Red Bull #Driftshifters 2014

#Driftshifters, where do i even begin? One epic day, one impressive line up of local and international drivers and one hell of a course right on Auckland Cities waterfront. This is Mad Mike Whiddett’s dream concept made reality by Red Bull. The idea first came to life in 2012 and this year the organizers really stepped up the game. Some of the worlds top drifters where invited down to Auckland City to take part in this pinball inspired event, which is completely different to any other form of drifting we know.

A long, relativity narrow course set up over Auckland’s waterfront Quay Street stretching 311m on this usually busy piece of public road. A huge amount of planning went into developing the course, the council was even called in to remove a rather long traffic island to make way for the angry charge of horsepower. 12 obstacles including a truck and trailer unit, a Hummer, various wall rides and a 1 lane sideways squeeze challenged 17 of the world’s best local and international drift drivers to new levels of precision and control.

Each driver was able to study the course and design their own route with the ultimate goal of scoring max points which are awarded by a series of sensors lining the track and obstacles. The faster you go, and the closer you get the more points they dish out. One of the many fun aspects to Driftshifters is the electronic scoring system, which scores massive points leaving drivers with millions, which adds to the excitement.

The drivers start the course through a tunnel, which on exit it measures their speed, this then kicks off the points scoring.

From there they enter into a huge drift, the sensors can measure angle and speed, so the closer to 90 degrees the drivers get, the more points they score.

Next up the course drops down to just one lane, the drivers need to pass through here with some speed and exit with some angle to score as many points as possible.

Once the drivers exit its on to the Memphis Melt Down money shot!  Once again, angle, speed and distance are the keys to success here.

The far end of the course ends with the ‘Go-pro wall ride” which sends the drivers back in the direction they came from. The trick here is to get as close to the wall as possible to set the sensors off.

On their way back  there are two more wall rides the drivers can rack up some points from, after negotiating their way around a Hummer H1 parked in the middle of the road.

They then head back through the single lane, preferably with some degree of angle, and slide their cars around and under a big truck and trailer set up to be very tight. Here the drivers need to stay as close to the truck as possible to score max points.

To finish off, the drivers need to slide 90 degrees into a perfect curbside park, and all before the clock stops ticking!

The driver line up was seriously impressive. 17 entries including:

Gaz Whiter (NZ) – Nissan Silvia S14

Matt Powers (USA) – Nissan 240SX S14

Jake Jones (AUS) – Nissan Sonvia S13

Nico Reid (NZ) – Nissan Silvia S15

Bruce Tannock (NZ) – Nissan Silvia S13

Chris Forsberg (USA) – Nissan 370Z

Tyler McQuarrie (USA) – Chevrolet Camaro

Daigo Saito (JAP) – Lexus IS250

Ken Nomura (JAP) – Nissan Skyline R34

Ryan Tuerck (USA) – Scion FRS

Mad Mike Whiddett (NZ) – Mazda FD RX7

Curt Whittaker (NZ) – Nissan Skyline R34

Daynom Templeman (NZ) – Mazda FD RX7

Darren Kelly (NZ) – Nissan Skyline R34

Cole Armstrong (NZ) – Nissan Skyline V35

Andrew Redward (NZ) – Mazda FC RX7

Dan Woolhouse (NZ) – Holden Commodore VE

It was such an incredible buzz to have the chance to see all these international drivers and their cars all in one place, the S-Chassis line-up was especially cool with Matt Powers, Jake Jones (Driftsquid), Gaz Whiter, Bruce Tannock and Nico Reid all their to battle it out for first place. It’s not every day we have such an amazing mix of s cars tearing up downtown Auckland.


Mad Mike Whiddett had both BADBUL and MADBUL out for the day, which was lucky because he had a little mishap in the RX7 and was able to continue the day with the RX8.

The international line up was strong, with drivers and their cars coming down from Japan, USA and Australia!

The day was not without carnage. Im pretty sure all the cars are going home with some form of damage, but thats all part of the entertainment.

The damage was to be expected, after all you need to be as close to the sensors as possible if you want to win!

As the day drew to an end, and our skin started to go bright red, it was down to the few remaining drivers who hadn’t been knocked out or were out due to damage. The top three was made up by Mad Mike Whiddett, Fanga Dan Woolhouse and Chris “The Force” Forsberg. After scoring a massive 4,012,088pts on his last run, it was the man himself Mad Mike on the podium in first, followed by Chris Forsberg and Fanga Dan.

Finals point breakdown:

Matt Powers (USA) – 4,101,229 (score of the day)
Andrew Redward (NZ) – 2,912,827 (retired)
‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett (NZ) – 2,685,799
Chris Forsberg (USA) – 2,194,329
‘Fanga’ Dan Woolhouse (NZ) – 1,774,430
Gaz Whiter (NZ) – 1,616,266
Ryan Tuerck (USA) – 886,850
Daigo Saito (JAP) – 719,310

Points breakdown cont.

‘Fanga’ Dan Woolhouse (NZ) – 3,216,985
Matt Powers (USA) – 1,982,799
Chris Forsberg (USA) – 3,505,449
‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett (NZ) – 3,276,400

‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett (NZ) – 4,012,088
Chris Forsberg (USA) – 2,650,885

2014 #DRIFTSHIFTERS Champion Mad Mike Whiddett

Big up’s to Mad Mike and the Red Bull team for putting on such a wicked event, we cant wait for the next #drfiftshifters!

Words by: @mr_schassis

Photos thanks to:

Shaun Constable – Ambition Works |

@mr_schassis – S-Chassis

Glen McNamara – Omegah Photography

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