DRIFT SHIFTERS

NZ Performance Car - - Contents -

Ever since we got our first taste of Red Bull Drift Shifters in 2012 on the streets of Auck­land city, we’ve been wait­ing for it to go in­ter­na­tional, which it fi­nally did in 2018, hit­ting the streets of Liver­pool in the UK. ‘Mad Mike’ Whid­dett is a man who knows how to party, and, each time he throws the event, the track lay­out has been built on from the pre­vi­ous one, tak­ing things to the next level in terms of speed and the com­mit­ment re­quired. Hold­ing it on the roads sur­round­ing the docks of Liver­pool al­lowed a much larger lay­out than at pre­vi­ous events, with some large ob­sta­cles, such as the 80m Pier Head Wall Ride and the Mersey Tun­nel en­try gate. Drift Shifter clas­sics like the Un­der­taker and the Fin­ish Box made a re­turn and, as a nod to the Bea­tles — one of Liver­pool’s most fa­mous ex­ports — a yel­low sub­ma­rine ap­peared as a clip­ping point on the street for the event.

To get a sense of just how big the course was com­pared with those of the two Auck­land-based events, Kiwi driver Gaz Whiter in the Smart cookie8 S14, would take hon­ours over Amer­i­can driver For­rest Wang, post­ing the high­est score of the event at 6.29 mil­lion. The 2014 Auck­land-wa­ter­front event was won with a score of four mil­lion by Mike him­self. While load­ing the cars for Liver­pool a few months ear­lier, Gaz made the com­ment that he was just go­ing to send it, and he ex­pected to be load­ing a wreck back into the con­tainer. While it wasn’t that bad, there cer­tainly will be a few re­pairs needed. But when you travel this far for an event, you should do your best to make it count, right?

“I’m stoked to take it [the win] back to New Zealand. We’re so far away from home; we couldn’t go fur­ther in the whole world, and we brought our lit­tle car from New Zealand with the help of Red Bull and Mike, and it’s a bit mind-blow­ing re­ally. I’ll just have to have a few beers and take it in, I think,” Gaz Whiter told Red Bull after the event.

Now the next ques­tion on ev­ery­one’s lips is where in the world will Drift Shifters go next? Let’s hope that we don’t have to wait two years to find out! If you haven’t watched the re­play yet, we have it in full on the­mo­tor­hood.com, so if you have a spare cou­ple of hours, go and watch it.

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