Mad Mike Whiddett

2017 Formula Drift Japan Round 1: Suzuka [RESULTS]

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Formula Drift kicked off their Japan series over the weekend at Suzuka circuit with a field of thirty drivers. In the end, Koichi Yamashita took home the event win over Shinji Minowa, while Takahshi was awarded third place over Sheng Nian due to qualifying higher. Recapping some former Formula Drift USA drivers, Masashi Yokoi qualified 2nd and lost in the top 8 to Shinji Minowa, Andy Gray qualified 3rd and lost in the top 16 to Ikuo Saito, while “Mad” Mike Whiddett qualified 10th and was also taken out by Minowa in the top 16.

Round 2 will take place on June 10th & 11th at Ebisu Circuit.

Here’s a look at the final results from Round 1:

1st – Koichi Yamashita
2nd – Shinji Minowa
3rd – Kazumi Takahashi

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Irwindale

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10. Mad Mike Should Be Furious
The deal with Mad Mike was a mess. Ken Gushi was at fault for an accident and Mad Mike was limited to a ridiculous 10 minutes to fix his car and then a competition timeout to have his car running. I think the series needs to push for a “10 minute minimum time to fix car” this way we aren’t holding up the show for a final battle but if we have a 90 minute break. Let the damn guy fix his car, run, and entertain the fans paying a ridiculous amount of cash to watch drifting. Poor Ryan Tuerck fans got to see him run ONE tandem battle all weekend and he landed on the podium (more on that later). Anyway, Mad Mike threw his steering wheel out of his car on the Livestream and fair play to the guy. He should be beyond pissed off that the series made this ridiculous rule preventing him from running in the first place. A terrible way for him to wrap up a season of bad luck. He did release an awesome video of him drifting in South Africa today which seems much better than the fact that someone also stole his HARO BMX bike.

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9. Odi Bakchis Makes the Stand Up Move
Odi Bakchis finished this season in fourth place which was one better place than 2015 when he finished in fifth. During his battle with Forrest Wang his 240sx broke on entry on what was sent to be one of the best battles of the night. In fact, Odi Bakchis asked his spotter to tell the judges/FD staff that the contact was his fault because his car broke. An interesting and respectable move considering he could of finished third for the season by beating Forrest Wang in that battle.

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8. The Occassion Finally Got to Aasbo
Fredric Aasbo drifts lap after lap at track after track all year round at such a consistent level you could probably put a baby to sleep in his passenger seat. However, at Irwindale Speedway he made a huge error battling Matt Field that I cannot remember ever seeing before. He surged into Matt Field in tandem resulting in them having an accident that Aasbo was at fault for. This just shows how hard a back to back championship run can be.

TylerMcQuarrie.Camaro

7. Tyler McQuarrie Hit More
Tyler McQuarrie was hit more this weekend in his poor Camaro but he didn’t have the Irwindale podium performance I hoped was coming. He has done a ton of driving this year in various motorsports and maybe it has hurt him more than helped him? I wonder if he has started to develop a little of a unique drifting style from his other driving skills that has resulted in him being hit over and over and over again. Not really sure but I want to see Tyler McQuarrie back in his super focused form next season with the Camaro. Did anybody count how many times this car got hit this season? Geez

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10 Things I Learned at Formula Drift Texas

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10. Great Layout and Formula Drift Texas Gets A-
I liked the layout this year and the how the event ran/flowed as a whole. Formula Drift gets tons of criticism from all angles so when they do something really well I want to stop and take the oppurtunity to give them credit. The judging was pretty spot on with the exception of Ryan L. once who picked Aasbo when their was no scenario on earth he won but we cannot all be perfect. Texas has been an event with protests, drama, delays, and bad accidents in years past so it seems like they finally got this layout to work and I am looking forward to it next season.

FormulaDTexas
9. Looking Ahead to a Possible Lackluster Irwindale?
Chris Forsberg finished second at Texas after beating Aasbo in the Great 8 which kind of puts a damper on the Formula Drift Irwindale drama. With a podium or finishing two places about Aasbo at Irwindale Forsberg will lock down his third championship. Considering he has hopped on the podium the last six events in a row it seems like it could happen again. Vaughn is eliminated if Forsberg lands in the Great 8 so really it’s a repeat of last year at Irwindale with a larger points gap.
ChelseaDeNofa
8. Where Did It All Go Wrong for Chelsea DeNofa?
Chelsea DeNofa made some serious efforts to run this weekend in Texas by loaning a local Pro Am car and giving it hell but you have to wonder where it all went wrong. Just six months ago we watched DeNofa win his first career event and establish himself as a championship player. Two events later he was removed from grid for having glue on his tires and now after seven rounds he finds himself in 15th place and 288 points behind Chris Forsberg. Talk about the highs and lows of a Formula Drift season.

KennethMoen
7. Has Kenneth Moen Thrown in the Towel?
Kenneth Moen missed another round of Formula Drift and currently sits 29th in the championship points standings. In a realistic world, if the grid was more complete he would be relegated to Pro 2 for next season with a points score of 136 points through seven rounds. His style is so awesome it will be a shame if he doesn’t return for 2017.

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2016 Formula Drift Japan Round 3: Okayama [RESULTS]

AndyGray-Okayama-Winner

Formula Drift Japan Round 3 not only counts as the third round of the Formula Drift series but also counts as the eighth round of the Formula Drift World Championship competition. Chris Forsberg, Andy Gray, and “Mad” Mike Whiddett were the only drivers from the Formula D USA series to drive at this event. Andy Gray would have the most success at the event, winning the round by defeating Kazuki Hayashi in the final round. Forsberg and Whiddett would both lose in the top 16, with Forsberg losing to Hayashi and Whiddett losing to Ikuo Saito.

Here’s how the final results played out at Okayama:

1st – Andy Gray
2nd – Kazuki Hayashi
3rd – Masaki Kasahara
4th – Masashi Yokoi

According to our calculations, here is how the Formula D World Championship standings sit after 8 of 10 rounds. In order to be eligible for the World Championships, drivers must have participated in one of the two rounds in Japan:

1st – Chris Forsberg – 454 Points
2nd – “Mad” Mike Whiddett – 264 Points
3rd – Matt Field – 260 points
4th – Andy Gray – 197 points

 

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift’s Canada Invasion

JustinPawlak
10. Justin PAWLAKKKKK – WOW!
Justin Pawlak’s drifting was on another planet this weekend. He looked to be back to his old insane FC Mazda RX-7 style that everyone just loved so much. Perhaps he is just growing into the S550 Ford Mustang chassis? Either way, if he can keep it together a little more I think he is a serious threat for the remaining part of 2016. Let’s also not forget to mention, he threw in some super insane entry against Vaughn following that didn’t quite work out, then managed to catch up to Vaughn and he tried to punt him off the track. Love it! If you go back into qualifying videos and watch his runs you will be impressed 100%.

OdiBakchis
9. Odi Bakchis Has Turned a Hyundai into Gold
After years and years of watching people struggle to drift a Hyundai chassis you really have to tip the hat to Odi Bakchis as a suspension wizard. He makes his Genesis couple look and drift just like his Nissan 240sx and probably needs to receive a couple million dollars of Hyundai marketing money to help continue making their platform look so viable. Odi would be in the championship chase for me this year if he wasn’t just so conservative in his tandem chases sometimes. He needs to break that mental barrier of conservative in his head and find that bit of flair and he could run the whole way. He did really step up the game I felt like this weekend and should be recognized for it.

JarodDeAnda.StreetDrivenTour
8. The Best Commentary Setup in Formula Drift History
Two things made this the best commentated event in Formula Drift history and I just hope Formula Drift can figure out how to keep doing it the future. #1, Ryan L. as a judge explaining things is genius even though I feel like it could pull away from his judging focus. Explanations are great and at least informing people is a huge plus (although I doubt most are listening/paying attention). #2 and more important is that Formula Drift had live commentary for the crowd itself. That means that Ryan Sage and Jarod DeAnda could focus on broadcasting a TV like show over the air and it worked like a charm. Nothing makes everyone want to turn off the Livestream more than when Jarod is asking for people to do the wave at Irwindale and you are sitting in your parents damp basement eating a PBJ sandwich. The overall quality of production just seemed so much better and it was great to hear the crowd randomly roaring up without being prompted in my ear. Just my .02 cents on that.

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2016 Formula Drift Round 5 in Canada Qualifying [RESULTS]

ForrestWang.Qualifying

Forrest Wang got pretty wild with a top qualifying run after coming out of retirement (watch run). Only 28 drivers made the trek over the border and just 27 of them managed to get a score. Tyler McQuarrie crashed in practice and was unable to fix the car before his qualifying runs. The notable drivers we documented missing from this weekend were Pat Morduant, Kristaps Bluss, Alex Heilbrunn, Kenneth Moen, and Jeff Jones were all missing from the roster. Local star Marc Landerville was added to the competition this weekend and he managed to qualify 11th. Here is how the scores stacked up:

1. Forrest Wang 92
2. Ryan Tuerck 89
3. Justin Pawlak 89
4. Chelsea DeNofa 88
5. Fredric Aasbo 88
6. Dai Yoshihara 88
7. Alec Hohnadell 87
8. Odi Bakchis 86
9. Matt Field 85
10. Chris Forsberg 85
11. Marc Landerville 84
12. Pat Goodin 84
13. Matt Coffman 83
14. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 83
15. Kyle Mohan 81
16. Andrew Gray 81
17. Geoff Stoneback 81
18. Ken Gushi 80
19. Michael Essa 80
20. Charles Ng 79
21. Robbie Nishida 79
22. Dean Kearney 79
23. J Castro 77
24. Cameron Moore 75
25. Mad Mike Whiddett 73
26. Faruk Kugay 70
27. Juha Rintanen 56
28. Tyler McQuarrie 0 (DNR)

Left Bracket
Forrest Wang vs. BYE
Andrewy Gray vs. Geoff Stoneback
Odi Bakchis vs. Mad Mike Whiddett
Matt Field vs. Cameron Moore
Chelsea DeNofa vs. BYE
Matt Coffman vs. Charles Ng
Fredric Aasbo vs. BYE
Pat Goodin vs. Robbie Nishida

Right Bracket
Ryan Tuerck vs. BYE
Kyle Mohan vs. Ken Gushi
Alec Hohnadell vs. Faruk Kugay
Chris Forsberg vs. J Castro
Justin Pawlak vs. BYE
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Michael Essa
Dai Yoshihara vs. Juha Rintanen
Marc Landerville vs. Dean Kearney

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift New Jersey Round 4

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10. The BMW chassis is looking Hot in 2016
Man, the BMW chassis is looking like it should be hot property after this drift season. BMW has seen a podium at 75% of the events this year and some of the most notable drifting has come from the likes of Essa, Moen, Heilbrunn, Bluss, and DeNofa all in the BMW camp. The changes in the series seem to favoring this chassis in a big way.

VaughnGittinJr
9. Vaughn Gittin Jr. Ties Sam Hubinette for Event Wins Record
Vaughn Gittin Jr. battled his good friend Chris Forsberg in the finals at Wall Speedway and won! It was also a tie-breaker between the two friends. Chris Forsberg and Vaughn Gittin Jr. both had 8 event wins going into this event in New Jersey. It also happened to be a home track for both drivers who grew up within hour of Wall. Tons of narrative and storyline here as Vaughn Gittin Jr. prevailed and tied the record holder Sam Hubinette now with 9 event victories. An even crazier point made by our stats guru Jacob Leveton, Vaughn’s first win actually came after Sam Hubinette’s last win of their respective careers.

ForrestWang
8. Forrest Wang Retirement is Tough to Swallow
Forrest Wang retiring from Formula Drift is a tough one to realize and swallow for fans. He has the best drifting style in Formula Drift but all good things must come to an end. I also see him coming back before the end of this season but that is just pure speculation that I have no evidence for. I am kind of bummed that the Wang/Forsberg battle managed to overshadow what was a super exciting event. If you missed the event or have live under a rock, here is our analysis of the Top 16 battle.

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2016 Formula Drift Round 4 New Jersey Qualifying [RESULTS]

DaiYoshihara

Here is the qualifying results from a gorgeous day in New Jersey. Only 30 drivers managed to get points this weekend leaving two bye runs for the top qualifiers into the Top 32. Dai Yoshihara looked insane during qualifying with two 93 point runs to lock in first place on Odi Bakchis on a style score tie breaker.

1. Dai Yoshihara 93
2. Odi Bakchis 93
3. Chelsea DeNofa 92
4. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 91
5. Fredric Aasbo 90
6. Ryan Tuerck 89
7. Chris Forsberg 88
8. Robbie Nishida 87
9. Alex Heilbrunn 84
10. Tyler McQuarrie 84
11. Ken Gushi 82
12. Justin Pawlak 82
13. Krisptas Bluss 81
14. Matt Field 80
15. Michael Essa 78
16. Alec Hohnadell 78
17. Dean Kearney 77
18. Jhonnathan Castro 76
19. Charles Ng 75
20. Andy Gray 75
21. Kyle Mohan 75
22. Juna Rintanen 75
23. Forrest Wang 74
24. Geoff Stoneback 74
25. Matt Coffman 73
26. Jeff Jones 72
27. Pat Goodin 72
28. Pat Mordaunt 64
29. Cameron Moore 55
30. Faruk Kugay 54
31. Mad Mike Whiddett Did Not Run
32. Kenneth Moen Did Not Run

Tandem Bracket Left
Dai Yoshihara vs. BYE
Alec Hohnadell vs. Dean Kearney
Robbie Nishida vs. Matt Coffman
Alex Heilbrunn vs. Geoff Stoneback
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Cameron Moore
Kristaps Bluss vs. Andrew Gray
Fredric Aasbo vs. Pat Mordaunt
Justin Pawlak vs. Kyle Mohan

Tandem Bracket Right
Odi Bakchis vs. BYE
Michael Essa vs. Jhonnathan Castro
Chris Forsberg vs. Jeff Jones
Tyler McQaurrie vs. Forrest Wang
Chelsea DeNofa vs. Faruk Kugay
Matt Field vs. Charles Ng
Ryan Tuerck vs. Pat Goodin
Ken Gushi vs. Juha Rintanen

10 Things I Learned About Formula Drift Orlando

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10. Can Jhonnattan Castro Keep Finding that Potential?
The last time I remember Castro driving this good was at Homestead in Miami two season ago. He actually looked solid and consistent out of the box and it wasn’t the biggest shock to me when he took out Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 16. Jhonnattan needs to spend some serious time figuring out why he manages to drift so good in Florida. I cannot figure out if its because he is close to home, the humidity, his family/friends around, or just a random round he focuses in on drifting. He has the driver ability and talents in my eyes. Now, he just needs to dig up what makes him more focused and repeat repeat repeat.

ChrisForsberg.Slow
9. Chris Forsberg’s 370z Looked Slow and Off the Pace
This season seems to of left behind Chris Forsberg’s 370z in terms of pace and speed around the course. All weekend at Orlando Speed World his car looked visually slower than some other teams on the grid. This was highlighted in a major way with his battle against Kristaps Bluss in the Final Four. If you watch the runs, Forsberg enters on Bluss door but then the BMW just powers through the course and speeds up at angle around the bank and Forsberg’s 370z cannot seem to do that. The car isn’t so slow that is belongs in Pro 2 or anything but his speed while drifting could make the difference between a third championship and finishing fourth place.

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8. Drifting without Tires
The rule changes with a tire debead seemingly have confused about 90% of Formula Drift fans out there. I will try and clear it up quickly but it might require its own follow up post. Last year the rule was – a tire debead at anytime in a tandem battle resulted in a loss. In 2016, the rules state you cannot fix a tire debead but it does not result or impact a zero score. So, for example, Jeff Jones in qualifying lost a tire and kept drifting around the course. He was given a 70 for his run and the tire had no impact directly on the score but you have to imagine it slowed him down impacting his score from him having say, four tires. So, if you are in the first part of a tandem battle, you lose, because a car without a tire doesn’t pass tech to run again. If its the second run of a battle and you can keep going then its fair game. Now, here are the list of battles impacted by this rule. I respect Formula Drift for putting a line in the sand and I think teams need to figure out other ways than running 11 PSI in tires to get grip out of the car. Also, in the case of JTP – let the dude put air in his tires for crying out loud after contact and deflation.

1. Nate Hamilton Pro 2 Top 16 Battle (Loss Due to Tire Debead)
2. Mad Mike Whiddett Top 32 Battle versus Ken Gushi (Loss Due to First Round)
3. Fredric Aasbo Top 16 Battle vs Kyle Mohan (Loss Tire in follow and still won)
4. Justin Pawlak Top 16 Battle after contact with Forsberg (Ran but Spun Due to Low Tire Pressure)
5. Fredric Aasbo Final 4 Battle with Tyler McQuarrie (Lost on First Run and Tire Remounted)

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2016 Formula Drift Japan Round 2: Ebisu [RESULTS]

FDJapan-MadMikeWhiddett

The third round of the Formula Drift World Championship and second round of Formula Drift Japan took place this weekend at the famed Ebisu circuit. “Mad” Mike Whiddett, Andy Gray, and Matt Field were the only three drivers from the current Formula D Pro class who traveled to Japan for the round. Whiddett took the event win, while Andy Gray went out in the top 8 and Matt Field lost in the top 32.

Here’s how the final results shook out:

1st – “Mad” Mike Whiddett – Total Car Produce Mazda RX7
2nd – Masashi Yokoi – MCR Factory Nissan S15
3rd – Kazuki Hayashi – DMax Nissan S15
4th – Seimi Tanaka – Parts Shop Taka / DMax S15

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