Even if you think you’ve never seen any coverage from Midwest Drift Union’s (MDU) Streets Of Detroit event, now in its third year, chances are you probably have. The setting is unmistakable – in the streets right in front of Detroit’s abandoned, gothic-looking Michigan Central Station, at one time considered the tallest rail station in the world. In fact, the pro-am drifting competition has the unique distinction of being one of only a few held on city streets in the US (Formula D’s Long Beach event is another) and having the blessing of the city.
During the first drivers meeting, attendees took a moment to remember videographer, editor, and director (and personal friend of the SS staff) Mark Lenardon. He was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area and his family is from there as well. For the second drivers meeting his family came and invited everyone to their house the following day for a party honoring Mark. It was all very emotional, and the family was gracious enough to pose for a picture with the assembled group of drivers, organizers and other event staff, and media.
The biggest challenge to running the street circuit is avoiding the curbs, which claimed a handful of cars and in one instance decimated a wheel. In another incident, an S13 clobbered a small tree lining the course, but the carnage for the most part was kept to a minimum. When it was all said and done, Nick Thomas in his Nissan S14 240SX finished third, Detroit’s own Shane Whalley came home in second place in his Pontiac GTO, and Riley Sexsmith finished first in his 2JZ-powered Subaru WRX STI.
Round three of MDU’s 2015 pro-am championship takes place on September 19 at Kil-Kare Speedway in Xenia, Ohio, in conjunction with the Street Life Tour.