| | Driving technique. Drafting
Many people love driving and thus keep an account of the various driving techniques that are involved in the driving of vehicles on the road. Drafting is one such technique that is mainly applicable for racing games, be it on video games or on the road.
It is a technique used for gaining speed using the trailing wind of other vehicles while following the vehicle closely. However, many people confuse between ‘drifting’ and ‘drafting’. Drifting is a completely different game mechanical term while the meaning of drafting is completely different. In case of racing cars, racers gain points by drafting behind other cars. This way a racer can increase the speed of his vehicle more than the car of his competitor and can strive to win the competition.
Even if the vehicle has a much greater speed than your vehicles, the process of drafting makes it easier for you to pull your car out and speed across the competitor’s car. However, you must be cautious that the vehicle at your back may use the same technique to throw you at his back.
The racing cars are designed in such a manner that they could create an air pressure bubble at the front of the car and a small vacuum behind the car’s structure so that the car get a thrust and moves with double the speed forward. However, an aerodynamics detailing applied to the car can reduce the drag so produced by the car’s engine. Drafting is actually a method of tailgating or slipstreaming that occurs when another car comes closer to the first car and fills the vacuum partly.
As an obvious result, the first car loses some of the drag it had achieved at its rear by earlier discussed methods. Although the first car has more air resistance in front but the vacuum at its rear persists. Because of this combined effect, both the car quickens a bit.
The process of drafting makes the combination of the speeds of both the cars a few miles faster than one car can alone do. Drafting increases the car’s speed by few miles by push- and- pull methods that are more effective in the case where the second car is much closer to the first car. Thus, the gaining in speed through the process of drafting is inversely proportional to the extent of closeness that the cars achieve.
There is also a tricky maneuver known as “bump drafting” where the approaching car at the back may even touch and push the car at the front.
The benefit of this is that, by tailgating so closer to the first car, the airflow into the following car’s radiator is hindered. As a result, the engine gets overheated. One main demand required to practice drafting is the appropriate car length. However, motorcycles, and bi-cycle racers do not get the facility of drafting because a bicycle racer or a motorcycle biker cannot generate the forward aero push that the cars are advantageous to do.
There are various ways of drafting applied by the racers to gain speed during the racing competitions, like, the slingshot and the ‘bump and run’ techniques. In sling shot, when a leading driver sees a drafter is ‘pedaling back’, the leader slows proportionally to defend his position and gain room so that he is able to maintain a small gap between the vehicles and not cause any undesirable effects on the track.
While in the case of a bump and run draft, the drafter intentionally and physically nudges the rear of the car in front so that the traction is loosen. Although this type of drafting tactic is common on short tracks too, a drafter should be extremely cautious while drafting as any wrong move or any sharp blow could lead to fatal accident for the leading driver.