Here's Proof That It's Quicker to Go Sideways in the Snow

A scientific back-to-back test shows us just how much quicker it is to drift around corners.

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Team O'Neil Rally SchoolYouTube

Ed. Note: This article was originally published December 24, 2018, when the first video appeared online. We've updated this article now that a second video has been released.

Depending on how you drive in snow, you may have a hunch that going sideways through corners can be quicker than trying to maintain traction. While it's certainly more fun (and likely riskier), there's been no real definitive proof comparing the two methods back-to-back. Until now, that is.

Wyatt Knox of the put together a quick video to show how much more time he saves through a snow-packed oval course by swinging the tail out on his Subaru Impreza. Though it's certainly safer to maintain traction, it's a lot slower—Knox was able to shave six seconds off his time by doing the course in maximum-attack mode. By sliding through a corner, you're able to carry more momentum without having to slow down as much—it's why you see it so much with drivers in the World Rally Championship. It's not just to look cool.

Check out the full video comparison below, and remember, don't try this stuff on public roads or with unsuspecting bystanders around.

Update, January 2, 2019: And because Team O'Neil is all about that science, this week Wyatt repeated the experiment in a rear-wheel drive BMW 3-series. Once again, on packed snow, Wyatt finds that it's quicker to let the car get a little sideways—within control.

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