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Drift Nirvana Orange course (Pistol Grip) Guide

    Do you want to be able to do this?

    The following write up is a break down of my analysis and Rapper Dan's run posted above for Orange Course. It should be noted that there are many possible lines through this course. The run through will follow what is normally scored during Drift Nirvana solo competition.

    Here is an overhead view of Orange loop courtesy of Google maps.


    Orange course (in my opinion) is by far the hardest course on Shenandoah Circuit. Blue course allows for easy drifting with mostly off camber down hill corners and Green course isn't very dynamic. Orange course doesn't get nearly as much media, but when pulled off, the visuals of a car completing Orange shows measurably more skill than Blue/Green.

    The Run Down

    Here is the basic map of Orange course. The course starts at the top left of the image and ends to the right. The orange dashed line is the suggested line through the course. The red dots are apexes/points of interest.

    Unfortunately, the starting point of orange loop allows for no real time to gain speed for the first corner. As a result, lower hp cars tend to straighten by point #2 and have lost speed to enter into the first left handed corner. The suggestion for low hp cars is to simply drive and not drift through point 2 if they can't complete the next few corners. Speed is key.

    However. High hp cars can generally start in second gear (or third) and power through from #1, press outwards but inner apex again at #2 (0:12). The use of the second inner apex at #2 is to help gain momentum to flick and continue the drift. Without it, the resulting drift tends to be shallow and numerous drivers have straightened.

    Apex #3 (0:16) is normal and at the middle of the corner. The same goes for #4 (0:19). Both of these corners should come easily if and only if the first section of the course was completed properly. As a result, a large amount of speed will be gained and apex #5 (0:12) should come quickly and smoothly.

    The trick from this point on is to slow down while maintaining a good drift. Since the corner is increasing radius, lack of speed from the previous 2 corners will require large amounts of ebraking and perhaps some regular braking as the corner tightens into #6 (0:27). Higher hp cars will probably just need to brake to keep the car from going too far off line. The best method for this section is to simply hug the curbing all the way around. Coming too far out will cause the car to have too much speed for the bus stop.

    #7 (0:28) should be simple enough with basic braking at first, perhaps downshifting, and throttling out of the corner. #8 (0:31) will be an outer apex if the car hasn't slowed down too much. The sign of a good driver is one that can slow down enough for the bus stop but not too much to inner apex #8.

    For scoring, the straight away is ignored but Dan makes it look fun.

    Second Half

    The straight away should be used to get significant speed. Entries into "The Hook" vary around 50-60 mph. Personally, I flew off the track at 70mph. The video kind of skips over #9 (0:38) but the outer apex is generally used to keep momentum up the hill but to also retain as much speed as possible.

    The end of the curbing can be used as an apex at#10 (0:43). The transition to #10 should be seen as a decreasing radius corner throughout despite the fact it's really a tight corner followed by increasing THEN decreasing radii. If apex #9 was hit, this should be easily possible. Without enough speed, a car will straighten midway through the corner.

    After #10, the inside corner can be hugged into #11 (0:45). At about that point, the gas pedal should be used sparingly. Most drivers will either use an ebrake or regular brake to maintain but slow down into #12 (0:50).

    From then on, #13 (0:54) and #14 (0:59) should be basic on throttle, mid corner apexes. They should be simple even if too much speed was lost completing "The Hook". #15 (1:03) as an outer apex will be a sign of completing the second half of the course successfully and with great speed.

    General Tips and Thoughts

    Orange is a very fast course. Entering the second half too slow generally causes drivers to speed up in the middle of "The Hook". This causes their line to push out and go off track to potentially crash into the barriers. Remember that it is a decreasing radius corner.

    The first half of Orange course has a very specific rhythm. Find it and it will carry the car all the way to apex 5 without an issue. From there, it's all up to the car's setup and how the driver handles it.

    If you can't maji a straight, please don't. If you want to practice, expect to enter into "The Hook" improperly.

    Drifting is a game of chess. If the first corner was performed badly, the rest of the corners from there will likely be as bad or worse.