A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle, to such an extent that often the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa, also known as opposite lock or counter-steering).
Drifting refers to a driving technique and to a motorsport where the driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns, while maintaining vehicle control and a high exit speed.
Although the origin of drifting is not known, Japan was one of the earliest birthplaces of drifting. It was most popular in the All Japan Touring Car Championship races. Motorcycling legend turned driver, Kunimitsu Takahashi, was the foremost creator of drifting techniques in the 1970s.
While nothing about drifting is simple or easy to do–there’s a great deal of both skill and art to drifting well–the concept itself is very simple: Drifting is when a car breaks traction with its rear wheels, spinning them continuously, typically while negotiating a curve or corner.