Sneak Peek- A look Inside Mad Mike Whiddett’s Radbul MX-5
by Mike Kojima
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.
Thanks to our incredibly well-connected world, even if you have just a passing interest in the sport of drifting, you probably know that Speedhunters driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. had a serious crash at last weekend’s Texas round of Formula D. It was a brutal hit; the sort of car-meets-wall moment that makes you stop and say, ‘sh*t, I hope he’s going to walk away from this one.’ He did, thankfully.
We needed to know the whats, the whys and the hows, so after giving just enough time for the dust to settle, we sat down with Vaughn (virtually) and talked about the incident, the aftermath and what happens next.
Formula Drift slid into Texas Motor Speedway for the sixth stop of the Formula Drift USA championship, the seventh of the Formula Drift World championship and the third on the Pro 2 championship schedule. Making its third visit to the track (which sits just a few miles outside of Dallas, Texas), the layout from previous years was flipped into a reverse configuration, leveling the playing field for all drivers. With the new layout, drivers enter the track after a short 300-foot run-up, initiating sideways around 60 to 65mph into a long, right-hand sweeper. Judges will be looking for the drivers to hit an outside zone early in the turn, with a single inside clipping point near the exit of the turn. Accelerating in front of both the judges and the main grandstands through a ‘power alley’, drivers will transition to an inside clipping point before transitioning again to rub the rear bumper on a k-rail wall, finishing the course in another right-hand sweeper with an inside clip at the apex of the turn. Unlike many of the courses on the Formula Drift circuit, drivers see faster speeds in the latter half of the course than the first turn.