Hello and welcome to the first segment of our OTHER bi-weekly series where I catch up with some of the former Midwest Drift Union regulars to find out how they got started, why they no longer compete, and what they’re up to now.
Our first driver is Bill Cook, a long-time MDU contender with multiple podium finishes and arguably one of the most successful drivers in terms of overall placement at the end of the season. He finished third place overall in 2010, second in 2011, and third again in 2012, making him one of the best performing drivers in the history of the series. Cook switched up to a GS300, affectionately dubbed “Fat Girl,” for the 2013 season before bowing out for 2014, though the Lexus then assumed the role of the “Drift Taxi” at events such as No-Star Bash and has since found a new owner.
MDU: How did you originally get involved with MDU?
Cook: I started with MDU when it was still Drift Indy. I was at I believe the second ever Drift Indy drift day, which was one of the worst rain days ever. We were at the Speedrome and it was like a swimming pool. I started out way back then and just stayed with Drift Indy until it became MDU and kept driving.
MDU: What was your last MDU event?
Cook: Street Life Tour in 2013 was the last time I competed in MDU.
MDU: What lead you to step away from the series?
Cook: It became a financial burden to my family stuff. I kind of had to give it up. Travel costs, things like that add up over time. You put your heart and soul into it but over time your pocket book just can’t support it any more. It used to be if you had a 250 horsepower car, you could be competitive. Now, if you don’t have about 500 horsepower, you hardly stand a chance. The car setups have changed. Everybody has a pro car now, and it’s thousands of dollars to do that. I was happy where Fat Girl was at, she was competitive, but not ready for the pros. I was just at that point in my life where I needed to step back for a little bit.
MDU: You had earned an FD license through MDU. Did you ever pursue anything with that?
Cook: I never had a year that I competed that I didn’t finish in the top three (in MDU points). I did Formula Drift’s All Star introduction thing during Irwindale week years ago. They invited the top 32 or top 16 pro-am drivers around the country and drive Irwindale and had us do our demo and comp. I went out for that.
MDU: Are you still driving any events? We know your GS300 has changed hands, but whatever happened to your old S13, “Blood?”
Cook: Blood I believe is officially dead. The last I heard, Blood was scrapped by the second guy it got passed on to. He built a 2J for it, never got it to run, and then parted out the entire chassis and scrapped what was left. I competed in it for five years and bounced off a couple walls with her. I parted ways with Fat Girl (GS300). I do have an RX-7 in the garage I’m working on building. It will be a plain Jane RX-7 with a Ford 4.6. I had it running, I just need three or four more parts to get it together for the first time and come out and drive some of the Back to Basics and more local events. It’s more about having a good time with friends. No more competitions, just playing around.
MDU: What else are you doing these days?
Cook: Being a husband and a dad and taking care of the wife and the house, just doing my every day grind. I was in the military for 22 years, so I’m just drinking beer and hanging out now.