It’s a Saterday afternoon; you have jumped into your BMW M4 and headed down to your local race track. Fresh in your mind is the blockbuster you watched last night about a group of street racers who have drift competitions. This shouldn’t be too hard, should it?
The seeded under belly art of throwing your car into corners and drifting around them should be fun and more often than not exhilarating. However there is downside that will affect your pocket, the side you never see or really hear about.
One of the most important tools needed to drift successfully is tyres. After all you are trying to get the maximum possible speed when you drift your car in and out of corners. This does increase the wear and tear of your brakes, tyres and wheels just to name a few as well.
What you are looking for is a happy medium between your front tyres and your back. Your front tyres should have more tread and be inflated at the normal recommended pressure while your back tyres will be preferably more worn out and smoother with a slightly over inflated feel to it.
When choosing tyre sizes and profiles you need to keep in mind that ones with a smaller sidewall offer little protection to your wheels. Also, you will need to change your rear tyres more often than your front ones. For those who do drifting for competition purposes, they will often go through more than one set of tyres for each competition. This does become quite costly so best to do your research correctly in choosing the right brand for you.
So now you have chosen your specialised tyres, your wheels are right and you start drifting across the track. What is exactly happening to your vehicle during this motion? We’ll put simply, you accelerate to a hefty speed, as you approach the corner your turn into it very sharply which will then cause your rear tyres to lose grip with the road. They in turn start to spin out trying to grab any bit of traction they can muster; you then turn your steering wheel to the complete opposite direction you originally made to counter the spin and slide. Boom! You are now drifting, but it doesn’t end there. Now the seesaw battle of finding the right balance between steering and acceleration takes place. Like with anything, you need to practice it numerous times to get the feel of it.
Let’s look at this in a logical way, drifting is far from easy. There is reason not everyone goes drifting around shopping mall parking lots. If you are seriously looking at attempting this crazy adrenaline filled manoeuvre then it’s best to study the complete science behind it, then speak to experts in the field and let them kit your vehicle out with the correct tyres, wheels and suspension. Make your way to a racetrack that is a safe controlled environment and allow a professional to show you exactly how to do it.
In closing, it does cost money so remember “Burn rubber, not your pocket”