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What Is Drifting?

If you’ve got a rear-wheel drive car and you want to know how it behaves in extreme situations.

If you’ve watched The Fast and the Furious movies and thought “I could do that!”.

If you’ve driven your rear-wheel drive car round a wet roundabout and felt it sliding underneath you.

If you’ve heard others talk about Drifting, and want to try something new, exciting and different – then you’re in the right place.

Drifting would probably be described by most people as “going through a corner with your car sideways and the throttle floored.”

The sideways part is correct, but it takes a little more to explain what drifting really is all about. Racers use the term oversteer to refer to going sideways, when the rear tyres lose grip before the fronts. When this happens the car steers more than the driver wants it to, and countersteering (turning into the skid) and use of the throttle and brakes are required to maintain control.

For anyone who has attempted it, you’ll know that it’s not as simple as just flooring the throttle and spinning the wheel; it’s a delicate balance between man and machine – keeping “out of control” under control.

Modern drifting started out as a racing technique popular in the All Japan Touring Car Championship races. Motorcycling legend Kunimitsu Takahashi was the foremost creator of drifting techniques in the 1970s.

Moving from two wheels to four, he was famous for hitting the apex (the point where the car is closest to the inside of a turn) at high speed and then drifting through the corner, preserving a high exit speed. This earned him several championships and a legion of fans who loved the trail of tyre smoke that followed him round the rack. As professional racers in Japan began to adopt this technique, so did the street racers.

Keiichi Tsuchiya (known as The Drift King) became particularly interested by Takahashi’s drift techniques. Tsuchiya began practicing these skills on the tight mountain roads of Japan and quickly gained a reputation amongst the racing crowds. Very quickly, drifting has evolved into a competitive sport where drivers compete in rear-wheel drive cars to earn points from judges based on a variety of factors – angle, precision of line, closeness to clipping points, closeness to your battle partner, and not least of all – SMOKE!

At the top levels of competition, the D1 Grand Prix in Japan was the leading series to be a part of. More recently championships such as Formula D in the United States, King of Europe, Ireland’s Prodrift and the British Drift Championships are gaining popularity, sponsorship by multinational companies and increasing levels of media coverage. In one of the fastest growing motorsports in the world today, it makes sense to want to be involved in the thriving, compelling and adrenaline-pumping feeling of being on the edge of control!

The United Kingdom is slowly beginning to listen to motorsport enthusiasts, but tracks up and down the country still frown upon “Drifters” – only seeing the way they control their cars as hooliganism. However, as Drifting grows in popularity the voice is growing – and we at Driftland are listening. Driftland gives all motorsport fans the chance to enjoy Drifting at whichever level you may be at.

At Driftland we offer the chance for YOU to visit, experiencing all the different aspects of Drifting; from Watching a practice day or national competition, taking a thrill ride in one of our Pro cars or trying it yourself in one of our purpose built school cars – improving, learning, and most important of all – having fun!

Experience Drifting Yourself!

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