Mad Mike overcomes all obstacles at Okuibuki

Kiwi drift legend ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett has clinched the win at round four of the Formula Drift Japan series at Okuibuki Motor Park.

Mike’s all smiles after winning at Formula D Japan in Maibara. PHOTO: David Ishikawa.

This is Mike’s second FD Japan round win, after claiming top honours at Ebisu last year in the Haltech-powered, Total Car Produce Magic-prepped ‘HUMBUL’ Mazda RX-7.

Taking the wide line. Mike shows off his drifting skills in front of the local crowd. PHOTO: David Ishikawa.

Mike had an unlucky start to the event when he was involved in a crash with Taichi Hisano during their opening battle. The Japanese driver ran wide into the opening corner, clipping the wall with the rear of his car. Mike had nowhere to go and hit him hard.

Mike (left) with Taichi Hisano (centre) and Taisuke Kawato (right) contemplate the extent of HUMBUL’s damage after an unfortunate accident in the first round. PHOTO: David Ishikawa.

Fortunately, the bulk of the damage was cosmetic and he was able to continue the with the event, beating Takashi Hinome (top 16) and Sheng Nian (top eight) to make it into the top four battlers; accompanied by talented youngster Koujiro Mekuwa, Nissan Silvia S14 driver Takatoshi Imamaeda, and Toyota Supra pilot Yoshichika Tamagawa.

Mike battling Tamagawa-san in his Toyota Supra. PHOTO: David Ishikawa.

Mike made a small mistake in his chase run against Tamagawa, dropping possession to his rival. However, it was countered by a straight-line hesitation during Tamagawa’s chase.

Whiddett was awarded the win and became the first driver to make it into the finals where he was paired against Mekuwa, who had impressed everyone throughout the day with his determined performances in a very ‘street’ looking Nissan Silvia S15.

Mike goes head to head with Koujiro Mekuwa in the Top 4 battle. PHOTO: David Ishikawa

Mike led first and lay down a confident run highlighted by a healthy gap through the final complex to the end of the course, in the chase he was able to place his Mazda all over the rear of Mekuwa’s Silvia, and the judges awarded him the win.

Mike Whiddett poses with team at Formula D Japan. PHOTO: David Ishikawa.

This puts Mike back in the title-fight to take out the championship when the final round at Okayama comes in late October.

PHOTO: David Ishikawa.

PHOTO: David Ishikawa.

PHOTO: David Ishikawa.

PHOTO: David Ishikawa.