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View Full Version : To Drift or to Grip, many times asked, new look on subject.


marc
2009.07.27, 05:11 PM
Question to drift or to grip. Which is faster and here is my two cents on this timeless subject.

Imagine if you will, two identical cars, two identical drivers approaching a hair-pin turn. Same speed, different apex. When gripping, you approach the apex at a certain angle as you slow down. You make the turn and as you pull away from the apex you accelerate. Nice and smooth right?

When drifting, your approaching the turn, probably aiming for a slightly different apex and probably gonna flip the wheel a little later? Question, which is quicker around the turn?

When drifting, are you really going faster, or are you going slower because your fighting friction? I say fighting friction, cause that's what your doing when your sliding around the turn burning rubber. Fighting friction would naturally slow you down right? Drifting may look faster, but is it really?

It would be an interesting thing to see on something like that tv show Time Warp on Discovery. WHat is the car really doing between grip and drift? Again, same identical car, same identical driver same exact line with maybe a slightly different apex.

Just something I thought of last night and wanted to share. WHat do you think? Sure drifting is cool, look's exciting, but what really truly gives you better lap times?

okoye
2009.07.27, 05:55 PM
drifting with the right technique is alot faster.

let me explain why.

when you grip around a corner you tend to brake alot going into the turn and by the apex you're at half the speed that you were going at before the corner. by the corners exit you're going to mash the pedal to make up for it.

drifting around the corner is fast with the right technique because it allows you to have a higher average speed going in and out of a corner. the most you can lose is 10-25% of your speed when done decently but you're going alot faster in and out than a car thats braking.

you're briefly on the brake when drifting. with grip you have to do brake then let go of the accelerator. drifting you feint and tap the brake or ebrake then power over. or accel off where you go in and turn the car and the rear loses grip then you accel at the corners end. then theres braking drift which is similar but you use the brakes to let the rear go.


also remember there are different types of drifting,

theres showboat drifting like that in formula d, then theres the original street drifting that is actually used for speed

MINIz guy11
2009.07.27, 06:00 PM
http://www.drifting.com/forums/tech-discussion-forum/7820-grip-vs-drift-the-how-and-why-to-understanding-slip-angle-dynamics.html

This is a good read from a quick Google search on which is faster.

marc
2009.07.27, 06:05 PM
Thank's guy's. It would still be awesome to see it done on Time Warp. I'd love to see what the steering and tires are doing at slow speed.
I just tend to think that when your fighting friction, your slowing down.

color01
2009.07.27, 08:51 PM
Good link, minizguy. And to add to his analysis, drifting allows the powered wheels to push the car towards the cornering line using forward grip as well as side grip, which is why on really slippery surfaces like snow, you'll see high slip angles be faster than no slip.

However, that article is also very correct in mentioning aerodynamics. As soon as you pass maybe 5% slip angle or so, most "traditional" aerodynamics devices begin to fail, as cars are normally wind tunnel tested with the car facing straight, not sideways. As soon as the aero advantage goes away, so does your cornering speed. Thus in a "street car" race or any class where the aero work is limited (touring cars too, I think), you may see drifting, but you'll probably never see a modern LeMans or F1 driver purposely drift around a corner.

An exception worthy mention: modern drift cars, where I've heard the spoilers and ducts are being designed such that they work better *when* the car is sideways... :eek: But that's totally non-standard and probably even more complex than your normal aero work. The D1 Imprezas have the radiators in the back for crying out loud... :confused:


marc-- you are fighting friction by drifting, but at the same time you can a little cornering force from the "bending" of the tread. Here's a classic piece of explanatory material that should help a bit: http://users.telenet.be/elvo/2/2.html Basically repeating what was said in the previous link, that a slight slip angle can affect the entire contact patch rather than one part of it getting affected by grip.

marc
2009.07.27, 09:17 PM
What you said about aerodynamics is why those "Midget" racers look odd. Their wing's and such are at an angle because their always sideways. Their odd-angled aerodynamics helps keep theme sideways. Talking about those dirt-track buggy thing's that are always sideways around the oval race track. I think their called Midget's, correct me if I'm wrong. So I do see the point of aerodynamics.

One other thing that puzzles me about drifting, is why is it so easy with an AWD "RC" car, yet much more difficult with a full-scale AWD "real car"?
Trying to drift a real AWD is much more difficult than say drifting the MA010.

Lionblade
2009.07.27, 09:53 PM
It's not the same. The MA-010 has little to no grip to begin with, so you don't really have to worry much about powering over or, since it's RC, applying brakes. Just swing it at the right angle and steer the car with throttle. Easy as cake.

Drifting the real thing can be frightening. I've been sideways plenty of times in a 500HP Evo IX MR, and I can tell you from experience that you need to be precise...a lot more precise, if you don't want to die. :D

PadrinoNY
2009.07.27, 11:01 PM
Drifting in a AWD real car for instance a Evolution VIII MR is impossible.

1: The transfer case for a real car is always gonna send power to the wheels that are slipping always give you grip and no slide.

2: Most AWD ie:Subaru, Mitsubishi. The transfer cases are removed and modified 2 wheel drive with LSD (Limited Slip Differential).

On an RC there is no such thing as LSD which the more power you give it the more it sends you in to a 2 wheeled sliding frenzy. That is why the AWD RC is the best for it.

By thew way the only reason I know this is because I am currently building drift cars for a living.... I AM IN NO WAY TRYING TO SOUND LIKE A KNOW IT ALL..... Hope this answers some questions.... :rolleyes:

color01
2009.07.27, 11:59 PM
Ken Block's gymkhana cars seem to be able to pull this off, however I don't know if he has a locked center diff, really stiff center LSD or an active center diff. In any case, real life AWD drifting is tough unless you either force the tires to remain sliding (locking a lot of diffs) or there's low grip to begin with (rally).

PadrinoNY
2009.07.28, 09:32 AM
Ken Block's gymkhana cars seem to be able to pull this off, however I don't know if he has a locked center diff, really stiff center LSD or an active center diff. In any case, real life AWD drifting is tough unless you either force the tires to remain sliding (locking a lot of diffs) or there's low grip to begin with (rally).


Locking the diffs only gives you posie traction it doesn't promote slide but at any rate it can be done but, at a hefty price..... An AWD doesn't look right drifting anyway. When you here AWD you automatically think traction + Speed = FUN :D

hrdrvr
2009.07.28, 11:20 AM
How come no one has mentioned the track being a factor too? I know in the original post is asking about one specific hair pin, but even there it really depends on how tight, what the exit is like, what traction is there.

Lets take NASCAR for example. On a typical NASCAR circuit drifting would be FAR slower. Now, if you go to a dirt oval of similar proportions, drifting becomes the prefered method for carrying speed, and is definitely the faster way around.

I like the F1/LeMans statement by color0, cause its true. Those guys are considered to be some of the fastest racers in the world, and they dont drift at all. Thats even including guys like Kimi who are rally drivers, and know what its like to get sideways to go fast. You still never see him drift an F1 corner on purpose :D

Now, since this is a MiniZ forum :D Id like to bring something else up thats a little more relative to me (since I dont race 1:1 cars). I dont think there is any way, or any layout a drifting miniZ could beat a gripping miniZ around an RCP track. Even if the layout was drift condusive.

Now, I can remember running ASC tires on our old carpet track. With an AWD I would drift certain corners on the track to get around them quicker, and it was fun. When it came down to it though, putting drift tires on, really slowed the car (even though I could properly drift every corner), and putting proper grip level tires on, would make for faster laps.

marc
2009.07.28, 12:32 PM
Wow, I didn't realize I bought up such a complicated subject. Yes, I have forgotten about the LSD and what not on real cars and that does make sense why it's more difficult. I think there is a video of this driver with an AWD Subaru drifting around an airport and into a hanger and back out again. I think he's accomplishing it because of the amount of HP he's got, and perhaps a little diff-modifications.
I hadn't thought about track surface either which is why I mentioned identical cars, and identical drivers on the same hair-pin turn. I only mentioned hair-pin turn cause it's most commonly drifted around as in WRC. I always find it fascinating watching the WRC cars drift around Monte Carlo.
Then there's also the question of power-sliding versus drifting. When does one become the other? Are the WRC cars power-sliding? Forgive me for being lame, but it look's the same to me. I can not tell the difference unless your on snow and ice where it's obvious that your just sliding around and trying to maintain control.
In referring to another thread where somebody is trying to drift a RWD RC car, an MR15 I think it was? Seems to me skills would be similar in RWD RC car and full-scale. Maybe not identical skills, but the ability to control throttle, braking, and steering all at once.

imxlr8ed
2009.07.28, 01:11 PM
Drifting is not faster than regular racing, drifting is all for show.

... and chrome don't get ya home.

... also, your front wheel drive automatic is not a sports car... it's a commuter.

I love all kinds of cars, custom anything is awesome in my book... even big chrome toilet bowls for exhaust pipes on tiny imports get me smiling. I've learned much from years of driving all kinds of cars, and there are just some things you have to soak in over time... you start to realize what is what out there on the road.

It's all good... :D

Remember too, my favorite car to date was an 88 Turbo Chevy Sprint (kick a$$ 3 banger!), and I've driven all kinds of cars when I was in wholesaling and retail auto. :) Different cars are better in different scenarios too, but on a real track, drifting is not faster.

marc
2009.07.28, 03:33 PM
Seems like there is no real answer to this new-age question. Everybody has their own opinion and the only ones who really know are the professional drivers who've done it both ways.
Drifting maybe for show, but I bet if done right, you probably get good results from it. Remember where drifting started anyway. I think we American's tend to make it a show rather than what it was when it started on those Japanese mountain roads.

Lionblade
2009.07.28, 04:30 PM
1: The transfer case for a real car is always gonna send power to the wheels that are slipping always give you grip and no slide.


Like I said...I've been sideways, but never holding a drift. You're absolutely right about the transfer case...the owner of said Evo IX MR is on his third one (though Mitsubishi ruined the first two by putting AFI fluid in istead of the proper Mitsu fluid).

imxlr8ed
2009.07.28, 06:12 PM
Ok... look at it this way,

I just bought two EVO Xs, I can spend $4000 on aftermarket parts on each...

The one car, I prep for racing... sticky slick tires, good adjustable shocks, some mild power goodies, and if there is any cash left... maybe some stronger sway bars and cross braces.

The other car, I prep for drift... I spend my money on pretty much the exact same things, except I run on stock tires because soft slicks don't slide very well.

Now which one gets around the track faster?

When it all comes down to it, drift cars and roadcourse cars are pretty much the same thing, except for the tires. There was an awesome racing Silvia s14 (S-MAX Intercoolers) outside of Maj's during the PNWC in NJ and I heard many people ask if it was a drift car. It was a race car (and a damn well-engineered one at that), but I'm sure if I threw on some regular street tires and dropped the clutch a little harder I'm pretty darn sure it would turn into a drift car real quick!

So... there's a RACER with tons of track experience and he's running race tires not street tires... I'm pretty sure they're on there for a reason.

Like I've always said, the day I see the start of an F1 race... and I see the entire grid get into the first turn sideways because it's the new "tactical advantage thing to do"... I'll believe drifting is the faster way around a track. :rolleyes:

imxlr8ed
2009.07.28, 06:16 PM
But in regards to MiniZs... drifting is fun for a little while, but actually racing them is where it's at. :D (IMO)

marc
2009.07.28, 06:19 PM
Did you see Solvyster Stalone's movie Driven? It's where he is a retired F1 driver coming out of retirement to help a new rookie win a couple of races. His character "Hummer", because he hum's while racing, like's to drift around the turns and in one scene you see him dropping quarters on the turns where he's going to drift. As he drifts he picks up the quarters with his rear tires.
It's a pretty cool movie, but I wonder if a really good F1 driver could do such a thing.

HammerZ
2009.07.29, 08:47 PM
F1 racing like NASCAR being an endurance race, the need to save the tires is a big factor. Practice or qualifing the driver may push it and show off some. I think of Days Of Thunder when Cole Trickle was arguing about driving his way. Basicly the scene with the tires with one set worn down more than the others.

Maybe, look at vintage racing footage on Youtube or something like that. Many of those drivers drifted, I don't think they had disk brakes with four piston calipers. At that time with cars that can do 100+ mph, it is very hard to slow for the turns. So skidding through was the only way to drive.

Simple fact is to grip you have to slow down quite a lot, then have the horsepower to get back up to speed. The bottom line is how fast you come off the turn that matters in racing.

PadrinoNY
2009.07.29, 09:14 PM
F1 racing like NASCAR being an endurance race, the need to save the tires is a big factor. Practice or qualifing the driver may push it and show off some. I think of Days Of Thunder when Cole Trickle was arguing about driving his way. Basicly the scene with the tires with one set worn down more than the others.

Maybe, look at vintage racing footage on Youtube or something like that. Many of those drivers drifted, I don't think they had disk brakes with four piston calipers. At that time with cars that can do 100+ mph, it is very hard to slow for the turns. So skidding through was the only way to drive.

Simple fact is to grip you have to slow down quite a lot, then have the horsepower to get back up to speed. The bottom line is how fast you come off the turn that matters in racing.


That is so interesting that you bring up the classics..... Look at Smokey and The bandit flicks that was just straight horsepower driving... Even in the dukes of Hazard....;)

PadrinoNY
2009.07.29, 09:15 PM
Nothing But Drum Brakes baby.......

HammerZ
2009.07.31, 12:31 AM
That is so interesting that you bring up the classics..... Look at Smokey and The bandit flicks that was just straight horsepower driving... Even in the dukes of Hazard....;)

I meant vintage as in stuff from the 1920's, not 70's films. For those cars to go that fast they needed to be high geared. Search vintage grand prix to see what I mean.

Skv012a
2009.07.31, 10:13 AM
I just want to throw in my 2 cents of understanding- grip is faster, but when you get the option of drifting you're always able to get a sharper turn radius via drift if needed. So you grip as much as possible and use very mild drift to turn the car a little bit faster.

imxlr8ed
2009.07.31, 10:54 AM
:rolleyes:

I have nothing left to say on this subject after this... some see drift as course correction due to a driver's mis-calculation through a turn, some see it as the fastest (and coolest looking) way around a turn.

MikeL
2009.07.31, 11:05 AM
Older race cars had bias ply tires where they could not get the super stiff sidewalls of today's tires, drifting around the track was the only way.

marc
2009.07.31, 11:31 AM
I don't think the WRC drivers do it for display. I think they do it because it is fastest way around particular turns.
I guess it all depends on the type of turn, track, surface, et'c.
This certainly seems to be a very debatable question as everybody has their own opinion.
I think that back in the day's when the Japanese started drifting in the mountains, they did do it for faster time's. Probably the spectators thought it looked cool and some how it caught on as a way to please the crowd.
I think when drifting came across the ocean, it lost it's form and became more of a show-boat than true driving technique.
I know it's just an animation, but it's a very realistic animation and it proves my point. If you watch Initial D, they are drifting for faster times up/down the hill. They do not appear to be doing it for show.

MikeL
2009.07.31, 11:48 AM
I don't think the WRC drivers do it for display. I think they do it because it is fastest way around particular turns.
I guess it all depends on the type of turn, track, surface, et'c.
This certainly seems to be a very debatable question as everybody has their own opinion.
I think that back in the day's when the Japanese started drifting in the mountains, they did do it for faster time's. Probably the spectators thought it looked cool and some how it caught on as a way to please the crowd.
I think when drifting came across the ocean, it lost it's form and became more of a show-boat than true driving technique.
I know it's just an animation, but it's a very realistic animation and it proves my point. If you watch Initial D, they are drifting for faster times up/down the hill. They do not appear to be doing it for show.


I don't know if this is 100% accurate, but it seems that the less available traction, the faster drifting through a turn can be.

imxlr8ed
2009.07.31, 02:13 PM
I don't know if this is 100% accurate, but it seems that the less available traction, the faster drifting through a turn can be.

Uh oh... sounds like someone is onto something. ;)

When I talk about racing with drift, I'm talking strictly roadcourse... of course drifting is faster off-road (and maybe ice racing too :rolleyes:). But when it comes to a hot sticky clean track... there is no way drifting is faster. And if the driver is getting the a$$ end around on exit, he over-drove the turn and is correcting the mistake.

Ok.. now I'm done. :D

marc
2009.07.31, 02:28 PM
Yea, sure you are! LOL!
I wouldn't consider it drifting when on dirt and ice. To me, that's power-sliding. I guess if you make a mistake while drifting, that would certainly kill your lap time!
Now, what about hill-climb racing? What would be better than? I've seen it both ways.

MikeL
2009.07.31, 03:59 PM
Too add some other factors, watch the way karts go around the track
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDgpS4kx88s&feature=related

I found this myself at V17, the rears are so much bigger and track wider in the rear that you have to break it loose to rotate, so here a light "drift" the corner is almost required.

marc
2009.07.31, 04:17 PM
Yea, my brother likes to do that when he races his friend at Go-Kart tracks. I don't like theme my self cause nobody really seems to know the apexes and your always getting knocked around. I'd have fun on the track if it was just me though. Or with a group that really knows how to race and follow the proper lines!

color01
2009.07.31, 04:35 PM
Some karts may not have rear diffs -- so you need to step the tail out to get the kart to rotate.

Drifting and controlled powersliding are more or less the same thing. Some people will say that drifting is off-power and power-sliding is on, but that's missing the point entirely that you have to control the car anyways.

The less available traction, the more you need to actively propel the car in the direction of the corner -- thus the more drift angle you can use to net a fast time.

Compare Regupol to RCP to Ozite carpet -- on Regupol the Mini-Z's are super planted, while on RCP and Ozite, some racers prefer to stay all grip while others start to mix in a little drift angle. If you look at closeup videos of RCP racing, some cars start to slide when decelerating into hairpins or coming off the long straight. It slows the car down faster than drag brake, rotates the car in advance of the apex, and does not require the use of the brakes. I don't know about the rest of you, but using the brake takes my finger off the "sweet spot" I settle into on the back of the trigger. I prefer not to do that, and so if the setup requires it, I drift into hairpins, especially when going into them at speed.

Skv012a
2009.07.31, 09:57 PM
Wonder why I didn't think of the breaking question before: MA or MR? lol

Forget drift on MR and abuse it on MA just for the sheer fun of it.

marc
2009.08.02, 02:55 PM
Is it physically possible to drift a FWD? I know they have understeer and weight up front, but I think I've seen one guy set up an 89 Honda Civic hatchback specifically for drifting. How would that work? And wouldn't that be more like power-sliding using an e-brake to get an FWD sideways?
I don't see how you could drift an FWD no matter how it's set up!

Skv012a
2009.08.04, 12:22 PM
Go play Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift 1 or 2 and you'll have ALL your questions answered. Great games for learning concepts and basics.

marc
2009.08.04, 07:16 PM
I prefer games based on WRC, also, not too many are Mac compatible, plus I still need to find a Mac compatible steering wheel as well so I can really make use of technique. Keyboard entry just does not cut it.

Skv012a
2009.08.04, 08:59 PM
Or get a PC... lol

HammerZ
2009.08.26, 09:17 AM
This is what I was talking about as vintage. Old fashoned balls out driving, where drift was born.

http://fp.images.autos.msn.com/Media/580x348/f9/f971b4943bc4460c8ec835d9b4d558f1.jpg
http://fp.images.autos.msn.com/Media/580x348/5b/5b993fb4c4f6459ca8d5e73361ec2337.jpg

In the 1920's they didn't have computers and games to learn from.

marc
2009.08.26, 02:28 PM
Or get a PC... lol

No thank you, I just got rid of my PC in favor of a Mac. I got sick and tired of PC problems.