FD VICTORY FOR MAD MIKE
Kiwi drifter ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett has taken his second-ever first-place carbon-fibre trophy in Formula Drift Japan after a dominating performance at the custom Okuibuki Motor Park, a custom course on an access way to a ski field, which is regularly used for illegal street drifting.
The tight course was challenging but suited Whiddett’s driving style in the ‘HUMBUL’ FD RX-7. After qualifying third at the event, Mike was then involved in a crash during the Top 32 after Taichi Hisano clipped the wall. The team ran the rest of the event with a strop holding the driver’s door closed.
Mike then proceeded to outdrive Takashi Hinome (Top 16) and Sheng Nian (Top 8) first, and then Yoshichika Tamagawa in the Top 4, to earn his spot in the final. After a few upset victories on the other side of the battle tree, Mike then faced off against Kojiro Mekuwa, a young, relatively unknown driver, but with plenty of talent. Leading first, Mike ran a faultless line and gapped the youngster’s S15. On the return battle, he was able to keep on Mekuwa’s tail the entire run, sealing the win and bringing Mike back into championship contention.
Mike is now only 26 points behind current points leader and defending champion Andy Gray heading into this month’s final battle at Okayama, a track that Mike loves for its high-speed commitment. The damage sustained to HUMBUL in the crash was substantial and no doubt Kawato San will be working around the clock to get it back in fighting shape in time.
The latest on the scene, thanks to the boys and girls at AUTOart, are examples from two of the once relatively unknown small workshops–turned– global cult heroes: RAUH-Welt Begriff (RWB) and Tra-Kyoto’s Rocket Bunny. Adding to their already massive line-up of cars, AUTOart has available five colour choices in the RWB 993, each carrying the unique name of its real-life counterpart — as is the tradition for all RWB cars. On the Rocket Bunny side of things, they have the Toyota 86 kitted out with a Rocket Bunny FR-S/GT-86/FT-86 Version 2. The appropriate decals are in place and the tyres sprayed with Nitto branding. It is essentially an 86 as Kei Miura had originally envisioned — only a touch smaller, and friendlier on the wallet.
It’s safe to say that while the scale of these cars is only 1:18, the essence of what makes them cool is still firmly ingrained in the presence of the model versions. And you lucky buggers have the chance to get your hands on a Rocket Bunny 86 thanks to AUTOart — all you’ve got to do is jump onto themotorhood.com, search ‘Living the Scale Life’, find the secret code at the bottom of the page, and message it through to the NZ Performance Car Facebook page to go into the draw.