If this is what it takes to get an AE86 properly sideways, I don’t know if I’m up for it.
This video is an old one, but I had never seen it until I spotted it in the comments of Speedhunter’s great profile of Katsuhiro Ueo, probably the hardest AE86 driver drifting has ever seen. He ran his little Corolla against the most advanced D1GP cars of his day, well past his car had gone obsolete. And he still won, as Speedhunters recounted:
Ueo stuck with the AE86 for 5 years, exhibiting one of the most extreme driving styles, known in particular for his barely believable full throttle flicks that would allow him to throw the car into corners at silly angles and speeds. The “power war” that is to this day going on in D1 forced Ueo to abandon the AE86, a decision that was also taken as D1 organizers were beginning to abandon smaller and more technical circuits like Nikko and Tsukuba in favor of faster tracks like Suzuka and Fuji.
The faster layout of Fuji Speedway was never really a problem for Ueo, his aggressive entrances always keeping the crowds pleased. It was the exit however that caught his NA AE86 out, struggling to accelerate at the same speed as some of the overpowered force-induced machinery, not to mention the lack of dramatic smoke trails.
Nonetheless he managed to grab second position at Fuji in 2005, proving that driver talent was more important than power!
He ended up finishing second at Fuji again the following year!
If you’re wondering how aggressive you have to be at the wheel to pull that off, observe that the answer is: even more aggressive than that.
There is one school of thought that drifting should be driving as smoothly as possible, making as much smoke as possible. This hails from the school of make your driving look as unbelievably sketchy as you can imagine, then throw the car slightly harder than that.