Counter-steer drifting is highly enjoyable and a great pleasure to watch. Drift driving is a Japanese motor-sport sub-culture that gained cult-like following around the world following the multi-language adaptations and translations of the “Initial D” Japanese manga and anime series, even with one featuring the Taiwan pop sensation Jay Chou, and was later followed by Hollywood’s “Fast & Furious 2: Tokyo Drift”.

In earlier stages, skid drifting was the fad. Precision Russell Swift of the UK often used skid driving to perform seemingly impossible parking manouevres, like skidding or u-shape “power sliding” into a tight space between two cars. Now, the “in-thing” is to counter-steer to maintain a smooth entry and exit to tight corners.

However, the high costs of tyre-maintenance and car repair – perhaps even life-endangerment for the inexperienced, is not something everyone can stomach. The good news is that drifting can be enjoyed with a scale RC car – the most common being of the 1/10 size which is as most RC drift circuits are designed for.

Drifting can be done with either a 2WD (Rear Wheel Drive) or 4WD RC car fitted with low-traction “drifting tyres”. Electric-powered RC cars are more commonly used for RC drifting due to lower noise emissions and no exhaust fumes unlike Nitro-powered models. Moreover, you wouldn’t have the floor strewn with un-combusted fuel that would cause you unwanted wipe-outs. This also makes it convenient to indulge in the drifting sport into the wee hours with a set of LED lights, with no fear of being pelted with eggs for being an environmental bother. Such a kit only costs from as low as US$150 for a good setup – to a couple of hundred for the discerning enthusiast.

If you already own an offroad RC buggy or truggy, you do not immediately have to invest in a Drift RC car to get a feel of drifting. Simply drive your car on a skid-pan, i.e. wet smooth asphalt or tile, and try going around some poles or cones at mid-rev. Without the usual traction, you’d be experiencing counter-steer drifting in no time!

– Julian Wong

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