Having dominated at Suzuka for round one of the 2018 Formula Drift Japan Championship, ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett followed it up with a solid win at Ebisu Circuit for round two (7–8 July). Qualifying first in his Japan-based ‘HUMBUL’ turbo quad-rotor RX-7, Mike was first up pitted against Daisuke Hara in the Top 32, progressing to face Kazuya Iizuka in the Top 16 battles, and moving on to the Top 8 comfortably.
MAD MIKE SOLIDIFIES FD JAPAN LEADFacing Koishi Yamashita in the Top 8, the team made sure to do their homework and study the previous day’s practice sessions for attacking points: “We had a run in with Koishi Yamashita yesterday during practice and scouted a few of his tendencies going into the battle,” explained Whiddett. “He was quite slow in the inner clip, number one. We were quite cautious coming into that clip, as he semi-parked it against Shinji Minowa in his previous battle. My left foot was kind of hovering over the brake, waiting in anticipation, but we managed to get through unscathed.”
After knocking out Takatoshi Imamaeda in the Top 4, the final battle was set to be a Kiwi vs. Aussie affair, with Mike to battle it out with Nic Wilson. Thankfully for us, he was able to outdrive Wilson. “It was so cool to have an Australasian final battle,” Mike tells us, “I think this might’ve been the first time ever in history of a Japanese pro-drift event to have an Aussie and a Kiwi in the final battle. Now we’ve got a pretty healthy points lead heading into round three at Fuji.”
Fuji carries bigger speeds, which Mike explains is his specialty and the style he enjoys most. The season is looking to continue in a positive way for the Kiwi hero, having won every battle thus far by unanimous decision. Round three will be held 27–28 July.