It’s the win that Kiwi drift legend ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett and Team Magic have worked so hard to get. Earlier this month at Okayama International Circuit, during the final round of the 2018 Formula Drift (FD) Japan Championship, a new king was crowned. It’s a season that has been marked by nothing but successes — from the first qualifying session at round one back in May, to the final battle at Okayama, there was never a point at which Mike didn’t lead the points during the five-round series. And, despite how easy he made it look, the road to getting there wasn’t all smooth sailing, as building a twin-turbo four-rotor and keeping it intact, with the way that Mike pedals it, is a tough task. After dominating the first two rounds, a string of mechanical issues tested the team, and there was only a 22-point gap between him and secondplace-standing Shinji Minowa heading into the final event.
Mike and Minowa battled their way through opposite sides of the tree, culminating in a Mike versus 2017 FD Japan champion, Andrew Gray, final battle. What ensued is said to have been one of the best battles of the season, so close that the judges were split, but, ultimately, Gray took the round win.
Regardless of falling back into second place for the fianal round, Mike had proved the best driver throughout the season and was awarded the championship title, with a decent margin, for his efforts. It’s a win that has been a long time coming for both Mike and his Team Magic with Red Bull team, and, given the numerous challenges faced this season, it’s well deserved — congrats Mikey!