How To Drift – Handbrake

Posted by at 25 November 2014, at 22 : 30 PM

How To Drift – Handbrake

Starting a drift using an emergency or handbrake is one of the most consistent forms that many professionals chose to use in competition. In the most simplest terms what you are doing is causing a drastic change in traction to the rear two wheels of the car and forcibly transferring the weight within the vehicle. Once the traction is broken, throttle is applied to adjust racing lines to lead car or track conditions.


The entry speed of the drift is very important and will be one of the biggest driving aids to get handbrake drifting started right. I would recommend to use this tactic while learning for higher speed drifts, anything over 30 mph and second gear and higher.

The moment you lock the rear tires by applying the handbrake, you will scrub off mph incredibly fast so this will need to be thought of for entering in the corner. If a driver is used to initiating with a clutch kick or feinting, they will notice to get the same drifting speed using a handbrake, they will be over-speeding into the initiation.


Your steering response is very critical when initiating a handbrake drift from the second you pull the handbrake to when it’s released. Timing will be your best friend at this stage. The second before you pull the handbrake up for the corner turn your steering wheel into the corner.

The moment that the car starts to react to your steering input is when you pull the handle locking the rear tires, thus starting the drift.


The length you hold the handbrake will change the angle to start your drift along with your steering input. The longer you hold the brake and continue to steer into the corner, the slower your drift will start, and the more angle you will have. The same is true the other way around, the shorter the braking is, the less angle and less speed you will scrub off.


After letting go of the handbrake, you will need to continue your drift by adjusting the throttle. This will be a very similar action as you would start a drift by clutch kicking, but with less intensity since you will already be drifting. Slowly release the clutch in your desired gear (2nd-4th) and adjust the throttle to continue your drift into the corner.

That is the basics of handbrake drifting. Remember to drive safe at sanctioned events with the proper safety gear, there’s no point in learning this if you go out there and kill yourself or land yourself in jail.

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