Drift Nirvana 9/13/15 lessons learned

I made a few key changes to the car before this outing. The first is an upgrade to 245/40/17 tires in the rear instead of the old 235/45/17s that I actually ran for 2 years. All sets were Federal 595s which I’ve found to be the best tire for longevity, smoke, and traction through large heat ranges. EG I noticed the Falken Azenis tires I ran years ago would “mud” up and become quite slick once heated up. The second change I made was the final test drive of my hydraulic hand brake. I’ve literally NEVER had a working hand brake in my drift car. And as a result, I only have my theories as knowledge to draw upon for its use.

Here’s a clip of my best run of the day on the most difficult course at Drift Nirvana. Ironically, it was my first run of the day on that course and probably my third time using the hand brake to purposefully drift.

Here’s where I’ll put my money where my mouth is. Here is a break down based on my theory intro article series:

If this was a lower power car, all the places where it says “gobs of power” and “throttle” would be replaced with “floor and clutch kick as necessary”.

General other things I learned in no particular order:
Thanks to the LS power, I can run non heat cycled/brand new 245+ sticky ass tires. This makes my drifting the fastest I’ve ever done in my life. Corners get shorter and harsh throttle inputs lead to stiff switch backs. The stickier tire also caused me to shallow out on a course where I used to be able to link the whole thing. As a result, I was near redline, was going faster, but couldn’t stretch the corner. 4th gear will be necessary and all my attempts at it were timid and caused bogging.

Despite the fact I have never had a working hand brake, I think I acclimated pretty well and very quickly. I’ve always known when I needed it and when it couldn’t be overcome with other techniques but finally using it is a huge relief.

I had fun driving for the first time at a drift event in years. To most people, that’s a given but my fire for driving has been dwindling. This helps immensely.

Things to work on:
4th gear. Shift before switch backs, not during. Too much is going on. So says Rapper Dan.
Hand brake extension needs work. For some reason, the hydraulic system goes limp mid run and requires a pump before it starts working.
Smooth throttle inputs. There is no need to be jabbing the gas all the timeSmooth steering inputs. This likely is a function of the abrupt throttle inputs
Left foot braking will likely help me not slam into the outer edges of every corner (thanks to my newfound speed)
Fix car!

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