Going sideways is the most stylish yet slowest way of racing a car through corners. To err is human, but to persevere is more often than not rewarding. Drifting as a competition started in Japan back in the 1990ies, when some car guys enjoyed the wrong side of driving so much they decided to tweak their cars so they could turn the steering wheel left when cornering right all the time.
Car enthusiasts consider the “powerslide” as one of the essential skills that a driver must master: just ask YouTube stars Chris Harris and Powerslide lover! Let’s be honest: as long as there will be gasoline and tires to burn, petrolheads anywhere will be cheering like schoolboys. Any serious driver enjoys being puerile from time to time: drifting isn’t the purest form of motorsport yet it’s the funniest.
However, do not fool yourself that this is about burning tires: it’s a serious competition and to win one you need just more skill than going sideways.
To discover more about the sport, we met with our good friend and driver Piddy, a keen drifter competing in the Coppa Italia Drift.
From outside, drifting looks easy, but in reality it is not. In order to win you need to slide your car cleanly with the lowest possible turns of the steering wheel and keep a consistent pace through the corners. in each turn, two cars compete against each other, with the first leading and the second following as close as possible. While racing the cars pass through telemetry sensors which will determine the performance levels and then make it able to judge a single driver.
Despite being a popular sport in the rest of the World, drifting hasn’t yet been properly successful in Italy and at the moment there is no official CSAI backed championship.
You can call these guys “professional tire burners”, because they can get their racing done right. Next time you see a drifting competition, just remember that just anything that has got style in it, it’s an art.
We thank our good friend Piddy for the awesome smoking and burning week-end at the track.