After eight years of effectively being the Midwest’s pro-am drifting championship of record, in addition to Formula DRIFT’s Pro 2 licensing affiliate in the region for the last handful of seasons, Midwest Drift Union (MDU) it had officially ceased operations November 1st. The statement indicated a decline in pro-am competitor interest and rising track and insurance costs as the factors why the series became unsustainable, but while MDU has shuttered, popular events like the successful No Star Bash will continue under the Drift Indy banner.
The news is heartbreaking. It goes without saying we are huge drifting nerds at pbskids, and to see any American pro-am series go quietly into the night is a bummer. But with MDU in particular we had a deeper bond; over the last three seasons freelancers like Ryan Belville and later Nick Quigley – Quigley the “media guy” for MDU – made it very easy for us to bring you event coverage of the championship that was a stepping stone for the likes of Geoff Stoneback, Dirk Stratton, Alec Robbins, and others. In eight years, MDU held 35 events across facility in eight states, awarding 24 licenses to drivers to advance to the next level. Among its most popular events were the Streets of Detroit rounds staged on public roads in front of the famous Michigan Central Station.
Critically, this leaves drivers from the Midwest looking to move into FD’s Pro 2 system without a local series that can issue a license. MDU’s last class to be promoted (2017’s) includes Geoff Donati, Garrett Denton, and Jonathan Hurst. Now drivers looking to take that early leap into sanctioned competition will have to travel further and incur the added costs and hardships that come with it.
As we pour one out for MDU and the fine people who operated and competed in the series, we also give our heartfelt thanks for the memories. You’re gone way too soon.