Drifting is one of the most well-known driving culture, primarily made popular by Japan, and is defined as the intentional loss of traction, or over-steering purposefully however maintaining skillful control throughout the occasion. A lot of tyre smoke is created meantime as well, which is why drifting is a popular spectator sport amongst motoring enthusiasts
While the origins of drifting remains largely undiscovered, Japan is probably one of the earliest country to embrace the drifting culture with open arms, even developing drifting techniques that were used in professional racing, as the scene matured and with many professional racers utilizing this particular driving technique, the street racing scene also became increasingly related to drifting, which is what earned the whole drifting culture a notorious reputation.
However, on the other hand, drifting is also seen as an art form. It’s a combination between the driver’s car control and the car’s response to the treatment. An excellent driver can easily keep the car under control throughout a drift, putting on an amazing show. Such is also what majority of the excitement in drifting holds, it is the display of impeccable driver skill in controlling a vehicle, like it’s part of the driver’s body.
Although almost every car can be drifted with enough speed and the right tyres, there is a certain sweet spot for a car to be classified as an ideal drifter. The most crucial part, and also the most iconic part, is the drivetrain set up, as for a car to be considered as a serious drifter, it has to be rear-wheel driven, it is definitely possible to drift with all-wheel drive and even front-wheel drive, however, the quality of a rear-wheel drive drift can’t be beaten. The car is usually turbocharged as well, as turbochargers improve torque output massively, and that is beneficial in forcing the loss of traction.
All of the above facts combined with the sudden outburst of rear-wheel drive turbocharged commercial cars produced by Japan by the 80s and 90s induced international interest in the sport, and even became an international sport, with one of the most popular being Formula Drift. The winner is judged by their qualities, such as the drifting line, amount of smoke, distance between wall and the car, speed through and exiting a turn, and even the angle of the car.
Despite so, this has not changed many peoples’ view on the intentional loss of traction, some think that it is childish, which is subjective, and objectively, it is dangerous. Drifting requires a massive amount of driver focus, and if the driver panics, the car can easily spin and crash. However, this just tells you the sheer control professional drifters have over their cars, and therefore should be respected, heavily.