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Chris Harris on How to Drift

by Paul Strauss

Now that you’ve watched the pros tear up the streets of South Africa with their BMW M235is, it might be nice to learn how to drift for yourself. While /DRIVE’s Chris Harris won’t be graduating you to the level of the stunt drivers in that commercial clip, he will show you the basics of how to get a car to oversteer and slide through turns while you still maintain control.

Coincidentally, Harris also drives a BMW M235i, and shows not only how to pull off a drift in a rear-wheel drive car, but how to get yourself situated in the car, including seating and wheel position. As for the drift, it’s all about entering the turn with plenty of throttle, quickly pulling the wheel back into opposite lock, and then going flat out on the throttle to keep the drift going. The toughest part of the drift is the exit, requiring a coordinated effort to straighten the wheel and carefully come off the throttle and back in again once the wheels are pointed the right direction – do either at the wrong time, and you could lose control.

And of course, you need to turn off traction and stability control, as all those electronic babysitters will prevent you from getting your drift on. It goes without saying that if you’re going to try and drift, you should do it on a closed track, and ideally with an instructor riding along the first time.

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