The Thrill of Drifting Taken to the Extreme

9th February, 2019 in Car Topics

Motorsport drifting in an ordinary vehicle in ordinary circumstances is thrilling all on its own. Some people, however, feel the need to turn it up a notch by drifting in special vehicles or in special circumstances. While we don’t advise doing any of these yourself without the proper experience and training, we felt it was worth briefly discussing the ways in which drifting is taken to the extreme:

Drifting in a Semi Truck

Driving in a semi provide good viewing and opportunities for drifting, despite the challenge of performing the manoeuvre in such a massive vehicle. A semi-truck drifts by acceleration, steering, and braking, like any other vehicle, except the center of gravity is much different and the rate of acceleration and braking are sure to be as well. Furthermore, a big rig accelerates its speed by using customized electric motors to maintain the right balance between power and weight.  The truck should be headed in the right direction while maintaining its speed and safely drifting around corners even at high speeds.

Going through maintenance such as tightening and upgrading the suspension, torque, and inflating the tires makes a semi-truck even more capable of drifting.  While commercial trucks for sale and other big rigs on the market are fit for ordinary driving conditions, modifications will need to be made to safely perform drifting manoeuvres. By adding more horsepower and improving an engines cooling system, the truck engine will be able to handle the stress and power needs required during a drifting manoeuvre.

Drifting in Icy Conditions

Regions where you’re likely to own a windshield cover for snow are also commonly known for their ice racing and other ice-related motorsports events. Given the nature of driving on ice and snow, drifting in these conditions is considered especially extreme. Keeping your windshield clear of debris is just the beginning of proper maintenance and assured performance in an ice drifting event.

Drifting in snow or on ice makes a car difficult to control due to the slippery conditions and the likelihood of wheels unpredictably spinning and locking up. Furthermore, drifting on ice requires adequate speed and steering toward the inside of the curve while simultaneously countersteering toward the outside of the curve. Some drivers apply throttle while countersteering to maintain the drift throughout the entire turn in icy conditions, allowing the tail-end of the vehicle to slide.

From motorcycles to cars and to four-wheel trucks, most type of vehicle has been tried and tested for racing in ice. Cars that drift on snow have specially designed tires that makes it capable of accelerating toward a curve on a snowy road surface.  In order to race in tires, spiked tires instead of regular tires are used and inserted into a vehicle to help grip the ice. Going fast is more fun than going ice fishing.

Drifting at High Speeds

Cars that drift at high speeds have more horsepower and grip which makes it faster going around the corners sideways. A common technique called the long slide drift is applied at a high speed up to 100 mph where the driver initiates a long drift and maintains it into the turn while pulling the emergency brake.

High-speed drifting goes full throttle when controlling a car through the use of brakes, gear shifting, clutch, and steering input. A countersteer happens by modulating the pressure on the throttle as it shifts the weight balance of the car back and forth with its turns. Too much throttle leads the car to spin out while insufficient throttle makes the car lose its momentum and eventually straighten up.

Drifting is both thrilling and dangerous when done on approved courses in ordinary conditions with your standard sportscar. With that said, hand it to motorsports enthusiasts to find ways to ratchet up the risk and excitement factor of drifting by changing up the variables. For those who want to give these and other specialty drifting techniques a try, just remember to put safety first!

author avatar Written by Paul Hadley Visit the author's website