Swindon175 was celebrated in a unique way during the early hours of Wednesday 6 July as a champion drift racer slid his specially modified car around the Magic Roundabout.
Sliding his specially modified Mazda RX-8 drift car, nicknamed ‘BadBul’, around the iconic junction in the early hours of for a Swindon175 publicity stunt, the New Zealand born champion drifter ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett took part in the event in conjunction with the Austrian drinks giant Red Bull who sponsor him as an extreme sports athlete. The dawn chorus usually associated with the quiet end of Swindon was replaced with revving engines and burning rubber as Whiddett showcased his skills for the assembled media.
The drifting event was filmed for a short online edit on the Red Bull website below:
During his stellar career, Mad Mike Whiddett has drifted a car up a mountain range in his native New Zealand and powerslid across a frozen lake in Japan. Now he’s added yet another major feat onto his CV by becoming the first ever person to drift a car around Swindon’s iconic, labyrinthine Magic Roundabout.
Mike’s challenge was to burst onto the Magic Roundabout at high speed and then artfully drift his way through the landmark’s various obstacles, including traffic islands, drains and elevation changes. The Magic Roundabout in Swindon sees tens of thousands of vehicles negotiate it’s five iconic islands every day, but Mike saw the junction as an opportunity to do something special to celebrate Swindon175.
After negotiating the roundabout sideways, Mike said: “This is one of the craziest roundabouts I’ve ever discovered. This place is crazy, there are so many islands and obstacles. It’s a real challenge to come flying into this roundabout as fast as we can, drift around it and then head straight back out the other side.”
Organisers Red Bull host a multitude of high-profile extreme sports events across the world but brought this special media opportunity to Swindon as part of the town’s ongoing year of celebrations.
Swindon175 marks the anniversary of the birth of new Swindon when construction began on the Great Western Railway’s locomotive repair shed. Throughout 2016 a range of events, supported by sponsors and Swindon Borough Council and managed by Business West, are involving Swindon people and businesses are celebrating the town’s rich heritage and achievements.