NZ Performance Car - - In­side Line -

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.

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