Matt Powers Takes Victory at Red Bull Drift Shifters
In front of 10,000 excited fans, professional drift driver Matt Powers (USA) beat 11 other competitors from New Zealand and around the world to take the glory in the first ever Red Bull Drift Shifters that took place in Auckland, New Zealand.
“It was super rad!” commented Powers afterwards. “I loved the fast paced nature of the event. It is run after run, you really get to build up a lot of energy then release it on the course. Because it was so technical, it was a real guessing game. Going into each run I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but when you are out there, you just hope you get it right. I had a lot fun and I really hope I get to do it again.”
A long-time dream of Auckland based international driver ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett, Red Bull Drift Shifters is a new motorsport event that puts a fresh spin on drifting. The custom designed course which mimicked a giant pinball machine occupied a 200 meter long stretch of inner-city road.
After sliding into the course at speeds in excess of 130km/h, drivers were required to negotiate numerous pinball inspired obstacles that put their drifting skills to the test. Bumpers were shattered and panels were dented as the competitors pushed their machines to the absolute limit.
The unique scoring system that used more than 30 proximity sensors was developed in New Zealand exclusively for the Red Bull Drift Shifters event. Similar technology is used to measure car-to-wall distance in international drifting competitions. However, using sensors to electronically score competitors is a world first. The closer the cars drifted to the sensors, the higher the score. Just like a real pinball machine, points were accumulated in real time on a digital scoreboard at the head of the course.
For Mike Whiddett, Red Bull Drift Shifters could not have gone any better. “It was absolutely unbelievable. The amount of people that turned up to watch was amazing. The driving skill just blew me away. I really want to thank Auckland City for letting us put this on; it really has been a dream come true. The best thing is, with this set up we can now take the event anywhere. There are big things to come for Red Bull Drift Shifters. Watch this space.”
For more information on the event, visit www.redbull.co.nz/driftshifters.
The Red Bull Drift Shifters Final Placings:
1 – Matt Powers (USA)
2 – Samuel Hübinette (SWE)
3 – Dan Woolhouse (NZ)
4 – Mike Whiddett (NZ)
The other Red Bull Drift Shifters Drivers were:
Daigo Saito (JAP)
Garry Whiter (NZ)
Curt Whittaker (NZ)
Cole Armstrong (NZ)
Daynom Templeman (NZ)
Jason Sellers (NZ)
Andrew Redward (NZ)
Hugo Maclean (NZ)