The great thing about drifting is that the process is basically the same regardless of how big the curve is or how long the run up to the curve is. It’s pretty easy to break it down into 4 basic steps. While these are easy to read, they are way more challenging–and fun–to practice.
The best place to try this for the first time is on a track. It is way safer than trying it out on the open road. But you can try wherever you want. While I like to take risks, I also like to keep safe too. I’ve seen too many wrecks with people badly hurt or killed because they didn’t take a safety precaution.
The great thing about doing this on a track is that you can get a tow if you have any issues. Our track has an agreement with GreensboroTowingService.com that on nights when the track is open, they have a dedicated tow truck there. It works great. It keeps things moving nicely with little delay.
The first thing to keep in mind is that drifting is not about getting around the corner in the fastest time possible. In fact, it slows down the turn. Approach the curve around 30 mph in second gear and get those RPMs up to about 3000. This will give you a good amount of torque. At this point, you’ll want to aim at the apex of the curve which is the top part of the curve. It takes practice to judge exactly where this is and to start turning into it. If you start turning too soon, you’ll find the car runs wide. If you start too late, you’ll be on the straight part of the curve before you know it and you’ll not be able to sustain the drift.
There is no doubt that this part takes practice. It takes a while to figure out exactly which part of the curve (the apex) to start turning in. The more you try, the better you’ll become at it. Eventually, it will become as natural as driving in a straight line.
Now we’re getting into the good stuff. I’m going to break this section into 2 parts just so I can give adequate time to talk about everything required here.
First of all—turn off all electronic stability control systems. If you don’t, you won’t drift. Simple.
If your car is powerful, you should be able to accelerate sharply halfway through the bend. You can induce oversteering with control. You want a sharp, sustained hit of power in the right gear. This will take practice and getting the feel of your vehicle. If you increase the throttle too slowly, you’ll understeer and may cause the car to spin.