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Drifting - Motor Sport

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Drifting - Motor Sport

Post by Farhan on Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:11 am

Drifting - Motor Sport

refers to a driving technique and to a motorsport where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns, while maintaining vehicle control and a high exit speed.A car is said to be drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle prior to the corner apex, and the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa), and the driver is controlling these factors. As a motor sport, professional drifting competitions are held across the world.

A Toyota Supra in drifting exhibition in Atlanta in 2005
Modern drifting as a sport started out as a racing technique popular in the All Japan Touring Car Championship races over 30 years ago. Motorcycling legend turned driver, Kunimitsu Takahashi, was the foremost creator of drifting techniques in the 1970s. He is noted 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 enjoyed the spectacle of smoking tires. The bias ply racing tires of the 1960s-1980s lent themselves to driving styles with a high slip angle. As professional racers in Japan drove this way, so did the street racers.

Keiichi Tsuchiya (known as the Dorikin/Drift King) became particularly interested by Takahashi's drift techniques. Tsuchiya began practicing his drifting skills on the mountain roads of Japan, and quickly gained a reputation amongst the racing crowd. In 1987, several popular car magazines and tuning garages agreed to produce a video of Tsuchiya's
drifting skills. The video, known as Pluspy, became a hit and inspired many of the professional drifting drivers on the circuits today. In 1988, alongside Option magazine founder and chief editor Daijiro Inada, he would help to organize one of the first events specifically for drifting called the D1 Grand Prix. He also drifted every turn in Tsukuba Circuit in Japan.

One of the earliest recorded drift events outside Japan was in 1996, held at Willow Springs Raceway in Willow Springs, California hosted by the Japanese drifting magazine and organization Option. Inada, founder of the D1 Grand Prix in Japan, the NHRA Funny Car drag racer Kenji Okazaki and Keiichi Tsuchiya, who also gave demonstrations in a Nissan
180SX that the magazine brought over from Japan, judged the event with Rhys Millen and Bryan Norris being two of the entrants. Drifting has since exploded into a massively popular form of motorsport in North America, Australasia, and Europe. One of the first drifting competitions in Europe was hosted in 2002 by the OPT drift club at Turweston, run by a tuning business called Option Motorsport. The club held a championship called D1UK, then later became the Autoglym Drift Championship. For legal reasons, the business was forced to drop the Option and D1 name. The club has since been absorbed into the D1 Grand
Prix franchise as a national series.

Present day
Drifting has evolved into a competitive sport where drivers compete in rear wheel drive cars, and occasionally all wheel drive cars, to earn points from judges based on various factors. At the top levels of competition, the D1 Grand Prix from Japan and now with a full series in the US has taken the helm as the world's largest sanctioning body of the sport. Others in Malaysia[citation needed], Australia, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, Formula-D in the United States, King of Europe Drift Series in Europe, Drift Mania in Canada, and the NZ Drift Series in New Zealand have also come along to further expand the sport
into a legitimate motor sport worldwide. The drivers within these series largely influenced by the pioneers from D1 Japan are able to keep their cars sliding for extended periods of time, often linking several turns. Drifting with decades of race history and its relatively recent fame in the United States (the first official drift points race of D1 Grand Prix was held in the summer of 2003) has become its own authority and the two largest sanctioning bodies are the D1 Grand Prix and Formula D. Amateur "Tafheet" or "Hjwalah" drifting on public roads is a significant problem in Saudi Arabia.

Drift competition
Drifting competitions are judged based on line, angle, speed, and show factor. Line involves taking the correct line, which is usually announced beforehand by judges. The show factor is based on multiple things, such as the amount of smoke, how close the car is to the wall, and the crowd's reaction. Angle is the angle of a car in a drift, speed is the speed entering a turn, the speed through a turn, and the speedexiting the turn; faster is better.


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