2015 Drift Directions in Real and RC Drift.Where are we headed?
Let's have a look at Real and RC Drift in 2015.
D1 and Formula D
Power levels and grip levels are way up in the major Drift competitions. It wasn't long ago that 550hp was more than enough. But these days 800-1000 is mandatory for a top level machine. Why can you run so much power? Surely you'll just spin out!
Well that depends on the Grip Level and Speed you can generate from it.
Some of the reason for the high power is the major increase in grip from new setups and new tyre technology. It's no secret that drag racing and circuit racing compounds have a big influence in drift and getting the most traction out of tyres is an art in itself. Remember that D1 and Formula D do not care anymore about slow small courses.
They are held on longer oval tracks and overall are run at a higher speed, as well as longer open corners after long straights. The tight hairpin is a bit of a novelty.
Anyone can hold a slide if you initiate at over 220km/h, so the slide comes from just banging it in there.
Speed is the biggest part of it. But ability for wheelspin is also way up there so combine this with lower tyre pressures and you can get to the point where a (now very sticky) "treaded radial" generates traction under different rpm and load. Getting to max speed quickly has become a major winning factor in drifting.
Pulling the gap or gaining proximity has become more important than sliding smoothly.
Steering angle and the setup triangle
There's no doubt that a car with most weight shifting to the rear will squat down and go forward. So having a setup where the rear is squatting and only one front lead tyre is needed for control at max angle should give you the fastest car through a corner. Remember that the entry into the corner is much much faster than before.
Top teams are using the soft rear end and soft rear tyre grip to prevent a slide by simply getting as much traction as possible.
You don't see many initations anymore where the guys hold the handbrake for too long. They initate and are immediately on the power at full throttle using the wheelspin and scramble for grip to prevent the rear of the car backing into the wall.
If you initiate hard enough, the trailing front wheel will probably not even be on the ground. So you have to setup your car to be functional on 3 tyres.
The search for power and Speed has definitely hit D1 and Formula D hard.
So much so, a corolla AE86 without an engine swap is IRRELEVANT in modern D1.
So how does this relate to RC drift?
Well the weight shift RWD and 4WD chassis is gaining momentum. A softer rear tyre is used in the same way as a D1 car. Note that counter steer has not progressed to softer tyres but setups are changing to chassis that have longer stoke suspension and more body roll inan effort to generate more grip.
Rear Wheel Drifting, based on the search for Grip and Speed is pushing harder and harder. We have to be careful not to let the speed take over in RC. Remember this what leads to non-realistic drifting.
But what I have seen is the fact that real drifting has become faster and faster, it's actually resembling the speeds and control style of the slower RC setups. this is great news that the cars are looking more similar.
Street Drift and Grass Roots Style.
Not much has changed in the mainstream drift world. These are the cars that drew our attention. Affordable cars like the ones that we can possibly own, take to the track and have a bit of fun on the street.
So the low down style made famous by BN Sports still have that look. Counter-steer still holds firm but there is a move to a new host of components that can bring your cars up to modern imagery. Narrow Scrub front end geometry can more closely emulate the high steering angle of a RWD machine keeping the tyre more central in the wheel well.
It's very hard to tell from this picture Which is which? But there is a difference in the flexibility of a RWD chassis. I won't go into that too much much, the RWD suitability for different surfaces and track layouts should require fewer setup changes just because you can eliminate the front to rear ration from the equation.
Street Drift and the Stance movement continue to grow in the street scene but I am yet to see too many cars like the real D1 machines of late on the street. Their high ride height required for the triangle drag / drift setup is not very attractive.
Unfortunately we don't see Yokomo pumping out new sticker sets and new bodies constantly anymore either. Their D1 range has been pretty full for a while now.
RC allows us to pretty much ignore the legal restrictions of a street car. Depending on your surface. ride height like this is definitely possible.
I am a sports car fan and a rally car fan. When I watch tarmac rally, the cars are as low as possible. But in D1 this is no longer the case.
I love the low ride height but it's only a style choice.
I am also recently loving the JDM Stance "onican" or Big Camber "Bippu" or VIP looks. It means you have to run the tyre right on the edge, But you can still tune you RC car to perform well even with a setup like this.
At GCRC we rarely have head to head D1 Style competition, but we do have hours of side by side battles. We know who runs the best lines and the more aggressive angles. So the keep drifting fun mentality applies through out the venue with the circuit sized more like a smaller track rather than a F1 sized circuit.
So with all these ideas in your head about building a replica D1, VIP, BN Sports, Weight Shift machine.
Rear Wheel Drive is the best for drift! Is It? Well....
4WD Drift 50:50 is Reborn!
You have all seen Gymkhana Seven and the massive 850HP 4WD Rocketship Mustang from Ken Block.
it is truely Emense!
Gatebill also showcases the European ALL wheel Drive love for rally and now push the boundaries of what drifting has become. 4 wheel smoke from some of the fastest machines in the world.
So is that the resurrection of the 50:50 drift machine.
Ken Block Hoonigan
VW Sirocco Drift
If you have track as big as Gatebill or an empty causeway or 8 lane highway. Yep you bet that a maximum power FULL BURST machine could be the way to go.!
I have no problem with FULL POWER 4WD SUPER SPEED WIDE OPEN DRIFT if the venue supports it.
So how will you tune your next chassis?
In the second half of 2015. There's a lot of new projects underway. This is RC Evolution.