How To Drift RC Car: Drifting RC Cars for Beginners

Last Updated: November 22, 2021

How to drift an RC Car for beginners

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Drifting RC cars has become a popular activity, but it can be difficult for beginners coming to grips with RC cars. Fortunately, there are ways to learn how to drift RC cars successfully. These tips will help you get started if you want to start drifting your RC car.

What is Drifting?

Drifting is often seen in motor racing and movies; however, drifts can also be performed in RC cars. The goal of drifting is to get the car to oversteer, so it slides through a corner. Most drivers drift by driving in a turn, steering away from the direction they plan to go. The car will drift in the direction of the turn, but will eventually straighten out. The driver will then steer back in the direction they want to go.

Getting Started – What Do You Need

RC drifting can be done by any on-road 4WD car. The range of good RC Drift cars and parts readily available in the market nowadays makes it easier for anyone to get started with drifting without going down the route of converting a car for drifting.  You can easily find different models to suit your budget.

Electric RC cars are ideal for folks who are just beginning to develop their RC drifting skills. Electric cars have a more responsive throttle making them better for drifting. Another reason why new RC drifters should consider electric cars is their cheaper cost and maintenance.  And, you can always swap body shells to fit on top of your RC car chassis if you want to change the look of your car.

Drift tires come in a range of compounds to suit different surfaces and for other car models. You can have your pick of drift tires from the range offered in the market today. The most common materials for drift tires are ABS, PE and HDPE plastic compounds. ABS is quite popular among drifters for its slide characteristics, while PE and HDPE offer a softer feel and traction.

Basics of Drifting and Figure 8

The first thing you need to know is how to turn properly. It is the essential skill you need to learn when it comes to drifting. It's also the most difficult one. The simplest way to get the hang of turning is to practice turning around in a circle on your own. It will help you understand how to use the throttle, brake, and steering in tandem with each other. These are easy to learn and do, but they don't come naturally to some people. An excellent way to practice this is by doing laps around the RC store where you bought your RC car.

The racing line, when taking a corner fast, depends on three things:

  • Braking point
  • Turn in point
  • Apex
  • Accelerate

Basics of Drifting RC Cars (1)

When learning to drift, it makes sense for beginners to brake earlier when reaching the corner and progressively delay braking as you get more comfortable with your car's controls.

Braking at the right point means that your car has enough momentum to take you through the turn without having to accelerate mid-way through it. In general, you should have slowed down and been off brakes before turning into a corner.

Approach the corner fast, brake and then accelerate quickly when you reach the apex. It will result in the rear end sliding. Go wide, countersteer back to neutral and race away.

Figure 8 drift practice

One of the most popular methods for practicing a figure 8 drift is a track with lines or cones. Start by practicing with one line or cone, then two, then three. Once you've mastered Figure 8, try to do it without any lines or cones. Make sure you practice in both directions!

  • Practice in an open space: If you want to practice your drifting skills without worrying about crashing into anything, do it in an open space. This will allow you to go as fast as possible without the worry of crashing.
  • Build muscle memory: Practice your drifting skills often. The more often you practice, the better your muscle memory will be. Muscle memory is important for being able to do a good drift on command.
  • Use braking: When you're learning how to drift, use the handbrake as much as possible. This will help you understand the importance of using it when doing a drift.

Figure 8 Drifting Car (1)

Figure 8 drifting takes practice and patience to learn, but they are worth it in the end. Don't be discouraged if they don't come naturally—it will take time!

Tips to Keep in Mind When Learning how to Drift

The following tips are helpful things to keep in mind when learning how to drift.

  • Drifting is all about momentum: You need to have a lot of momentum going so you can spin quickly and execute a cool drift.
  • Give yourself plenty of room: Make sure you have plenty of room before trying to drift. This will allow you to have more control over your car and not hit any obstacles.
  • Don't be afraid to use your brakes: The key to drifting is to steer quickly. You may need to hit your brakes a few times before you can get the hang of it.
  • Look for a car with better acceleration than going for top speed.

 

Useful Resources

Get Sideways! Learn to Drift with HPI

Frequently Asked Questions – RC Drifting