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.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tandem Drifting

This is a run after the solo competition is over. When the judges hand select the people whom they think should advance to this run; they do so with whoever scored the highest point. After the solo run then it will be two cars drifting at the same time. The lead car will be drifting as best as possible while the car chasing will put pressure on the lead car to make him lose it. Then after the run they switch position like the lead car will be the chaser and the chaser will be the leader. This was designed so that they can see who can drift the best under pressure. If the lead driver spins or crash then he losses the competition.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Do You Need Downforce for your Drift Car

I'm amazed at how many people put huge wings and spoilers in their drift car to attain downforce. In my opinion, you really don't need a wing in your drift car because you won't experience downforce when you're only going 30 mph to 50 mph when drifting. Some people put wings in their car for style and that's fine but know that there is a possibility you'll crash your car and damage your precious spoiler. So its a waste and you won't need it not unless you want to be flashy.

By the way if you're not a car person, then let me explain briefly what downforce is. Downforce is the downward pressure of the air, when you have a wing installed at the back end of your car, your car will be subjected to downward pressure. Another term for the wing or spoilers is ground effects. It's good to have a ground effects in your car only if you race your car in track events.

The ground effects works when your travelling at high speed. When you want suddenly to slow down the wings in the back or if you have a spoiler in the front as well, will slow down your car dramatically. Not only this but when you reach pass 60 mph your going against the wind and if you do have a ground effects installed in your car; this will help push the tires to the ground harder. The result is that your using your tires to the maximum of its capability and therefore, increase in speed. When you don't have any ground effects and your driving at a high speed, your car will lift just a bit due to the air pressure underneath and the absence of downforce.
When your car does lift it reduces the contact of the tires to the ground and prevents you from using the full power of the engine.

So why I'm I saying not to put it in your car when I'm telling you that these are the benefits of having ground effects in your car. Is drifting all about speed? No and that's is why you really don't need it and especially if you're only starting out. Save it for later when you want to be a professional drifter. Also like I said you're not going fast enough when drifting to be able to utilize the downforce. Not unless your going 100 mph sideways then maybe consider it, but first just focus on your skills and upgrading your car for drifting.

Whether you put one on your car for purely on aesthetics or performance. At least you are now more knowledgeable about the whole ordeal about the ground effects.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Aftermarket Steering Wheel For Show and Go

As you get better at drifting, you'll notice that your steering wheel is quite bulky and heavy. When you do a lot more drifting than usual, you start to feel the weight of the steering because you're steering vigorously from left to right. I'm not trying to recommend you go buying a lighter steering or a racing steering perhaps, but its just a thought.

If you want to put one in your ride, then do it if not then it doesn't matter. It does give your car a racing look and the aftermarket steering wheels are far lighter than the stock ones that you have in your car. If you do have a full blown drifter car where there is no carpet or any dashboard with full roll cage and a bucket seats; then I suggest installing one in your car to complement the hardcore racing style of your car.

An aftermarket steering wheel are relatively inexpensive and the amount that you have to pay for range from $50 to $150. So its not bad to have one to aid you in quickening your steering response and giving you less stress in your arms and also some racing style in your daily driven drifter.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Out to In Technique In Drifting

You might say WTF is out to in, and I'll respond with a brief silence... here let me explain out to in. Technique is widely use for grip driving and is highly effective in going fast through the corners. The idea is when your going to tackle a corner you should position your car in the outside line. Then as you enter the corner with your superb braking you steer towards the inside line of the corner.

Whether its a left or a right hander you can still apply this technique. So the basis of out to in technique is choosing the outside line before you enter a corner, then when you're about to enter the corner aim for the inside line. So how is this technique apply in your drifting. Well to put it simply you can drift much faster and you'll clearing corners much smoother when you apply this technique. When you target the inside line you should be sideways at this point; you just need to hold the steering to clear the corner because you should have entered the corner with a plenty of speed.

That technique is used all the time by the pros and you should try it when you get a chance. It's one of the ways I can drift easily when I apply this technique, its not hard at all it just takes practice. Sooner or later you will be able to do this with ease of effort.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Most Expensive Investment in Your Drift Car

Do you know what is the most expensive investment that you're going to make for your drift car? Its your tires that will cost a lot of money, let me explain. Yes, you might think that the car will be the most, some say the engine tune up, the turbo, etc. So why did I say tires.

If you're talking about short term expenditures, yes I would agree that buying all the parts and the tuning for your car will be expensive, but when your talking about the long term investment. Then it sure is the tires that will cost you. When you drift a lot or should I say often, you'll be paying for tires a lot more. Because drifting is the killer for tires. Everytime you go hard on drifting and keep practicing, you'll notice that the thread on your tires will fade faster than normal driving.

So yes that's why I said that you will be spending a lot more on tires and it will frustrate you sometimes because you only have a limited budget. One way to reduce your trip to big o tires is to switch tires. Let say you've been drifting for a while in your 240sx and the rear tires are starting to fade. Switch the front tires with the back tires. I know this is common sense, but I still see people driving with their faded tires and they act like they don't notice it.

Another way to offset the cost of your drifting quest is to buy low profile second hand tires. Now it may feel as though your car is a bit sluggish or its hard to handle due to the tires, but this is only will help you get better at drifting. When you start out drifting, don't go buying the most expensive tires because you'll just waste your money.

I hope this taught you a valuable lesson about the tires and I will go more in depth with tires on a later post.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Drift it Like Tsuchiya

Keiichi Tsuchiya was one of the most revered drifters of all time. He started his legacy in the mountain as a touge racer and proceded his way up to professional racing. These collection of videos will teach you a lot about drifting, so watch the master at work and learn.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Benefits of a Racing Seat

When you start off drifting, you will not need a racing seat just yet. One of the reasons why you don't need it is because you're not really going fast enough to have a crash because you've just started. You're still learning and absorbing as much as you can to learn how to drift.

Once you've passed the beginners curve, you'll begin to notice that whenever you drift. You seem to move around a lot while you're in your car. You see the normal seat that you have was not design for any road racing event. Therefore, if you are feeling quite uncomfortable. Then you will need a racing seat to make drifting less of pain.

One of the reasons why you will need a racing seat is because when you're drifting; your body is being subjected to lateral g forces. When you enter a corner in such a speed most of the time, your body is trying to hold up the g forces. When you have a racing seat installed in your car, it makes drifting a bit more relaxing because your body is snuggled up in the seat. Its like the seat is hugging you and you're not moving an inch because the seat was design for that kind of job.

The bad part about having a racing seat is that when your just normally driving around. The racing seat will hurt your buttocks in a long drive, and not too mention the cost of purchasing one. All in all though the investment you make is worth it because this will help your back when your constantly drifting, and you'll look more like a professional racing driver because you have racing seat.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Turbo or NA Which Way Would You Go

So what's going to be for you if you were to choose just between the two. But first let me explain in detail about these two routes that you can go when you're upgrading your car for drifting.

You see most of the Formula D car these days have turbos. If you don't know what a turbo is let me explain. It's a compressor that is used to force more air unto the engine to increase the horsepower. In short it's a force induction, if you want to learn more about turbo check this site. Once the turbo is installed in a car, the original power output of the car will increase dramatically. So how does a turbo benefit you when drifting? Well, you can have a faster entry and you'll have a much easier time drifting. When you drift and suddenly the car understeer a bit, then you can cure the understeer with a dab of throttle and a quick steer.

Normally Aspirated car which is NA for short is the norm when you first start off getting into drifting. Not unless you purchased a car that came equipped a turbocharger. NA cars are relatively inexpensive and you can buy one for as low as $4000. NA is all motor power and such cars have a high revolution per minute. Some of the highly tune NA's are capable of reaching 10,000 RPM (revolution per minute) and is a good contender when it comes to drifting. The NA won't be as fast as the turbos but the NA's are more responsive and agile through the corners. So when you drift your highly tuned NA car; you can easily control the drift angle and speed.

The downside to both of these two are chiefly the price you pay for upgrading both of them. When it comes to boost like a turbo charger, the price for it is already astronomical, and to have it install by a professional would cost you more. Same with going to NA, if you want a high powered NA. Then you would have to fork out tuning the engine and replacing a lot of parts for your engine.

If you are upgrading for a turbo, then I suggest that you replace a lot of internal components of your engine to ensure it will handle the power of the turbo. And second know a specialist whom you can turn to and help you with the installation process. Or if you're sticking with NA, then you might as well do an engine swap to lessen the process you deal with upgrading the engine. Pick an engine that is high powered NA to start with so you all you have to worry about is the installation of the new NA engine. Just like the installing a turbo changer, you'll want to find an engine swap shop specialist to help you install the engine.

Whichever way you go is up your budget, and I'm not here to make you waste your money if you don't have it. Just spend some to upgrade your car to make it a little faster, the main investment that you are going to make is in tires and suspension. I'll cover this later but for right now just plan out what you want power boost you're going to with

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Original Drifters

Who do you think were the original drifters? I think to be honest, the rally drivers were the original drifters. Just think about it, yes it may have come from street racers or should I say the touge racers back in Japan. But the truth is, is that the rally racing began a while back and the rally drivers driving style were same as that of drifters or maybe perhaps better.

So what's the correlation between the drifters and rally drivers, well...they both go sideways. And in rally racing the fastest way to go around a corner is to drift. So just imagine there were 50 corners, and you have to slide through most of the corners. That's tough and to not hit something or crash is another.

You see rally cars is held up in the mountains, in the dessert, and many other grueling places to test the limit of man and machine. So in many cases if a rally driver decides to drift instead of rallying, he'll have a good chance of being competitive right from the get go. My point is, is that rally drivers can adapt to drifting right away.

There are differences in how each of the two tackles a corner. For instance the drifters will drift with finesse and style while the rally drivers are more focus on speed than the style. You see the drifters want to impress the judges to enable him to score high on points while the rally drivers have to set the fastest time going through each sector of the race.

Even with those subtle differences it will not hide that the fact that the rally racers were the original drifters because they started sliding before the street racers did.