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Drifting Glossary


Is there a term that we've missed? Do you have the definition to a word we're missing? Send us an e-mail and we'll get that word into our glossary right away.

see "Hachiroku"


A quick left - right / right - left "S-turn" usually placed onto straightaways in order to slow drivers down before they reach slower corners. 




A commonly misused term in the United States. Oftentimes used to describe a side to side, swaying drift typically used on straightaways (aka Manji), but is really a long sliding drift through a braking zone. 


Corrective steering used to balance and maintain an oversteered condition. (turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction of the turn once the vehicle starts to oversteer)


Refers to the D1 Grand Prix - All Japan Professional drifting competition. Held in various locations across Japan (and now the USA, Europe, and Asia) and judged by Keiichi Tsuchiya, the D1 has become the standard by which all drifters are judged. The D1 holds a multiple round point competition in which drivers compete for both individual event wins and overall season points. Competitions typically consist of a qualifying day for competitors to determine the top 32 drivers. The top 32 enter competition and perform a solo pass for judgment and further elimination. The next round consists of the top 16 drivers who (from this point in the competition on) are competing in head-to-head "Tsuiso" format. The drivers are eliminated round by round until one driver emerges as champion. Purchase D1 Grand Prix videos here.


Allowing the rear wheels of a vehicle to burn rubber, causing the car to rotate around the front tires, again and again.


To cause a vehicle to exceed its tires' limits of adhesion, exhibiting a lateral slip, resulting in an oversteered condition.


Drift King
Japanese racer Keiichi Tsuchiya is a living legend in the world of drifting. Although many may claim to be good, there is only one true Drift King.


Drift Run
Refers to any vehicle proceeding through the designated Drift Course / Turn.


E-Braking (hand braking / side braking)
Using a vehicle’s emergency brake to induce a drift. (emergency brakes lock up only the rear wheels of a vehicle, making them perfect tools for drifting)


Exhibition Drift
The purpose of drifting at the Drift Session is to cause maximum oversteer in a vehicle while maintaining speed. Vehicles are not judged based on time trials or speed, but rather on the completion of clean and exaggerated drifts which maintain a reasonable rate of speed. Exhibition Drifting also includes techniques as one hand drifting, trying to open the door while drifting.




Grand Touring Sport, or something like that. A common addition to many sport type car names. Commonly referring to the 1984-1987 Toyota Corolla GTS.
see "Hachiroku"


The thing that separates the men from the boys according to Signal Auto's Fumiaki Komatsu. Hawaii Motorsports Center's got lots of them.


Literally translated eight – six, but commonly used as the name for the AE86, 1984-1987 Toyota Corolla GTS. Runs on the DOHC 4-AGE motor, rear wheel drive w/ lsd.


Heel-Toe Shifting
A drifting technique where the clutch is pressed with the left foot while the right foot presses the brake with the toes and the heel slides over to the accelerator to rev the engine up before downshifting the vehicle. (allows smooth downshifting, without jolting the vehicle)


Hawaii International Racing School. Offering classes to locals and tourists on professional race driving skills. Drivers get in-depth classroom instruction and driving time in spec race cars. Classes also include car control clinics where participants can use their own vehicles.


Limited Slip Differential (LSD)
Axle gearing that allows power to be transferred to the wheel with the most traction. Similar to posi traction. (allows both power wheels to “lock up” and spin at the same time)  


Long Course
The full-length road course at Hawaii Raceway Park. Instead of turning from the Quarter Mile Straightaway at Short Course Turn 1, drivers proceed down the remaining straightaway to Long Course Turn 1 before heading back towards the Chicane.


The first set of turns on the Hawaii Motorsports Center Road Course. "Off-Camber" describes the turns because the road slants away from the inside of the turn.


Causing a vehicle to over rotate while cornering. (causing a vehicle to be on the verge of spinning out; good for drifting and really fun)


An American racing term for drifting that commonly refers to utilizing excessive horsepower to cause a loss of traction resulting in a drift.


Road Course
A racing course made up of actual roadways consisting of various straightaways, corners, and bends. For example: a large parking lot with cones placed on it to designate a course would not a a "road course" since it does not consist of an actual roadway; neither would an oval-track be considered a road course since there is little / no variance of corners and straightaways in the course used. 


Short Course
Used to refer to the course used at Drift Session events and most major competitions at Hawaii Motorsports Center. This typically begins at the Skid Pad, through the Staging Lanes, into the Sweeper, down the Quarter Mile Straightaway, through Short Course Turn 1, up the Back Straight, through the Chicane, and finally through the Off Camber. The entire Short Course can be connected by skilled drivers and is also run in reverse direction. 


Japanese version of the Nissan 240SX. Comes in S13, S14, or S15 variations. Typically coveted for its low cost, yet very sporty look and relatively powerful turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine the SR20-DET. A frequently used vehicle in the sport of drifting in Japan and abroad.  




Staging Lanes
The set of lanes between the Off-Camber and the Sweeper at Hawaii Motorsports Center. The lanes are marked with paint and numbers.
Also used to refer to the line or cars leading to either the Road Course or U-Turn.


The long "sweeping" turn that leads from the staging lanes, past the tower, and out onto the quarter mile straightaway. One of the most challenging sections of Hawaii Motorsports Center, to master the sweeper is to induce drift after the exit of the Off Camber, maintain a constant radius drift through the entire sweeper and end on the straightaway at high speed. The guardrails on both sides of the sweeper and narrow roadway make this corner particularly dangerous.


A loss of traction in a vehicle’s front tires, caused by excessive speed in relation to a cornering angle, causing the vehicle to slide outwards during a turn. (taking a turn too fast and not being able to hang it, your car starts to slide outward; not good and not fun)


The hairpin turn at the end of the quarter mile straightaway at Hawaii Motorsports Center (aka Turn 1).





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Home Drifting Gallery Drifting Videos Drifting Technique Drifting Glossary Drifting Message Board
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