How Mad Mike Won FD Ebisu

This coming weekend, the third round of the 2016 Formula Drift Japan series will be battled at out Okayama International Circuit in Chūgoku. Andy Gray from Team Kazama with Power Vehicles is currently leading the championship with a 20-point lead over Seimi Tanaka’s Seimi Style Drift with Toyo Tires entry, but it’s the driver back in 6th spot that could well be the man to beat if his Round 2 performance is anything to go. We’re of course talking about Mad Mike Whiddett.

The Kiwi drifter has had a tough time of late in the Formula Drift Pro series, but at Ebisu Circuit back in late May it all went very right for Team Magic with Red Bull. Not only was Mike’s driving totally on point, but his Total Car Produce Magic 4-rotor twin-turbo FD3S RX-7 known as HUMBUL was dialled in perfectly by its creator Taisuke Kawato, and performed faultlessly.

Tommy Babiarz aka Tomimoto Films was there to shoot the event, and the newly-released 7-minute edit is something really special. Check it out by pressing play above, and then don’t forget to catch the FD Japan livestream this weekend to see if Mike can go two from two.

The Speedhunters

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1

There are few better ambassadors for drifting than Mike, delighted to see him on the top step of the podium. 

Out of interest, when was the last time an FD RX7 won a top pro event?

2

He needs to bring that RX-7 to the US events in Formula D next year. I wanted to believe in the Radbul but it just seems to be holding him back.

3

Looks like Japan has proper arcades, not like our lame arcades where everything is focused on winning tickets.

Question, why do people wear hats that are so big for their noggin?

4

Mad Mike really hits his stride when he drives Humbul.  Radbul is fuckin awesome, but it seems that it is a very inconsistent chassis, more about the big power in the small car cool shit.  The RX-7 is a proven chassis that is light, balanced, and can handle big power better than the MX-5 ever could/can.  It's more ab consistency these days instead of outright style, however, I believe that Humbul has both, leaving me to question as to why he "only" uses it mainly for Japanese events.  He has a big following in the U.S. but it's hard to get behind a dude that is super hyped, but seems to either crash or just outright lose in U.S. events.  But the same dude drives like a damn messiah in Ebisu and gets the gold.  Coincidence?

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I must be the only one who doesn't like Mike's driving style.  There's like zero smoothness to it.  All jerky all the time.

7

Paddy McGrath Dang, I had to think about that for a solid minute. I'm pretty sure it was probably in D1GP during the 2014 season with Masao Suenaga.

8

Go Tommy!!!!!!! You're the man, Mad Mike aint so bad either

9

toddwithrow9 he has so much experience in the rx7 FD chassis, its easier  for him to predict or know the cars behavior. As for the RADBUL mx5 i think he wants something different and interesting which is something drifting is about. It allows him to express himself with such an insane build

10

I watched the whole event live, and to explain how Mike drove is tough. The best way to put it is that he was in the "zone". He was fully immersed, giving 1000% focus, and enjoying the moment.

11

LouisYio Paddy McGrath I was thinking maybe James Deane if he took his SR20 FD out recently? We need international drift records.

12
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Wes_FD3S toddwithrow9 plus the factor of the mx5 having such a small wheelbase with around 1000hp must be like constantly driving on a knifes edge between making it through the corner or spinning/stuffing it into a wall

13

Crazy how Madmike is getting hated, but at least, he's having tons of fun in his Radbul MX-5. I don't think he still find the RX7 interesting to drift, since he knows the car so well (at least that's what I'm seing, he was nailing those tandems!).

14

FrankensteinConnelly Wes_FD3S toddwithrow9 Don't forget the Mazda sponsorship. they wanted a new Miata racing, not an old FD.

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Matt Wood we cant be looking at the same driver, Mike is very aggressive yes, but look at the power plant he has very peaky, high revving Rotory the fact hes mastered it and thrown his own style into his driving you dont like it ? Why because its not same cookie cutter drifting like you are use to watching? look how smooth and aggressive his transitions were on both  hairpins at this round in ebisu...Alexi's commentary was praising him and how smooth he was you want me to believe you have a better eye than Alexi  when it comes to drivers being "twitchy" please do us a favor and keep it to yourself!!

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Mad Mike does so much better at tracks in Japan. Wish it could transfer to the US, as I know he has tons of fans here that are looking for him to podium. His sponsors must have a clause in his agreement, that he must drive the MX5 at all FD events, since I assume they have specific reasons for sponsoring him in that market. I wish he could drive a more consistent car, but the highest paid and most marketed person in any sport is not always the best. The MX5 is a badass car and creates more viral attention than a picture of Mad Mike on an FD podium. 

Just look at Forrest Wang, he gets all the love (and hate... for having too much dope ass angle) and how often do you see him on the podium?

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That was absolutely amazing.  I really liked the videos you had of your tour in North America.  

This video of the coverage of your event in Japan made such an impact because you guys managed to make the FD look so damn good and still killing it!

Keep it up Mike!

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