesn't have the power to make you hold the slide. Its a real test to drift with a car that doesn't have much power, but rest assured that with pratice you can drift just about any car out there.