Saturday, May 26 05:29pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

'Mad Mike' Whiddett qualifies third in Formula DRIFT Japan opener

‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett has qualified third ahead of Sunday’s Formula DRIFT Japan season opener at Suzuka Twin Circuit.


Whiddett debuted a new livery for ‘HUMBUL’ to fall in line with his Red Bull fleet of rotary-powered Mazda drift weapons.


His first run put him straight to the top with a 92-point effort. Driving the Team Magic with Red Bull quad-rotor Mazda RX-7 FD3S he excelled in style over the competition.


Whiddett dragged the car along the wall through outer zone one, then carried on that high speed momentum into outer zone two. Whiddett hit all the clipping points while bashing the limiter.


Whiddett scored 38 out of 40 for the style score and 27 for both line and angle. He stood atop the order by seven points, but only briefly. Kouichi Yamashita took the top spot by one point.


The Japanese drifter topped the style score so the only improvements for him were in angle and line.


After the first run through the field Whiddett was second overall.


Kanta Yanaguida lay down an equal best score to that of Yamashita, which meant the second best score was taken into account. With Yanaguida on 85 and Yamashita only able to get a 74, Yanaguida took pole position.


Whiddett threw his car backwards into the first zone but was wide of the wall and that put him just wide of the second outer zone too. That compromised his line and didn’t set him up well for the second part of the run.


It was a disappointing score of just 76 points, but by the end of the competition the 92-point run was enough to get third.   


Whiddett will take on the top-32 on Sunday at 3:00pm NZST.


Photo: Red Bull/David Ishikawa