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Mad Mike Formula Drift Japan 2018 Champion!

Mad Mike’s triumphant return to Formula Drift Japan has been an astounding success but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Whiddett and the TCP Magic team.

The start of 2018 season could not have gone any better for Mike with two wins out of two rounds. Unfortunately mechanical gremlins struck at the Fuji Speedway forcing Mike out after the first battle.

The TCP Magic team got their mojo back at the Okuibuki Motor Park, with Mike getting all the way to the finals and only narrowly missing out on the top spot. Despite leading the championship on points, the final round at Okayama proved extremely challenging both for Mike and the TCP Magic team.

The first few practice laps were a display of HUMBUL’s brute force and Mike’s focus on winning. Disaster struck on the very last practice lap with the RX7 limping to the pits with a broken driveshaft.

“With only minutes to get the car to the grid I really thought this could be the end. I don’t know how they did it, but Kawato and the guys got it changed and I was able to get back out on the track and get the job done.” – Mad Mike

With a renewed drive and intent to win, Mike quickly advanced to the Top 8 where he faced Banjamin Chiam. Then mechanical gremlins struck again, this time depriving Mike of his primary injectors. Despite that, Mike went on to take a convincing win and moved on to the Top 4 round.

Forging ahead on points with every battle, the Top 4 clash against Kazuya Iizuka ended up being the season decider for Mike. A win would secure him the Formula Drift Japan 2018 Title. The battle was extremely close but the judges unanimously agreed to give the win, and in turn, the 2018 FDJ Title to Mike and the TCP Magic Team.

The final battle was the highlight of the event with the 2017 Champion taking on his successor. Andy Gray took on Mad Mike in what was described as the most spectacular battle of the event. The 2017 champion went out on a high with the judges awarding him the win over Whiddett.

“To win a championship here in Japan, the motherland of drifting, is absolutely insane. I met Kawato-san here at Okayama in 2009, and ever since we’ve never stopped dreaming about the day we could win the championship together in a rotary-powered Mazda. Today we did it.”

“The trophy is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in putting this programme together; it’s a huge task and there’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes. I’m grateful for every single person who has helped me achieve this dream; my family, Toni, Linc and Jett, my team, and all my sponsors and supporters, I can’t thank you enough.”

“This is by far the biggest result we’ve had to date, and true testament to Kawato-san and Team Magic with Red Bull. We did it, we’re #1!” – Mad Mike

Haltech has been a sponsor and supporter of Mad Mike since his early days and we feel proud to be a part of his journey. A victory hard-earned and well deserved!

Photos courtesy of David Ishikawa/Red Bull


“HUMBUL” Mazda RX7FD was built in Japan by Taisuke Kawato and his company Total Car Produce Magic. It is powered by a twin turbo, quad rotor ‘R26B’ which produces not-so-subtle 1200hp and an unmistakeable quad rotor roaring sound. The engine is controlled by an all-Haltech setup with an Elite 2500 at the heart of it all.

Check out our feature on the amazing vehicle here: www.haltech.com/mad-mike-takes-ebisu-new-look-humbul