Welcome to the adrenaline-fuelled world of professional drifting.
What is Drifting?
Drifting is a driving style in which the driver uses the throttle, brakes, clutch, gear shifting and steering input to keep the car in a state of oversteer while manoeuvring from turn to turn. Drifters emphasise car control by coordinating the amount of counter-steer (or opposite lock) with the simultaneous modulation of the throttle and brakes to shift the weight balance of the car back and forth through the turns. Furthermore, they strive to achieve this while adhering to the standard racing lines (or designated “clipping points” if drifting in competition) and maintaining extreme slip angles. It is the most difficult, demanding and exciting way to drive a car on track.
Track traditionalists are often quick to point out that drifting is not the fastest way around a racetrack – and they’d be right, but so what? What matters most when drifting, whether it’s at a grassroots practice day or an international competition, is having fun! There is something inherently exciting about negotiating a track with the car completely sideways, quickly counter-steering in the direction of the slide while delicately modulating pressure on the throttle to balance the car. Not enough throttle and the car will lose momentum and straighten up – too much throttle and the car will spin out.
What are Professional Drift Competitions?
As with any sport, casual drifters quickly reached a level where they wanted to test their skills against other drivers in a competition format. Professional level drifting competitions are hugely exhilarating and will often feature some of the most exciting driving you’re ever likely to see.
The competitors aim to complete a pre-defined course (as laid out by the nominated judges) while sticking as closely to the judged criteria as possible, earning points for their proximity to the clipping points, their speed throughout the course and, most importantly, the amount of style with which they do so. Slow drifting with a lack of commitment will get marked down – fast, intense drifting will rack up the points!
After their individual qualification runs, drivers are paired up against each other for ‘twin battles’ as they are commonly known. Run to a knockout format, the aim is for the chase driver to follow the lead driver as closely as possible, sitting door to door at massive speeds, all while sideways and with smoke billowing off the rear tyres. These battles are the real highlight of competitive drifting and provide some of the biggest entertainment available in competitive motorsport.
The British Drift Championship
The British Drift Championship is the leading professional drift series in the UK and is regarded as one of the world’s best in relation to popularity, presentation and driver talent.
In 2019, the championship will enter its 11th consecutive season and has progressed from an amateur hobbyist series, to a fully professional organisation, with 6 full-time team members working constantly to improve all aspects of each event. The BDC in-house team are dedicated to creating unique and entertaining online content, which has resulted in staggering public engagement on all social media platforms. Despite a lack of mainstream media appreciation, the BDC attracted almost 3,000,000 livestream views in 2017, showing the clear potential of this unique motorsport.
But to really understand drifting, you have to witness it in the flesh. The British Drift Championship holds 6 action-packed events each year and with 2019 being no different, grab a ticket and feel the rush NOW!
Check out all BDC event information by clicking here.