Irwindale Speedway has become hallowed ground for the sport of drifting. Home to the first professional competition in the US back in 2003, the track has hosted the season finale for Formula Drift for all 12 seasons to date. Unfortunately, the land that the track currently leases was sold a few years back, and this may be the last year before the track is demolished in favor of a shopping mall. While talk of demolition has been occurring almost annually since the sale was made in 2012, the permit changes necessary to move forward with the demolition finally happened earlier this year and have essentially paved the way for this season to be the final season of motorsports at the House of Drift.
For 2015, Formula Drift altered the layout slightly to encourage a longer wall-ride on the ‘inner bank’. Drivers start near the exit of burn 2 in the traditional oval track layout, heading counter clockwise around the ½-mile bank, initiating into drift just before turn 3 in the traditional layout. Continuing around the big bank, drivers come off the bank at the exit of turn 4 and transition in front of the main grand stands for a clip on the traditional start/finish line facing the crowd. From there, the drivers transition again and continue the course through the inner 3/8-mile bank again in the counter clockwise orientation. Historically, drivers only drifted around half of the inner bank before sliding through the infield, but this season’s layout extends the course through the entirety of the inner bank along the wall then sliding through a decreasing radius turn into the infield in the same portion of the track, with one final inner clip before the finish line. This layout was enough of a change to force the drivers to re-learn what the judges were asking for, particularly after the switch-back across the traditional start/finish line.
Sneak Peek- A look Inside Mad Mike Whiddett’s Radbul MX-5
A few weeks ago we were fortunate enough to get a close look at the car that we think is perhaps the most radical and innovative drift car ever built, Mad Mike Whiddett’s Radbul Mazda MX-5. After a 5 year absence, Mad Mike is back on the US drift scene with a car built for today’s exceedingly competitive Formula D environment.
The Radbul is out to break many suppositions about how a drift car is supposed to be and shows great promise. The Radbul is different from other cars in many aspects from its size, power plant, power level and weight distribution.
In it’s first US events the car has shown plenty of promise. New car blues have given many well established FD team fits and although it’s clear that the Radbul is not fully dialed in yet, it has shown hints that it will be perhaps the deadliest drift car ever built once it has some development time.
What do we find so fascinating about the Radbul, well lets check it out.