How to Drift Like a Beast

Hankook Tire Formula Drift driver Chris Forsberg talks you through going fast sideways.
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Hankook Tire Formula Drift driver Chris Forsberg talks you through going fast sideways.

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Illustration by Jason Lee

"You need to make sure you’re in a rear-wheel-drive car—true drifting is rear-wheel-drive only—with a stick shift and a good set of tires so you can feel the car’s reactions. Then get off the street and onto a practice racetrack. Be aware that in pro drifting, we get about two laps out of our tires. We’re spinning these tires at 100 mph as we speed through the corner, and when we take those tires off, they’re completely bald, all the way down to the tread!” 

1. “If you’re heading toward a 90-degree corner going left, you want to be in second gear, going about 40 mph (at the pro level we’re going closer to 100 mph), with your right foot on the throttle and your left foot on the clutch.”

2. “As you approach the apex of the corner, in one motion apply the throttle all the way down, turn the steering wheel to the left, and kick the clutch—you push it down and immediately release it, which shocks the drive train.”

3. “The car will now be spinning its rear tires. Release the steering wheel, allowing it to spin itself to the right while your car rotates through a 45-degree angle. When you feel the car beginning to lose traction, grab the wheel again and throt­tle through the corner.”

4. “The key to drifting is that you’re steering with the throttle: When you approach the exit of the corner, apply the throttle and release the steering wheel, which will cause the car to straighten out. Then head straight to the pit for new tires!”

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