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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the big reasons I bought this car is to learn how to become a better driver. I know the GR86 comes with a free track day with purchase but I don't think similar exp is offered with Subaru. I would really like to learn how to drive this car at the limit in a safe environment. While track days and track driving in general is a great learning tool I know it's not the best/appropriate setting to learn how to do stunt driving like drifts, burnouts, etc. It would be great if there was a driving course that introduced these concepts to a novice driver like myself with proper 1:1 coaching from a professional driver/instructor, but so far I'm unable to find anything like this. Anyone have experience in this area that could provide recommendations other than just finding an empty parking lot and trying to learn DIY-style?

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Loc - Pacific Northwest
Car - Black '22 BRZ Limited, 6MT, no mods.... yet
 

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If you’re in the PNW, go to the School of Drift. It’s run by Chelsea DeNofa, a formula drift Pro 1 driver regarded as one of the best drifters in the US, not to mention a great guy. It’s held at Pats Acres near Portland.

I’m not sure what other experience people have but I’ve built a few drift cars and slid them on track.

I would never, ever try to truly learn to drift in a brand new car anywhere not specifically designated for drifting. It’s way too easy to crash if you don’t know what you’re doing.
 

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Another option, you could goto some autocross events so you get a better feel for the balance before jumping into drifting. Might be a good option here, fairly cheap, very easy to find good experienced people who will ride with you and help instruct you. There is also lots of really good autocross schools. This will teach you the edge of the limits which you need to know for drifting anyway. Then it's an easier step up into drifting school.
 

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Some times SCCA regions will put on test and tune or novice school days for their autocross programs. When we put these on in Atlanta, we'd always set up a skid pad of sorts for folks to practice counter steering and catching the car. However my 2016 BRZ in stock form would not drift much, it was much more prone to understeer in stock form.

I also have friends with drift cars and they are purpose built for drifting and can take the additional abuse (clutch kicking etc) that serious/competitive drifting puts on a car. If your 86/BRZ is your daily driver, I would not suggest doing more than having fun at an autocross course or skid pad. I also SERIOUSLY do not recommend driving around a private parking lot, that is a recipe for many different disasters (legal/property damage etc). Be responsible and find a sanction and insured amateur motorsport event to bring your car to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you’re in the PNW, go to the School of Drift. It’s run by Chelsea DeNofa, a formula drift Pro 1 driver regarded as one of the best drifters in the US, not to mention a great guy. It’s held at Pats Acres near Portland.

I’m not sure what other experience people have but I’ve built a few drift cars and slid them on track.

I would never, ever try to truly learn to drift in a brand new car anywhere not specifically designated for drifting. It’s way too easy to crash if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Thank you for the info this is exactly what I'm looking for! Looks like all classes for '21 are over so emailed to see when the schedule for '22 will be released. From looking over their website it looks like the recommended path for a beginner would be scheduling a couple of half days which is what I think I'll plan on doing first then maybe go into the drift clinic with Chelsea. I'm sure they'll have a lot more info on what prep needs to be done before I arrive on the first day but would imagine I would need another set of wheels and tires with me if I want to drive home afterwards. Otherwise it sounds like I can just bring the car totally stock to the track would you agree?
 

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Thank you for the info this is exactly what I'm looking for! Looks like all classes for '21 are over so emailed to see when the schedule for '22 will be released. From looking over their website it looks like the recommended path for a beginner would be scheduling a couple of half days which is what I think I'll plan on doing first then maybe go into the drift clinic with Chelsea. I'm sure they'll have a lot more info on what prep needs to be done before I arrive on the first day but would imagine I would need another set of wheels and tires with me if I want to drive home afterwards. Otherwise it sounds like I can just bring the car totally stock to the track would you agree?
Again I don't think a stock BRZ is not going to be 'able' to drift easily with the fact the front tires barely have any negative camber. Lack of negative camber = car will push. Also most car manufactures setup up their cars to understeer/push in stock form as it's deemed to be 'safer'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Again I don't think a stock BRZ is not going to be 'able' to drift easily with the fact the front tires barely have any negative camber. Lack of negative camber = car will push. Also most car manufactures setup up their cars to understeer/push in stock form as it's deemed to be 'safer'.
Good to know- appreciate the insight. Sounds like a lot of drift cars are heavily modified in that regard to allow for sliding but I also see a lot of videos of prior-gen stock BRZ's drifting on youtube. The comments in these videos though are filled with recommendations to modify the camber, coils, and brakes.
 

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Good to know- appreciate the insight. Sounds like a lot of drift cars are heavily modified in that regard to allow for sliding but I also see a lot of videos of prior-gen stock BRZ's drifting on youtube. The comments in these videos though are filled with recommendations to modify the camber, coils, and brakes.
Adding negative camber to the front of the car is a must to dial out understeer. Don't get me wrong you can get the previous gen 86/BRZ to drift but I wouldn't recommend it as it will most likely involve something very harsh like clutch kicking or putting donuts on the rear of the car.
 

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2022 Subaru BRZ, WR Blue Pearl
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One of the big reasons I bought this car is to learn how to become a better driver. I know the GR86 comes with a free track day with purchase but I don't think similar exp is offered with Subaru. I would really like to learn how to drive this car at the limit in a safe environment. While track days and track driving in general is a great learning tool I know it's not the best/appropriate setting to learn how to do stunt driving like drifts, burnouts, etc. It would be great if there was a driving course that introduced these concepts to a novice driver like myself with proper 1:1 coaching from a professional driver/instructor, but so far I'm unable to find anything like this. Anyone have experience in this area that could provide recommendations other than just finding an empty parking lot and trying to learn DIY-style?

My info-
Loc - Pacific Northwest
Car - Black '22 BRZ Limited, 6MT, no mods.... yet
If you really want to learn - Take a defensive driving course. Its a safe environment and they will show you everything you need to know - you will be using your own car for most of them. I searched Pacific northwest and found a number of places.

Then join a local car club, and participate in autocross events. You wont be very fast at the start, but its the best option to take before doing actual track days. Very fun and super cheap to do.
 

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Thank you for the info this is exactly what I'm looking for! Looks like all classes for '21 are over so emailed to see when the schedule for '22 will be released. From looking over their website it looks like the recommended path for a beginner would be scheduling a couple of half days which is what I think I'll plan on doing first then maybe go into the drift clinic with Chelsea. I'm sure they'll have a lot more info on what prep needs to be done before I arrive on the first day but would imagine I would need another set of wheels and tires with me if I want to drive home afterwards. Otherwise it sounds like I can just bring the car totally stock to the track would you agree?
When you go they have you drive E36 M3’s. You don’t drift your own car. To drift properly, you need at minimum knuckles for angle, some ebrake mods to get it to lock consistently, and you’d definitely want cooling mods for oil and coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
When you go they have you drive E36 M3’s. You don’t drift your own car. To drift properly, you need at minimum knuckles for angle, some ebrake mods to get it to lock consistently, and you’d definitely want cooling mods for oil and coolant.
Would these mods on a new brz ruin the car for daily-drivability? what about for track days in general would I need to remove these adjustments? Not looking to turn this car into a purpose-built drift machine but would be optimal if I could slide this thing on drift courses a few times a year but still do auto-x and track days as well without having to make a ton of adjustments on the car going from one to the other.
 

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Would these mods on a new brz ruin the car for daily-drivability? what about for track days in general would I need to remove these adjustments? Not looking to turn this car into a purpose-built drift machine but would be optimal if I could slide this thing on drift courses a few times a year but still do auto-x and track days as well without having to make a ton of adjustments on the car going from one to the other.
Unfortunately one way or another you will be compromised, each one of those 3 types of racing benefit from various setup changes. These changes requires thousands of dollars in suspension upgrades and adjustments finely tuned to each type of racing. All of these items will absolutely affect your ability to daily drive comfortably. Unfortunately you are really barking up the wrong tree in trying to make it work for all 3 types of racing. Drifting requires a very specific build and ALOT more tires than autocross or lapping days at a track.
 

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Would these mods on a new brz ruin the car for daily-drivability? what about for track days in general would I need to remove these adjustments? Not looking to turn this car into a purpose-built drift machine but would be optimal if I could slide this thing on drift courses a few times a year but still do auto-x and track days as well without having to make a ton of adjustments on the car going from one to the other.
You COULD drift a stock BRZ. It should really get cut knuckles at a minimum because the angle is really what will save you in a drift. But I think you would have to clarify what level of drifting you want to do. Slide around in a parking lot, nothing. Tandem and bang doors at PARC? Knuckles, cooling, coilovers, seat, harness, ebrake upgrades, and a whole bunch of ain't care.

Also, I really, really want to emphasize as it kind of seems like you don't hear what I am saying, but drifting is insanely hard on a car. If you cannot swap a diff, a clutch, or even a motor you probably shouldn't go drifting. I'm not saying you can't do those things, but simply getting parts like that for such a new car will not be cheap whatsoever. Also, as a beginner drifter there is a super high chance you crash into something or at minimum go off track as I said previously. Words of the wise in drifting is: if you cannot afford to leave the track without the car, you cannot afford to drift it at all. As insistent as you are to go drifting it would probably be best if you just went out and bought a very meh E36 and slid that.
 

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I suggest finding a good HPDE provider in your area. There are many across the country that provide outstanding instruction. With time on track, you will learn to control your car at the limit. It is not drifting / stunt driving, but you learn how to go fast in these cars.

I pick up my new BRZ this week. I had a 2014 BRZ before getting addicted to the track. I have since put about 15000 track miles on my NC MX5 and have lots of BRZ track buddies (momentum car drivers hang together). I look forward to getting the new BRZ on track, though we will see if it becomes my track car.
 

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I suggest finding a good HPDE provider in your area. There are many across the country that provide outstanding instruction. With time on track, you will learn to control your car at the limit. It is not drifting / stunt driving, but you learn how to go fast in these cars.

I pick up my new BRZ this week. I had a 2014 BRZ before getting addicted to the track. I have since put about 15000 track miles on my NC MX5 and have lots of BRZ track buddies (momentum car drivers hang together). I look forward to getting the new BRZ on track, though we will see if it becomes my track car.
That works too. Learning how a car feels on the limit is invaluable for aggressive driving. Now I will say being able to drive on a track fast does not equate to being able to drift/control massive oversteer.
 
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