Once the dust had settled from the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge, the madmen of the 2023 International Drifting Cup presented by Garrett Advancing Motion took over the Sydney Motorsport Park track. When the battles got underway on Saturday night the action was tight, fast and smokey as a Nimbin living room.
The big question was, could the Aussies take out some of the most impressive international drifting talent we’d ever assembled in Sydney?
Mad Mike Whiddett brought one of his favorite competition cars to WTAC 2023, the first time he’s been back to compete in the drifting since 2018. The RADBUL MX-5 sports an ear-shattering peripheral ported 20B rotary, which Mike used to devastating effect in the battles.
Gaz Whiter crossed the ditch bringing his Harrop-blown LS3 Silvia, featuring an insane eight-into-one exhaust system. Making over 800hp it sounds like the hounds of hell have been let out to feed on tyres, and Gaz’s experience at top-level international drifting meant he had it bushfiring tyres all night!
Legendary US drifter Ken Gushi has been a sensation since he burst on the scene as a teenager. At the International Drifting Cup he pumped the wild Kazama Auto Lexus RC-VR he runs in D1 Japan. This Lexus RC Coupe beats to a 1000hp Nissan VR38 heart, though he was nearly knocked out in his first battle with Jake Jones after contact with the Aussie drifter!
Diago Saito has a reputation for building insane machines and turning on a big show for the WTAC, family, and this year is no exception! He’s back in his 86 which boasts a stroked, 1100hp nitrous-breathing 2JZ which made for one hell of a show on the Sydney Motorsport Park hill.
In the end it came down to a pair of young Aussies in S13s: Luke Veersma and Matt Harvey. After a tight, high-speed battle that was as close as a whisker at times, Luke Veersma prevailed for the win. It looked all the world like there was paint-traded at a couple of points in that last run, but the 21-year-old Veersma proved too good.