Red Bull Drift Shifters take over Victoria Park in style

December 13th, 2012 by NZPC

This past Saturday a world first event took place in down town Auckland City, named the RedBull Drift Shifters and masterminded by New Zealand’s own Mad Mike Whiddett, twelve drivers from New Zealand, America, Sweden, and Japan competed in what was possibly the world’s biggest ever pinball machine. Removing the judged aspect of drifting, points were scored using 30 proximity  and angle sensors which were placed around the course and the various obstacles which lined it. In true pinball style, bonus points were given for getting hitting combinations of obstacles and getting as close as possible to the sensors

Before the action got underway, Mad Mike took the invited drivers for a walk through the course which included a speed trap, angle box, Nitto Wallride, hanging RedBull can, Volcanoes (circular  clipping points) and the Achilles Undertaker (a truck that the drivers had to slide under, the lowest point being only 1200mm off the ground)

Now knowing the course, where and how to score points, the drivers went through the different obstacles with their crews to figure out the best ways to score big


You could tell by the look on the drivers faces that even the most seasoned drifters were fizzing at the thought of what was to come


The voice of Formula D, Jarrod DeAnda had also made the journey to bring his unique commentary style to the event

Mad Mike was the first to hit the course and did so as only he could, removing his rear bumper on his first attempt at the Nitto Wall Ride. At this point everyone knew it was going to be a special event

As the practice and qualifying runs took place the crowd numbers swelled to an estimated ten thousand

Precision was the order of the day as the drivers inched their way closer and closer to each obstacle. Some coming off better than others, the damage to Hugo McLeans Grab-A-Tool AE85 was only cosmetic

A real time scoreboard was stationed at the far end of the course adding to the excitement and leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind as to weather the cars had hit the mark or not

Mad Mike and RedBull had truly put on a spectacle………

Which was backed up by some spectacular driving

As the day went on the drivers became more confident with the Undertaker and were entering and exiting the gap at full lock

Daigo Saito from Japan is reining champion in Formula D, Formula D Asia and D1GD. He put on a great show but unfortunately didn’t manage to place at Drift Shifters

Fanga Dan on the other hand had an altercation with the Undertaker in practice and readjusted his roof line. Despite this he came through to take the third spot overall

The Dodge Charger of Sam Hubinette was a real crowd pleaser. Loud and in your face, it was a real treat to be able to watch a professional driver work his magic. Sam took out second place overall

Matt Powers took the top spot on the podium. His ability to put his car where he wants it to be and keep it there is nothing short of spectacular


RedBull Drift Shifters was a truly amazing event and we can’t wait to see how big this kind of drift event can become