I had previously written about a great way to learn how to drift the right way by documenting my Daughter Christa’s experiences as a total beginner at Taka Aono and Yoshie Shuyama’s Drift School USA. Christa was an experienced kart racer and had just gotten her driver’s license at the time but she was still able to quickly learn the basics with Taka’s great instruction. Now it is 4 years later and Christa is more used to driving a manual transmission, driving bigger cars, and has started to do track days. Christa still isn’t totally experienced because she is very studious and doesn’t have time to do as much driving as she would like to, she only has about 4 track days under her belt. She has done stuff like going from beginner to advanced group in a day with Gridlife so she isn’t a total newb at this point but she is far from being an experienced car racer. We figure her skill level is like a typical MotoIQ reader and her learning experiences should be interesting for those who want to learn how to drift.
Ex-Formula Drift and Team Falken factory driver, Taka Aono has helped Christa a lot in learning drifting and grip driving. Taka is seriously the best driving teacher I know. He taught me how to do basic drifting even when a bunch of my famous Pro FD driver friends had tried and failed over the years. Taka has taught some of my really uncoordinated acquaintances how to drift. Taka has had only one guy he could not teach. A Pro driver who was a shifter kart champion who also raced Formula 3 and Indy Lights successfully. For some reason this guy out of hundreds of men and women of all skill levels was unteachable.
Christa’s thumb is all taped up because she ripped her fingernail somehow doing E-Brake entries. So girls you might want to cut your nails shorter!
Christa just had a quick classroom session with Taka where he talked to her about weight transfer and how to use it to adjust the car’s attitude and move the car around while drifting, he was going to teach her how to drift at higher speeds where this is important. He also taught her how speed and commitment are important, especially in faster drifting. These finer techniques are going to be important, especially when drifting faster in low-powered cars.
Taka had Christa start by doing big donuts in both directions in his school’s S14 to see if she remembered her basics. This car is basically stock with some cheap coil overs, alignment, and a welded diff. The car has been pounded on for many years and is trouble-free. This speaks load for how strong the KA24 is! Christa had actually learned with this car 4 years ago.