Since 2009, the Midwest Drift Union (MDU) has serviced the middle part of the lower 48 United States, providing a safe and fun place to drift competitively as well as a path to the Formula D big leagues. Last year we featured its round on the Streets of Detroit in front of the eerily cool Michigan Central Station, and are very pleased to announce it looks like we'll be bringing you even more MDU pro-am coverage this year (in our personal crusade to make drifting bigger than sliced bread).
The first round of the 2016 MDU Championship is in the books, taking place at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., and going to 2010 series champ Mike Feiock, who claimed the number one spot in his backup Mazda FC3S RX-7. The climb to the top started after he qualified first, meeting and defeating Daniel Nikov's M3 in the first round of Top 16. Sam Henry dirt dropped his 240 in his match against Chance Crooks' 350Z, but pulled off the win to advance. Austin Matta (silver S13) fended off Paul Beiswenger (red S14) to find his spot in Top Eight. Geoff Donati, in just his second appearance at an MDU event, took out the third-gen Camaro of Dustin Reeh to advance.
Last year's MDU champion, Dirk Stratton, took his C6 Corvette to top eight after knocking out Matt Lynch, who had hit the wall on the outside of the sweeper twice that day. Preston Enyeart's S14 was no match for Alec Robbins' LS2-powered Nissan Hardbody, and the first truck to compete in the series moved on to the quarterfinals. Long-time friends David Mesker and Steven Fishel squared off next, with Fishel getting the win. To round out Top 16, Hooman Rahimi and his new-for-2016 LS-powered 350Z defeated Steve Topping's patriotic E36.
After a near-collision, Feiock moved on past Henry to the Final 4. Donati sent Matta home as he advanced. After tapping the corner of Robbins' truck, Stratton put the Corvette into the outside wall and Robbins was able to move on. Fishel took out Rahimi's Z in Top 8 to secure the last spot of the Final 4.
Donati and Feiock had a very close battle to kick off the semifinals but the previous champ would get the nod. Fishel also got the go-ahead over Robbins' truck. Donati and Robbins battled to determine third place, with Donati taking home the bronze, while the finals boiled down to Feiock and Fishel, with Feiock taking home the gold.
Feiock is off to an early start in the point standings, leading with 51 ahead of Donatti (38) and Robbins (36). MDU now heads some 250 miles northeast to Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis, In., for Round 2 of the 2016 championship on June 25.