Welcome to my world, my world of turbos, tyre smoke, and tuning...
Tuning cars, driving cars, testing parts, and complaining about everything. It's my job, and a the majority of my non-work life too...
I love going sideways. For me the adrenaline rush of being beyond the limit but still in control is more fun than anything else you can do in a car. Like it or not, oversteer, powerslides, drifting, whatever you want to call it, often isn't the fastest way around a corner, but it is the most fun way around, and from a spectator point of view it's certainly what's memorable and gets the crowds excited.
Despite my love for it, there are some aspects that drive me flippin' mad, some because they affect everyone associated with drifting, and some purely because so many more people, even people who are already part of it, would enjoy things much more if things were a little different...
While I'm not a JDM fanboy by a long shot, one thing the Japanese have pretty much 100% correct is their drift scene, and if we, as drivers, as fans, as organisers, could have the same attitude to it as they do, things would be a lot better.
My problem mostly boils down to peoples reasoning for why a car performs as it when drifting.
In Japan they rightly say drifting is 90% driver skill, 10% car spec, and they embrace this in every aspect, from practice days where it's normal to see low power basic spec cars drifting with absolutely mind blowing skill, to high end competition, where the cars are surprisingly low power and basic compared to UK competition cars, but the action is so much more impressive to watch, and the driver skill is so much more apparent
In the UK however we've got a huge tendency, whether it due to over-confidence or simply ignorance, to blame the cars specification for everything. Because of this, massive spec cars being driven in hugely mediocre ways is the norm here, and even newcomers to the drift world have it in their heads that before they even get behind the wheel, a car needs big power, huge amounts of lock, and a hydraulic handbrake.
Well let me tell you, you're wrong. Lower power lower spec cars entering corners at huge speeds using massive Scandinavian flicks, like you see in Japan, is a whole lot more fun both to do and watch, not to mention cheaper, than seeing a big power car doing a skid on the handbrake, then smoking its tyres around the track with just a lazy stab of the throttle.
It's a good job there's no UK versus Japan drift events any more, as if we went by their rules, our top cars would be hugely embarrassed by cars with half the power and specification, but driven by guys who truly push them to their full potential...
Hi, I'm Stav...
You may or may not have heard of me, but I've spent the last 15 years working full-time in the tuning scene, and the last decade or so writing for various car magazines.