So much of driving comes down to cold, hard mechanics and engineering. Know precisely how your car operates and you’ll be able to maintain it and drive it just fine for the majority of its life. But sometimes driving can be more than that, it can become an art form of its own. Watching a car slide and glide through tight turns, the driver deftly maneuvering the vehicle in ways its creator may have never even thought possible, it’s a thing of beauty and even at times awe inspiring thanks to the skill and confidence on display. Some may argue that drifting isn’t an art, but I’d go so far as to say that anyone who thinks that hasn’t seen it done well (if they even know what it is to being with). This list exists to show off some of the best drifting on the planet, all of it done by experienced (and often professional) drivers. In other words, don’t try this at home, kids.
Drift All-Stars 2013
This is a beautifully produced bit with some of the best drivers in the UK and Europe showing up to show off their rubber-burning, tire sliding skills on this closed-circuit street course in Lithuania.
JDM All-Stars Drift Festival 2008
Film at the 2008 event in London, this video isn’t a slickly produced as the previous one but the driving on display and the variety of cars is excellent (some of the precision here is absolutely nuts with how close the drivers get to the walls), plus you get some helpful explanation that illuminates why some of this is so impressive (beyond the immediately obvious).
Motorcycles Vs. Car
When one thinks of drift racing, motorcycles aren’t often what immediately come to mind. For one, it’s not all that common and, two, it’s extremely difficult. (Which would explain the first reason.) But here we’ve got a fun and funny video that shows off some highly impressive motorcycle drifting as riders Nick “Apex” Brocha and Ernie Vigil ride their Triumph Triple Speed bikes sideways as they attempt to evade “Officer” Dan Brockett in his 550 horsepower Ford Mustang Cobra.
Ken Block Vs. Universal Studios
Professional rally racer Ken Block has some serious skills behind the wheel and this is a perfect display of just what he’s capable of. Block (in his custom Ford Fiesta) tears his way through the Universal Studios backlot, past rides and old sets, through a soundstage and eventually across a street scene. It’s a wild sequence that shows off the breadth of Block’s skills behind the wheel. It’s unlike just about anything you’ve likely ever seen when it comes to driving.
Ryan Tuerck Vs. Oregon Trail
Ryan Tuerck is one of the undisputed kings of drifting and this is easily one of the best videos to show off why. Despite the squealing tires, the smoke and the roar of the engine, there’s a grace and fluidity to what Tuerck pulls off on this unnamed road in rural Oregon. It’s beautiful, in a way. There are no judges, no screaming fans, no flashy editing, no gimmicks at all. Just pure, skillful driving across a gorgeous landscape in a souped up GT86. Tuerck is eventually joined by fellow Formula driver Rob Primo in a Nissan Silvia.