TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

How to Drift - Chris Harris

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by wiztecy, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,716
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, California, United States
    #1 wiztecy, Dec 24, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    One person I respect for having proper driving skills is Chris Harris. By the way, he's now going to be on BBC Top Gear so that's a plus to hear more informative information from him. Drifting is a skill I feel everyone should experience in every car they have in both dry and wet conditions. Reason being is that it allows you to understand how the car is going to respond to being "out of control", however, if you practice drifting and know how you're car will react in these conditions you're more in control of the situation as well as possibly preventing an accident by gracefully pulling off a recovery.

    If Roadster owners are down for renting out a track session to play around with their Roadsters and push them to their limits I'm totally in!

    As Chris mentions in this video below, this should only be done on a track. I know a few areas where I can drift safely without endangering people or property other than my own, and that's where I play around with my Roadster whenever I experiment with any suspension or alignment change to understand what that change did to the response and input of the car. Right now where I have my Roadster dialed I'm very happy. Played with drifting it in the dry pavement as well as wet. I don't have a crazy swing of the rear end, the front grips the way it should without any crazy understeer and the rear hangs tight gliding smooth when at minimum 8/10ths to full power is given in the drift. Every time I drift now when the drift is done, the smell of burning smoking tires enter the Roadster. So I suspect I'm getting some white smoke coming off my wheels in my drift as in the video. Anyways.... with this, I can gauge better when I push harder into the turns how the front and back are responding. Having the quick ratio rack, castor maxed out positive, the Sector 111 V2 steering arms to give me more negative camber adjustment up front combined with the rear maxed out on negative camber all contribute to what I find to work for my Roadster. They all need to work and come together in true harmony to give you a clearer picture on what's going on with the wheels and chassis of the car. I may play around with buying an adjustable front and rear swaybar so I can even more fine tune and adjust the grip of the front / rear of the car if I ever want to track the car. However it in no way does the Roadster need it in terms of anti-roll. Its only good in my opinion for changing how much traction you want with the car in a quick amount of time, but not the way to "calibrate" your car to your typical driving needs. Its not really on my priority list since the car in no way needs it for daily driving as its already properly equipted.

    So with that, onto the drifting videos.



    Here's a review / drifting with Chris Harris in the latest Lotus Exige S, this one is nice since it closely resembles our weight distribution of our Roadsters and in fact its in our blood:

     
  2. S-2000 Roadster

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    636
    I suppose it's a bit redundant - after viewing the first video - to say that it's necessary to turn off Traction Control on the Roadster before drifting could work. But what I'm wondering is whether it can really be turned off completely. My impression of the Roadster's motor control is that it simply won't allow the wheels to spin due to excess torque. Obviously, I've not been practicing my drifts, or I'd know the answer. Can anyone speak to the ability to spin the rear wheels on the Tesla Roadster? … with or without Traction Control engaged?

    It's certainly true that the Roadster won't peel out during a launch - unless I've just not been trying hard enough. Below 10 mph, it seems impossible to spin the tires. Above 10 mph, I'm not 100% convinced, but I'm still pretty sure that it's not really possible to spin the tires. Anyone with different experience?

    Unfortunately, Tesla Motors' blog videos, titled splitu_abs_testing.mov & testing_traction_control_off.mov, are no longer available at their site. Did anyone archive these? Those blogs imply that Traction Control cannot be disabled during regeneration, although that shouldn't affect drifting.
     
  3. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,716
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, California, United States
    #3 wiztecy, Dec 24, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
    Yes, TC needs to be off to drift with the Roadster. You certainly can spin the wheels on the Roadster, just have cold tires, TC off, a little uphill (not much), and you'll spin them off a hard acceleration. But having 60%+ weight over the rear wheels, its harder than a traditional front engine car to break them loose on a straight.

    When turning off TC, its totally off. There's nothing governing nor controlling traction other than the driver at that point. Nothing is limiting the torque of the motor other than your foot.

    As for drifting, you don't need much to break the back end loose with TC off. Just snap full power on as you enter the turn and the rear wheels will break loose. As Chris stated, you have to keep full power on to hold the drift and use millimeter off and on of the accelerator to adjust your attack angle or else you'll violently come back around the other way. And its true, its the 3rd stage of the drift where people get it wrong where the let off on the power too much when they should be still burying down on the pedal. Its a balance between your steering and the rear tires gaining traction again when you straighten out. As the tires are spinning they're getting hotter and stickier, you have to keep them spinning as they get sticky and ride it out though the entire turn until they gain traction again on the tarmac as the steering wheel comes back around smoothly.
     
  4. simonog

    simonog Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    350
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Although I have not risked my Roadster on a track...yet... when I have drifted other cars I would say there are two versions. The really showy one is similar to rally driving style, and on tarmac (pavement for Americans) it looks good, gives rise to lots of tyre smoke (showy again), and is the slower version.

    The faster version is much less showy, faster, and has a car cornering with a gentle me at right angles to the arc. With historic tyres in particular it is actually the quickest way to navigate a corner. It feels quite balletic when the car is on that path!
     
  5. Caligula

    Caligula Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Messages:
    600
    Location:
    San Diego
    Im going to stick with "slow in, fast out". I dont hate my tires and lap times enough to do that to them, heh.
     
  6. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,716
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, California, United States
    #6 wiztecy, Dec 26, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
    If you're running on the track, kiss your rubber mileage good-bye as part of the business. If you're drifting though the corners, its all in the mix.

    With my aggressive daily driving and random drift testing of the Roadster's handling (typically with lower rubber life on the tire) I still manage to get 12-18k out of my Yoko AD0x rears. Where I see most of the wear is on the launch, and with TC on the tires spin some, then stop. That's where I see the most of the rubber going since its done the most. I also have the most aggressive camber people run, and still get these miles. I'm an accelerate hard and brake late type of guy. On the track, I'd rather heat my tires to get more grip than not for better traction. But that's just me since I love sticky tires in corners.

    I also agree, if you know how to drift and understand the balanced geometry of your car as well as having proper drifting skills, you can cut off a great / harsh angle of attack through a turn. I hate entering a turn braking hard like that when I can chop off a serious angle by swinging out the rear end then gain traction and come out of the hot corner as the accelerator is still already fully floored and tires hot. There's a gracefully and balanced system you feel there if you've ever felt it. It works. Honestly you can't do that in a stock configured Roadster, too much understeer, not enough camber/grip, and very, VERY wonky and loose ratio steering. In my stock Roadster the rear swing was very violent to the point of being scary hence why I wanted to address it to be predictable and controllable. Yes we have more weight in the rear end, but that can be adjusted on how you dial in your suspension, alignment, etc. It does not have to be that way.

    Watch many of Chris Harris's videos to see what I mean. He goes balls out into a turn then drifts and straightens out. Beats breaking hard into a turn, compressing the suspension, then accelerating again. Its way smoother and if you get it right the shortest line thought the turn.

    That's why avid racers love a 1.5/2-way diff in the rear. It gives you traction, equal torque to both wheels when you need it both upon deceleration and acceleration as well as a predictable drift through the turn as apposed to an open diff that offsets the torque to the wheels in the wrong way that the driver needs it. For a novice street driver, this can be disastrous. I'm speaking in terms of a driver who has competence, skill, and true understanding on the balance of their vehicle.

    Issue I see in drivers (road) today is that they drive in a "panic" mode. They're not relaxed, and when SH*T hits the fan, they'll take you and your family out without second thought. Understanding how your car handles in an extreme case makes the road a safer place. I really wish all states had a skidpad track where people could just push their car to the limit and throw out that death panic attacks which I see everyday that take lives when things go bad. There should be a wet and dry skidpad that anyone can take their car and test their abilities as well as off camber turns in a down hill transition.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,850
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Drifting is the slow way around a race track. A proper racing line is much faster, but a lot less showy.
     
  8. green1

    green1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,105
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    This! drifting is slow, looks cool, and looks "fast", but it's really faster to just slow down a bit and take the best racing line, it will look slower, but it will actually get you around the track faster.

    There are a few exceptions, actual drift events are sometimes setup such that it's almost impossible to take the corner without drifting as you need to swing your end around sharper than the normal turning radius of the car, and I wonder sometimes if in things like rally where you're often on dirt/gravel instead of tarmac if it might have some advantages.
     
  9. m0rph

    m0rph Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    Messages:
    488
    Location:
    Belgium
    #9 m0rph, Dec 26, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
    [video]http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCEwd0CeezQ[/video]
    My previous car was a M135i, with Eibach ARBs. It's a sh*t car for nannys �� Nowhere near 1M..
     
  10. simonog

    simonog Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    350
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    In general I agree with you if using modern tyres.

    i race a (historic Morgan sports) car on Dunlop L tyres which have little grip in the dry and even less in the wet. Some corners you can only traverse along the racing line by accepting some drift (or very slow). The tyres are fortunately no longer road legal!
     
  11. augkuo

    augkuo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Berkeley
    When I first got the roadster, my rears would only last me 8-9K (Yoko AD7s) and then switched to Michellins which went to about 15-20K. After ~5 years of roadster driving, I'm driving more like a granny now
    and my current rears (Yoko AD7s) have lasted me almost 25K. I also have cast instead of forged wheels on the current car so that will affect my "instantaneous" acceleration as well on the tires.
     
  12. smac

    smac Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,121
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    Chris is clearly a talented driver and I love his videos. Saying that having an ARDS* instructor in the car to give first hand guidance will really accelerate the learning process.


    Rather than take the Roadster to a track and drift it (which I agree can be fun), is it worth seeing if there is a rally school nearby? Rallying is great for learning car control (which is where I think you are going with this rather than best lap times)


    One thing I have done on a track tuition day is to drive single seaters intentionally set up to be massively oversteery. They managed this with a combination of geo, the hardest most plasticky tires at the back, and decent ones up front. These were almost undriveable at first, but once it clicked, you could slide them will. Jumping back into a regular car afterwards was super easy.




    As you point out the weight distribution of the Roadster is similar to the Exige. Both are probably not the best to start drifting in, the pendulum effect of the rear weight bias and low polar momentum can catch you out, especially with an ill judged lift.


    Personally I'm grateful I've done a fair bit of car control tuition and track time over the years, certainly makes you a better road driver, and has saved my bacon at least once when natural instinct would have told me to lift (hitting some oil mid corner at 80mph on some back roads in my old AO48 shod Exige 220)


    So I hope you get some takers, I think education for drivers of fast cars is invaluable, and if I were in your neck of the woods I would have happily turned up (if you'd accept someone turning up with a car that has the "Chassis of the Gods" :p)






    * Not sure what the US equivalent is.
     

Share This Page