The General Use of the Clutch
The clutch, used in cars with Manual transmission, is a pedal that disconnects the engine from the transmission system which is used when shifting.
But in the drifting world, it’s used a lot more than just operating the vehicle normally.
The clutch can be used as a tool to make the rear tires lose traction in a corner by applying maximum power to the clutch, transmission, and engine in order to spin the rear tires (assuming the car has an FR Drive-train). This is helpful when you want the car to slide out, and it’s a good alternative to using the handbrake.
Clutch-Kicking and Other Techniques / Tips
Clutch Kicking, or the Clutch Kick, is a technique in which the driver utilizes the clutch to spin the rear tires and force the car to over-steer.
Use is quite similar to using the handbrake in a corner. you simply have to enter a corner and “blip”, or apply the clutch for a short time while applying the gas, in order to get the rear tires spinning. Once the car starts over-steering, disengage the clutch and continue to apply the gas and steer accordingly to continue the drift.
Here’s the process in a little easy-to-read format:
- Turn into a corner.
- Apply the clutch and steer in the direction of the corner while applying the gas until the car begins to under-steer.
- Disengage the clutch and continue to apply the gas while counter-steering to control the drift.
Easy, right? Not really. The Clutch Kick takes practice. A lot of it. Generally, you’ll have no idea how long to apply the clutch, because how the car responds varies depending on the car and power. Some cars are sensitive, and others require you to use the clutch for longer. It’s simply a matter of getting to know the technique. Not only that, you’ll also have to learn to use it correctly and efficiently, because most of the time trying it for your first few times will result in a crash. Again, it’s simply a matter of getting to know the technique inside and out, although generally through a trial-and-error process.
Tips for the Clutch Kick
- It takes practice, don’t get too frustrated trying to use it.
- Pay attention to how your car responds. Some cars are sensitive and over-steer easily, but some aren’t that touchy. Learning to get the right timing for the clutch will give you an idea of how to use it for consistent drifts.
- If it doesn’t work too well, you don’t have to use it. There are many other techniques you can use.
Using the Clutch to Reverse a Drift
There is something that I have recently learned working with the clutch (And by that, I mean just yesterday, April 23rd). You can actually use it to reverse a drift, in the case that the car over-steers too far and is about to enter a spin. This is useful simply because it prevents a crash, which can save you from getting your points from the drift reset.
The process is quite simple:
- If you feel the car is over-steering too far, apply the clutch and apply the gas.
- Apply them until you see the car turning the other direction (Note: If you are late and the car starts to enter a spin, counter-steer and this might aid in correcting the spin, otherwise the automatic counter-steer when drifting should suffice.)
- The car should turn the other direction opposite of the drift’s direction.
- Disengage the clutch when the car is straight.
This will help quite a bit, but it does have it’s drawbacks:
- Applying the clutch and gas for too long when the car starts to correct itself may lead to the car clutch-kicking in the other direction.
- Using this during a spin doesn’t always work, and in some cases can lead the car to spin even harder.
- It takes a while to learn, but is helpful to learn in any case.