RC drifting is one of those rare forms of RC sports where an electric RC car is preferred over a nitro model. RC Drifting is the ability to skid your RC cars rear tyres along a turn or in a circle, while maintaining control over the car. The rear tyre's higher slip angle results in a neat RC drift, while the front wheels point in the opposite direction.
Drifting mainly became popular in the late 1980s when, Kunimitsu Takahashi demonstrated the technique during races with a great deal of control. It gave him the ability to hit the apex at every corner, while exiting the turn at high speed. This led to a new form of sport that involved skidding the wheels to emanate smoke, called Drifting. As the sport gained prominence in real life cars, understandably, RC hobbyists decided to start their own versions with manufacturers beginning to develop special cars and parts that aided drifting.
RC drifting requires the racer to deftly control the throttle of the RC car at high limits. Due to the throttle of electric RC cars, which can sustain such high throttle levels for long periods, it is considered better than a nitro RC car's engine which might overheat and even burn out the clutch in sustained high-throttle periods.
RC drifting cars are specialized versions which come in two formats - Shaft- driven and Belt-driven. Shaft-driven cars tend to respond better to throttle inputs whereas Belt-driven cars are known to provide backlash mainly due to the belt's design. While many people still use belt-driven cars despite this drawback, shaft-driven cars are considered as a better choice for amateurs.
Motors are vital to drifting as they provide the torque required to skid the RC car. Normally, you can use a 19 turn motor although you need to ensure that your car's motor is tuned for acceleration rather than top speed.
Another important aspect of RC drifting is the tyres to be used. PVC tyres are all you need to install on your standard car, to turn it into an RC drifting car. If PVC tyres aren't available, you can make an ABS tyre work in the same way or strap electrical tape around your regular tyres.
RC drifting generates smoke and dust from the skidding of the tyres against the cement or asphalt. As a result, the dust may enter your transmission and cause long term damage. You need to ensure that the transmission is tightly sealed preventing the entry of any small dust particles.
You can check with your local hobby store for the location of drift tracks. RC drifting is not allowed on all tracks as it throws up a lot of loose dust on the tracks. This can lead to other cars skidding off during normal races on those tracks. Your local hobby store will also be able to point you to an RC drift club, where people gather for organized events that involve Drift races and shows. These clubs have qualified instructors who can fine tune your techniques or even bring you up from scratch.
If you don't have a built-for drifting RC car, don't fret. Some minor modifications can let you hit the streets with your very own RC drifting car.