By on August 31, 2012

TTAC has some great Mustang coverage coming your way in about a week, including multiple tests of two different Shelby GT500 models ranging from a 168-mph blast down the back straight of Virginia International Raceway to a pedestrian-frightening growl through the streets of downtown Toronto. We’re busy writing apology notes to Ford for the state of the tires on the VIR car — are those cords? — so in the meantime we’ll distract you with this question: What’s faster around a racetrack: a “drift car” or a “race car”? In this video, NASA regional director Chris Cobetto and awesome drift dude Vaughn Gittin, Jr. try to create some suspense out of a foregone conclusion. There’s a more exciting video — for road racers, anyway — after the jump.

Most racers will spend that entire video yelling “COME ON, JUST PUT A FENDER ON THE GUY ALREADY, YOU’VE DONE IT TO EVERYBODY ELSE IN NASA!” Just kidding, Mr. Cobetto. If nothing else, the video shows how difficult it is to make road racing look exciting to an audience which can’t feel just how frightening it can be to ride in a fully-prepped vehicle on the limit of grip. One mistake and you’re in big trouble. Oh, do we have video of something like that? Yes we do:

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9 Comments on “Mustangs: Drift v. Race...”

  • avatar

    The other area a race car will win is in tire life. The race just has to be one lap longer than the drifting cars tire life expectancy ;-)

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    Just hit pause at the 0:57 mark. The drift car is 3200 pounds with 463HP and the track car is 3600 pounds with 424HP.

    I’ll continue watching, but why the difference?

    • 0 avatar

      You noticed that there’s no “glass” on the drifter car, it’s just a sheet of plastic. Same in the interior. I’m assuming that the drifter car is just about as light as you can make a Mustang without going to plastic body parts.

      The road racer probably can’t meet regs going that light.

  • avatar

    Took me a couple of views to figure out what I was supposed to be watching in the second video. Thought Cobetto was pitting at first.

  • avatar

    TTAC review of the GT500 – sweet!

  • avatar

    If the “race” had gone two laps, the drift car would have been well behind. It’s clear that Gittin was holding Cobetto up in the corners, and since he had a better power to weight ratio, he could just hold the grip car off on the straights. Cobetto was faster through the corners but as they said at the outset, Gittin’s drifting was taking up the entire track and there was no room to pass.

    I’m no racer, but it seems to me that in some cases drifting might be the fastest way through an individual corner but I can’t see it being able to record a faster lap drifting in every corner.

  • avatar

    This reminds me of playing games online, people would drift and get in the way. Its annoying and belongs in Ridge Racer.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t play online, but on Forza (3 and 4) I mostly try and fail to drift to get the achievements.. every other time I’ve had that [Drift: 1out-of4] thing come on has been by accident because I tend to prefer cars in that game that sacrifice handling for acceleration and learn to break with the steering.

      That’s a Very fun thing in 4.. Sure people poke fun at Muscle Cars for piss-poor breaks and handling and the Mustang II was the worst among even that lot, but in Forza 4 it’s in the F class. Oh it’s just so entertaining to go up against a gaggle of city-cars which are mediocre in All stats with a muscle-car that’s hyper-specialized in one area.. going from back of the pack to the 3rd position before half the field has even cleared the start line makes me giddy. ^-^

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