To achieve a winning, Zen focus, race-car drivers are told to ignore distractions and let go. And, sometimes, letting go means letting stuff slide. And, sometimes, stuff is a car. That's when the Scandinavian Flick, which allows racers to achieve maximum velocity by forcing all four tires to lose grip, flinging the car sideways around a bend, comes in. Instead of approaching turns gingerly to avoid slipping, these drivers would purposefully agitate their cars into a slide that they can steer.
The flick is dangerous, wild, and difficult, and it's as close to driving nirvana as a mortal can get. Here’s our step-by-step guide.
What you need: A loose surface (snow, gravel, or dirt) and a powerful car (200+ horsepower) with rear or all-wheel drive (you need to be able to use power to break traction on the rear tires). And, a turn. A snowbank to cushion the potential blow might not be the worst thing either.
Step 1: Heading into the turn, place the car at the outside of the corner entry (not headed towards the apex as you otherwise would).
Step 2: A moment before you would normally turn-in, sharply turn the wheel away from the corner.
Step 3: As soon as the rear of the car is unsettled, turn in sharply at the same time you lift off the throttle (this should occur right at the traditional, “proper” turn in point).
Step 4: The combinations of these “jerky” inputs will totally unsettle the car, bringing the rear of the car around in a dramatic way and pushing the entire car into a slide towards the outer edge of the corner. (Another word for this is “lift-off oversteer.”)
Step 5: If you’ve done it right, though the car is sliding laterally, the nose should be pointed at the apex of the corner. To keep it there, countersteer—as your driving instructor in High School would say, “steer into the slide.” Feathering the throttle is another way to keep the car on trajectory.
Step 6: Just as you slide past the apex of the corner, slowly straighten the wheel and smoothly apply some throttle. When the wheel is straight, get back on the gas and head out!
Photos by Porsche