Posted on November 22 2017
You’ve logged dozens of hours on the track, you’ve honed your drift technique, and you’ve got all the mods on your car for competitive standards, you have spent hours practicing drifting games for PS4. Now it’s time to see how your drift stacks up against everyone else’s.
It’s time to compete in a UK drift event!
If you want the thrill of competition while still having a great time with your mates, look no further than DriftCup. A throwback to the grassroots halcyon days of drifting, DriftCup is not only a laid back drift event without the flare and ego of a big drift competition, but it’s a place to challenge yourself while continuing to learn advanced techniques from your peers.
Plus, you can win a sweet trophy at the end.
Interested? Here’s everything you need to know for DriftCup.
Introduction to DriftCup
DriftCup was created in 2014 by the same team behind the British Drift Championship. Originally a three-round mini-series aimed at grassroots UK drifters, the recent HEL Performance DriftCup was a five-round event spread across the UK.
Rather than focusing on victory, DriftCup puts fun and showmanship at the heart of its tournament. With an emphasis on improving your skills in a relaxed environment, DriftCup is a response to the increasingly corporate and money-oriented mainstream drift competitions that have spawned over the years.
However, building a car to compete in high-end competitions comes with an astronomical price tag. For many, that takes the fun out of what drifting is all about: simply enjoying yourself, your car, and the company of your mates as you rip up turns and drift in style.
Each round of DriftCup is held at a popular UK drifting course. It’s not surprising to see fellow drifters entering the full season of DriftCup just to practice and participate on each track. From Driftland to Teesside Autodrome, you’ll get to shred across famous courses while touring a pretty large chunk of the UK.
DriftCup is much more lenient than it’s big BDC brother when it comes to car and driver regulations, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare.
The maximum number of cars per round is 60. Each round includes a practice run, two qualifying runs and a knockout style top 32 final. Once you start a qualifying round, you can’t swap your car.
It’s recommended that your car is built to the same standards and regulations found in the British Drift Championship. You can find the whole BDC list here. Keep in mind these are just recommendations, not everything on the BDC list is required.
Let’s take a look at the essentials for competing in DriftCup.
- Your car must be RWD. 4WD cars are allowed, but only if they’ve been converted to RWD. - Your car must be structurally sound and in good working condition. Loose panels, fluid leaks and fibre glass doors are NOT allowed. - Your car must be fitted with a bolt in 6-point roll cage and include a minimum of one door bar for both the driver and passenger side. - Your car must have a fixed back seat. - Your car must have a handheld fire extinguisher with at least 1kg capacity. - You need to have a 4-point (or better) harness fitted. - Front bumper bars and mounts must be no larger than 25mm in diameter, or thicker than 1.5mm. They can’t extend beyond the centre line of your car’s wheels when viewed from the front. - Slick or cut slick tyres are NOT allowed. Your tyres must be E marked.
Must have a valid driver’s license. Must wear a helmet and gloves at all times while on the track. Must cover arms and legs at all times. Overalls are recommended, and should be fireproof if worn.
Cost£795 to compete in a full DriftCup season. £159 to compete in a single round of DriftCup.
Drifting is a judged sport. Your performance across a variety of criteria ultimately determines your score in both the qualifying and final rounds.
Your qualification round is used to determine whether you’ll make it to the main event. It also decides who you’ll face in a head-to-head event. During qualification, you get two solo runs to impress the judges. Your final score will be tallied out of 100.
What criteria do judges look at? Let’s take a quick look.
The line, or racing line, is a pre-set path that the judges expect you to adhere to throughout the course. Along the line are “clipping points” or “clipping zones,” special marked areas along the track that you need to get as close as possible to.
Judges are looking at your drift angle, any visible understeer, and seamless transitions from one direction to another.
Judges are looking at a variety of elements when it comes to style: fluid transitions, minimal steering corrections, commitment to turns, accelerating through the course, tyre smoke and noise, to name a few.
A target speed is determined during practice. In general, you’re awarded +0.25 points for each mph you go over the target speed, and -0.25 for every mph under.
You’ll lose points during your qualification runs if you break or lose a drift, spin, run off track or come to a complete stop.
Looking Ahead: Future Races
If you’re set on competing in DriftCup, but you’ve got eyes on a bigger prize, then you should begin preparing for BDC. Your car will need to pass a technical inspection in order to remain eligible.
It’s worth going through the whole list of regulations here, but if you’re looking for a quick overview, we’ve got you covered. Some things to note about BDC regulations:
Roll cage construction is very specific. If you haven’t installed a roll cage into your car yet, then you might as well adhere to BDC’s requirements. Additional safety requirements include: complete removal of carpeting, passenger seats, air conditioning, roof-lining, radio and unnecessary interior parts. Exhaust sound levels need to be within regulation. Fireproof racing suit is mandatory.
DriftCup is an excellent event for both amateur and professional drifters to come together in the spirit of drifting. Regardless of how much experience you have, DriftCup is open to anyone wanting to participate. Even if you’re not the competitive type, there’s plenty of people to befriend, drifting tips to learn, and cars to drool over. Pack your bags and head down- see you on the track!