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5 Pro tips on how to become a (better) drifter


Drifting is more popular than ever, mainly because it makes such an incredible spectacle. The success of global drift series such as Formula D, Formula Drift, Drift Kings and Drift Masters has inspired many young drivers to take to the wheel of a drift car. But how do you start a drifting career or how do you improve your car and skills? No one better to ask than Vernon Zwaenepoel, a highly experienced drifter and a judge in many drifting competitions. 

Tip 1: Get yourself a rear-wheel-drive car, with differential. 

There are many ways to acquire a drift car. You can obviously buy one, but you can often rent them or borrow one from a friend. Most experienced drifters have often some old bangers sitting around in their workshop. The key for your first car is not to have too much power – that only makes the learning process harder. But what you do need is a limited-slip differential. 

5 Pro tips on how to become a (better) drifter

Tip 2: Seat time is key

‘Seat time’ is drifter jargon for number of hours you spend in the driving seat of your car. Drifting is something you can only learn by experience. Getting to know the balance of your car and the tyres takes time. So try to have as many drift days as you can. 

Tip 3: Learn to drift in the car you have

If thing aren’t working out from the start, that doesn’t mean you need more power or a different car. Change the tyre pressure, adapt you drifting style, and make sure you are drifting the car and not vice versa. 

5 Pro tips on how to become a (better) drifter

Tip 4: Talk to and ride with as many drifters as you can

There are so many drifting styles and techniques and every driver has his own style. By talking to your fellow drifters you’ll learn about set-up and techniques you might not have heard about before. Whenever you get the chance, try and ride passenger laps with as many drifters as you can so that you can learn from their driving style. But bear in mind that what works for them might not work for you, and vice versa.

Tip 5: Spend your money wisely 

If you do upgrade your car, be savvy about it. If you want to spend a little money on improving your car’s steering angle, check out whether or not it might be wiser to spend just a little more so that you can buy professional-grade parts. The same goes for the engine. It’s no use strapping turbo chargers to a 130bhp four-pot engine if it will only it make the same horsepower as a regular six-cylinder. Then it would be wiser just to go for a new car. 

5 Pro tips on how to become a (better) drifter
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