In a unique class all to themselves RC drift cars require a special set of driving skills that separate the novice driver from the die-hard remote control hobbyist.
And the act of driving these models gives the driver high levels of fun unlike no other known in the hobby of operating radio control toys.
The art of drift car racing consists of entering a tight turn at high speed (here high speed equals how fast you go on a straight interstate highway, or in the case of RCs – how fast you race down the track), and controlling the motion of the car through the turn without sliding off the road, or rolling the vehicle.
You enter the turn, and the sidewards gravity of the action makes the model start to lose traction with the ground. Remember the law that a motion once started in a specific direction wants to keep going in that direction – even when the body in motion tries to suddenly go somewhere different.
You turn the wheels to make the car follow the road, but it still wants to go straight, so it tries to do that sideways.
When the tires start losing friction with the road surface it moves into a sideways slide. You spin the wheel to counter the slide, let the rear end “drift” into the direction of the slide, give it a little more “gas,” and coast through the turn. As you leave the turn you head for the next one up ahead.
The drift car style of racing started on the streets of Japan, and later moved onto race tracks designed for the sport. That move was in response to the escalating crashes, and resulting injuries that happened on the streets. The sport was quickly identified as dangerous for public streets.
Of course the risk of personal injury doesn’t apply to RC drift cars. Although the best place to do your drifting is a large, mostly empty, paved parking lot, or perhaps a basketball court that’s not in use.
The technique that I explained above is the very basic way to drift a car. Your driving techniques differ depending on whether your car is front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, or four wheel drive. Also, there’s a drifting technique for using the brakes if your car remote has a controllable brake feature.
Obviously the style of vehicle determines drifting ability.
You want a drift car engineered for drifting. The center of gravity of the vehicle must be low. A too high center of gravity means the model rolls when it hits the turn. For that reason most remote control trucks and sport utility style vehicles won’t take well to drifting activities.
If you want to start driving RC drift cars be sure you make your choice of models from a selection designed specifically for drifting action. And, once you learn the drifting technique for the vehicle you choose, you’ll enjoy hours of fun remote control drifting action.