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Physics behind Drift Racing

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by

Nick Bealo

on 12 June 2011

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Transcript of Physics behind Drift Racing

The Physics Behind Drift Racing The idea behind drifting is the
back wheels loose as much traction
as possible while the front wheels
get as much traction as possible. As the rear end comes around, the amount of opposite lock applied is critical. The amount which you opposite lock should be just barely more than the amount that rear end has slid out. Any less and the car will not stay sideways, and any more and the car will begin to gain too much angle, eventually resulting in a spin. Once the car is sideways, the throttle takes a major role in pushing the car around the corner. Without throttle, the car will simply slide sideways in a mostly straight line, resulting in you smashing into the outside wall. In most drifts, the throttle is applied to encourage the back end to swing outward. Pushing the gas will cause the car to go more toward the inside of the corner, and letting off will cause the car to drift outward toward the outside of the corner. However, if you carry too much speed into your drift, the exact opposite is true. Watch the stearing wheel in this video Drifting would be described by most people
as going through a corner with your car sideways while keeping the throttle floored.The sideways part is correct, but it takes a little more to explain what drifting really is all about. It’s not just flooring the throttle; it takes a delicate balance to “keep” the car sideways. What is Drifting? A car in straight-line motion at a constant speed will keep such motion until acted on by an external force. Friction plays a big roll in drift racing the reason why there is white smoke when drifting is because the friction creates heat that burns the rubber on the tire. (rubber starts to burn at 260F) When a force is applied to a car, the change in motion is proportional to the force divided by the mass of the car. This law is expressed by the famous equation F=ma, where F is a force, M is the mass of the car, and A is the acceleration of the car. A larger force causes quicker changes in motion, and a heavier car reacts more slowly to forces. Every force on a car by another object, such as the ground, is matched by an equal and opposite force on the object by the car. When you apply the brakes, you cause the tires to push forward against the ground, and the ground pushes back. When you apply the gas, you cause the opposite to happen.
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