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Cars and Coffee crashes: how to avoid looking like a complete idiot in your rear-drive sportscar

Modern rear-drive sportscars are generally docile, but if provoked they will bite, as these videos of Cars and Coffee crashes demonstrate…

HERE ARE SOME drivers who are stupid.

First, you don’t indulge in hoonage anywhere on public streets because it’s dangerous to everyone in the vicinity. Second, most of these are Cars and Coffee crashes which means the event could also get shut down as a result. Finally… if you are going to wheelspin then it might help to possess the skills required to handle the car.

Have a watch so you can see what not to do.

Rear-drive cars are inherently unstable when wheelspinning – the situation tends to get worse rather than better, unlike a front-drive which naturally tries to pull itself relatively straight. Here the Mustang driver is slow to correct the car – he does steer left but it’s too little, too late, and there’s not enough of a lift off the throttle. Then comes the tankslapper, when the car swings back the other way and at that point it’s too late, nobody can catch it.

This one is impressive because there’s no wheelspin at the start, only later. The steering correction is minimal, nowhere near enough lock or applied quickly enough. BMW M4s have stability control…that would have saved this car had it been enabled.

Can’t really tell what happens here, but it’s almost certainly the same problem – too slow to correct with the steering or insufficient steering lock applied, and not slightly backing off the throttle.

Another Mustang proving that you can lose control in a straight line at higher speeds. It’s not just first gear you need to worry about.

Guess what! Yes, insufficient steering lock, too much power, turns into a tankslapper and…disaster.

The next two are of the same crash. The usual problems of steering and throttle, but this time a third one. The driver actually catches the first slide and the second, but appears unwilling to let it go at that and keeps his foot down. That produces a big tankslapper and the police take notice!

 

The tankslapper bites again. If this driver had just backed off after the initial slide he’d have been okay. But no, he had to keep his foot down…

Does this spot look familiar? It should by now. Same again…the initial slide is corrected but not the subsequent.

Really sad to see an AC Cobra crash.

Incredible that nobody was injured.

 It’s not just Mustangs. Even a Hyundai Genesis can be wrecked.

And to finish up, three more Mustangs. There’s nothing more to be written about the causes.

If you are going to accelerate hard in the wet, try leaving stability control on. Or short-shift, which is where you change gears well before redline. And once the car is out of control, slam on the brakes and keep the slammed on.

 

Simple steps to avoid looking like a complete idiot in your rear-drive sportscar

Here are the steps:

  1. Leave stability control ON. You will not go any faster on public roads, your engine will sound just as lovely, and you are far less likely to crash.
  2. Only accelerate when you have the car straight. If you do accelerate when turning, only do so when UNWINDING the steering lock.
  3. Always apply the power smoothly and gently.
  4. If the vehicle still wheelspins, then immediately reduce power slightly, look well ahead and steer where you want to go. And consider yourself a failure even if you control the skid.

Instead of trying to impress on streets:

  • If you want to burn rubber then enter a burnout competition.
  • If you want to drag race then go to the off-street drags.
  • If you want to drive fast then enter a track day.

DO NOT attempt any of this sort of driving on public roads because it’s not legal, safe or sensible. At best, you could wreck your car, or someone else’s, and good luck with the insurance claim as your policy will have exclusions around reckless driving. The police are likely to take a close interest too.

And worst of all…what if you injure or kill someone?

This sort of driving is also a lot harder than it looks, and just because you have done it once or twice doesn’t mean to say the next time won’t bite you hard.

Take it off the street, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy your car safely and legally.

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Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper