Well, there are some things that are just, naturally, cool. The red arrows, for instance, with all their aerobatics and funky coloured smoke. That BMX-er who did the triple back-flip. Monkeys wearing waistcoats and top hats. Oh, and drifting – of the car variety, that is.
Many people, following the release of films like Tokyo Drift, know what drifting is. However, the technical definition is as follows:
Drifting refers to a driving technique and to a motorsport where the driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns, while maintaining vehicle control and a high exit speed. A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle prior to the corner apex, and the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa), and the driver is controlling these factors. As a motor sport, professional drifting competitions are held worldwide. Drift racing challenges drivers to navigate a course in a sustained sideslip by exploiting coupled nonlinearities in the tire force response.
For the less petrol-head and technically inclined amongst us, it is essentially driving a car sideways, but on purpose rather than because you’ve lost control of your rear end coming around a corner. To keep it going, and control the angle and direction, you need a combination of the right car, and the right skills. These skills are something that Mauro Carlo has in abundance, hence his attempt at the Mercedes-Benz World this week to beat the world record for the longest distance drifted in a car. That distance? A massive 1.44 miles, or 8 laps. Watch the video below for an idea of just how impressive that is!
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