Thursday, September 26, 2013

RE-Xtreme RC Drift Bible - Brakes, Space and Perfect Tandem

 How can I drift like those Japanese guys... Easy!  Forget the FASTEST "RACE" line and Don't try to beat everyone!

The number of hours I ran side by side like this I cannot count. It doesn't take long to perfect as long as you give up your aggression and embrace the tandem philosophy. This is not D1 COMPETITION. This is tandem.

I will cover comps later and how to force people to make errors.


Do NOT try to pass. That is totally NOT the point. The point IS maintaining the gap.

Sounds basic, but its THE rule. I want to do more tight tandems so. Here is my guide.

No Brakes... GET SOME!    No Space... MAKE SOME!

It is the total responsibility of the car following behind to MAKE SPACE.

The lead car will just run a line. If the lead car leaves space (for a small safety buffer) or goes off line. DO NOT overtake or push in deeper.  You will just upset the balance and the chance for endless tandem.

Just slow a little and sit on the door. Otherwise.., a tandem crash or drift stops. If you are at the front of the train... everyone behind will get frustrated.

IN CLIP! (only if you have to)

If you are not in this spot, get there. no deeper! Anything past the B pillar from the follower and they will be forced into the inside fence by the lead car.  If the lead car is forced / bumped wider by the following car, they will go off line and the next corner will be terrible.

OUT CLIP! If you are not in this position get there, do not lag behind. the lead car can force you into the fence if you are by the rear tyre.


If the lead car runs the out clip, you MUST run the out clip, DO NOT try to pass!


If the lead car goes a little slower than you. SLOW DOWN. Crashes do not create cool tandem.

Any idiot can go past on the inside, It takes skill to run the out clip. Try it. It makes a track longer and that means more side by side time.

If necessary put a target out there. or put cones on the in clip so people can't go there.

Get creative people.

Transitions are easy.

Just follow the rules.

You will be entering the transition zone side by side with the following car gaining on the lead car.

the lead car is NOT trying to pull away or go super fast. They are just maintaining a reasonable FUN PACE and a FUN LINE.

The following car MUST brake first to create a gap for the cars to swap positions.
Don't worry about this gap, you will have a chance to close it later.

It will take a couple of laps to learn the lead car's line and when he swaps, so don't try and be too close and attack on the first attempt.  Take a few laps to get closer and closer. it's probably only 15 seconds until the next lap.

This is RC by the way. IT's NOT REAL! but these real basics still apply.

The following car had now dropped a little speed and begins to turn in, the lead car starts to brake and start their transition, but you can see that there is enough space to transition.

Now the cars should be at the same speed again, but there is just enough room for the transition. Leave a larger gap if you aren't at the pro level. 


The follower can get on the power early because he turned first and is sliding already. the lead car is still transitioning and therefore slower. The following car can close the gap to the lead car,  run up to the door.

IMAGINE a big target on the door. Not the corner, don't even look at it. Look mostly at the door of the lead car. If he is off line you will be too, but that's ok. because....


It's simply how it works.

Now don't forget that the front car is just running his normal line.

the rear car will probably have to slow a little again... because... Why?

REMEMBER... the following car was on the power earlier.

The following car MUST control the gap, and therefore the tandem.

the lead car... runs the line. preferably the same line, that is ALL!

but they reap the rewards of the COOOL TANDEM!

Now you can both be on the power and continue the drift. 

Yeah baby!!! Smiles all round!!!

Coming onto a straight. the same rules apply,

The rear car must slow (either brake or just back off a bit)  to MAKE 1/2 car SPACE for the length of the car to fit in behind.

Then you can go fast and speed into your next corner.

It's all quite natural and sometimes the course makes it happen, but the car behind will have to brake accel brake accel or modulate the throttle to allow for space to be created.

For some it's easier to lead, for some it's easier to follow. Try to learn to do both.

We will get to drift trains in a future article. Similar but a little different.



  1. Excellent write up share this with the guys i drift with

  2. Nice one, Russ. I'll look forward to tonights tandem!

    1. Can't drive tonight... things to do.

      but i'll drop past for a few minutes


Got a question or a comment. It doesn't hurt to ask.