Drifting vs. Rock Crawling: Not So Different After All
Drifting and rock crawling – what could two completely different types of motorsport possibly have in common? We take a closer look and find that they share more than you think.
Taking The Right Line
The right line is the difference between finishing first or last, staying in the race or crashing. In all forms of motorsport, the right line is the fastest way from point a to b. This is especially true in drifting and rock crawling.
In drifting, you know you’ve taken the right line when you’ve got a good amount of angle, speed, close proximity to the apex and the fact that you’ve made it through the turn without hitting anything.
On the trail, the wrong line can turn a small boulder into a difficult obstacle that could cost you valuable time and potentially breaking parts. In drifting and rock crawling, the right line makes for the fastest and safest driving line.
LS Power, LS Power Everywhere
GM’s ever-popular LSx V8 motor seems to be the go-to power plant for the demanding racecar driver. Take a look around the pits, whether you’re at Formula Drift or King of the Hammers. If it’s on the track, there’s a good chance, you’ll find a GM V8 between the front wheels.
If you have watched a professional drifter like Vaughn Gittin Jr. in action, you can see they are constantly modulating the brake, gas, handbrake and steering wheel.
Rock crawling is no different. Brake modulation is used to control a rock crawler down an obstacle or over a rock. Knowing when to gas and brake can be the difference between having your rock crawler shiny side up or ending up with your wheels in the air.
Tires You Can Count On
Drifters depend on the ability of the tires to slide and grip through a corner as much as a rock crawler depends on their tires to slide and grip on dirt and rocks.
Power is nothing without control. In drifting the Nitto Tire NT555 G2 provides the right amount of grip to get cars such as Vaughn Gittin’s Mustang in a controlled drift through a corner.
If you saw Erik Miller at KOH, you also saw his Nitto Tire Trail Grapplers provide the much-needed grip and sidewall toughness to make it over every obstacle and lead him to victory.
Whether you are going sideways at 70 mph or crawling through a rock bed at 7 mph, safety prep isn’t any less important.
Full roll cages, multi-point harnesses, fuel cells, fire-retardant race suits and HANS devices can be found in the cockpit of a drift car and a KOH rock crawler.
Learn From Experience
Not many drivers can perfectly slide a corner or tackle over a giant boulder on their first attempt. There’s no progress without a crash or a rollover. Practice makes perfect – ask any race car driver...get out there and drive!