Mad Mikes Return To Formula Drift - by Larry Chen

8th May 2015

Larry Chen of Speedhunters interviewed Mad Mike about his return to Formula Drift and his debut in RADBUL.

I was very excited when Mike told me at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon that he was making a return to Formula Drift, because not only is he a fan favorite, he brings a sense of style unlike anyone else on the grid.

I had a moment to catch up with Mike as soon as he was finished with Thursday practice ahead of this weekend’s FD Atlanta round.

Larry: You just finished open practice – how is your return to Formula Drift going so far?

Mike: It’s insane – seeing the speed of all the cars especially! Just watching from the outside, you can definitely see the progression. I’ve been away from Formula Drift USA for five years, and the difference in speed from back then until now is ridiculous. Today is our first time running on a new Nitto Tire NT05 compound, and it feels amazing.

Scott from SPD, who used to be Daijiro Yoshihara’s crew chief, has done a lot with setting up our KW coilovers and the rest of the suspension, so we’re really comfortable with the car now.  It helped that we took a lot of grip out of the car this morning, but since then we’ve just been fine tuning the setup and I’ve been getting used to the track with this layout, as I haven’t driven it before.

Read the full Speedhunters interview here

Project RADBUL MX5 Part 5

18th February 2015

As we’ve seen in previous updates on Project RADBUL – including the last one from early December 2014 when it's engine was being pieced together – not only is everything about this build unconventional, the shock value has been wound right off the scale.

Despite being a motorsport category where rulebooks allow a certain amount of engineering freedoms, there’s almost a tried and tested formula when it comes to engineering competitive pro car. I can tell you that a short wheelbase Mazda MX-5 with a 4-rotor, twin turbo engine good for four digit power output is definitely not it though.

But would you expect anything from Mad Mike? We certainly didn’t… Read the full Speedhunters Blog here

VIDEO: Leadfoot hill climb - Helmet POV

17th February 2015

Jump in the drivers seat as Mad Mike Whiddett drifts Leadfoot Festival 2015 hill climb.

Leadfoot is a unique weekend bringing together a mix of classic cars, vintage motorcycles and motorsport legends. Held on Rod Millen’s private grounds at Leadfoot Ranch. A 150 acre, ocean-front estate in Hahei on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula that features a long driveway that winds through the property designed to be the perfect hill climb.

Project RADBUL MX5 Part 4

11th December 2014

Horse Power Focus

A twin turbocharged, 26B four-rotor Mazda rotary engine with the ability to generate up to 1,500 horsepower is the focus in episode four of the six-part Making of RADBUL series. In this installment, Mad Mike Whiddett makes a seven-hour drive down through New Zealand’s North Island to catch up with progress on his 2014-spec Mazda MX-5 pro drift car build at Pulse Performance Race Engineering.

It’s here that the world-renowned rotary tuning workshop shows off the headway it’s making with the project, specifically in the engine bay where it’s all about big power, chassis balance, and some signature Mad Mike shock value.

Red Bull Drift Shifters

1st December 2014
Mad Mike Drift Shifters
Mad Mike drifts around the under-taker in Drift Shifters 2012


On Saturday December 6, 2014, Red Bull Drift Shifters returns to Auckland City, transforming downtown into a giant pinball inspired drift track. Drivers will push themselves and their machines to new limits in this adrenalin packed premium motorsport event.

The brain child of world-renowned New Zealand drift driver ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett, Red Bull Drift Shifters will bring together top international drift drivers from Australia, USA and Japan to battle it out with New Zealand’s finest motorsport talent.

Located in the heart of Auckland CBD, spectators will witness drifting precision and high speeds, in a unique format that relies on a fully automated points scoring system, eliminating human judgment errors. This year’s course is both wider and twice the length of the inaugural 2012 event.

>>Read more


12th September 2014

This November 7th - 9th we head to Highlands Motorsport Park for the Highlands 101. Showcasing GT3 exotics from Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin and McLaren and of course the Team Red Bull, Mazda RX7 MADBUL will be there making a statement screaming, shredding & getting sideways!

A world-class motor racing event at New Zealand's only world-class motor racing facility! Mad Mike is extremely honored to be invited down to be the first to drift on the amazing track in Cromwell and put on a show for the crowd. 

The event itself features the Australian GT Championship finale with up to 30 GT3 cars and their drivers expected to make the trans-Tasman journey to finish their 2014 season at Highlands' spectacular Central Otago location.

For more on Highlands 101, tickets and schedules 'Click here'

Project RADBUL Pt 3

11th September 2014

In this update, we’re going to touch on two of the most critical aspects of the build: suspension and steering. After all, a four figure power output isn’t much use if the car its stuffed in hasn’t got the handling attributes to back it up – something more important than ever when you’re dealing with a little NC Mazda MX-5 with a 90.2-inch wheelbase and a projected race weight of just 1,000kg.

For more on what we covered in episode 3 and images 'Click here'


1st September 2014

Mad Mike will be returning to WTAC/Formula Drift in 2014 with the iconic Rocket Bunny kitted, 4 rotor powered, RX7 known as MADBUL.

Eastern Creek Raceway, Sydney AUSTRALIA

October 17th - 19th (Drift qualifying Saturday / Battles Sunday)

For more on the event and schedules 'Click here'

Project RADBUL Pt 2

21st August 2014

Imagine, if you will, your ultimate no holds barred race car. What would it be and what sort of numbers would it be making? Then imagine having the tenacity to actually make it happen in the real world and be able to watch it metamorphosis from a bare shell in front of your eyes. That’s got to be cool, right? For Speedhunters own Mad Mike Whiddett, it’s something he doesn’t have to think about, because it’s exactly what’s happening right now in an immaculate industrial unit on Auckland’s east side.

If you’ve been following the progress of Project RADBUL, you’ll already know that Mike and his team are pulling out all the stops with this build; taking what they’ve collectively learnt from years of local New Zealand and international pro drift competition, to create what is destined to become one of the wildest pro drift machines ever seen. Read the full story here

Project RADBUL Pt 1

31st July 2014

The FD3S Mazda RX-7 better known as MADBUL gave our servers a bit of shake-up when we revealed its Gen 6 Rocket Bunny re-imagination at the end of last month. It’s not hard to understand why that happened either, because Speedhunters’ own Mad Mike Whiddett has a knack for building badass machines, and then rebuilding them all over again to an even wilder extent. When it comes to cars, seemingly everything he touches turns to awesome.

For that very reason, the moment I heard that Mike had got his hands on a Mazda MX-5, and that it would be joining his line-up of drift weaponry with a no-compromise pro-spec build, I got pretty excited. Despite its unconventionality, after our first look at RADBUL back in April, most of you guys appeared to be feeling the same way too – and for good reason.
Read the full story here

Mad Mike takes on The Goodwood Festival Of Speed UK

4th July 2014
MADBUL Mazda RX7 tears up Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Mad Mike brought the sport of drifting to Britain’s most prestigious motorsports event, Goodwood Festival of Speed. Mike certainly left his mark, picking up a surprise award for ‘Most Thrilling Driver’, having angled his way through the hay lined hill-climb. We sat down with Mike to find out about his experience at the weekend…

Click here for Mikes Full Blog on the event.

Mazda and 'MADMIKE' Whiddett announce partnership

13th June 2014


Auckland, New Zealand

Mazda and MadMike Whiddett announce partnership in support of Whiddetts Motorsport program. "It is with great pride that I make this announcement, for me this is a natural partnership in the sense that Mazda has always been a passion of mine and a massive part of who I am and what got me to where I am today. This very announcement is one of my long time dreams becoming reality, it's a surreal feeling to be supported by an automotive manufacturer when you've dreamed about it for so long. This is a another first for professional level drifting in New Zealand and shows that the world is taking notice, which is great for the sport as a whole."

Glenn Harris, General Manager, Vehicle Sales & Marketing at Mazda New Zealand says not only are they very proud to be supporting an international champion and gifted athlete but equally to be preserving the essence of Mazda's brand spirit with it's exciting motorsport arena. "Sports cars are part of our DNA and still to this day our racing heritage shines through in our current vehicles, we cannot forget where we have come from and what makes Mazda unique. Mike is the full embodiment of the Mazda spirit." says Harris.

Toni Cook - The team manager at MadMike Motorsport says "We as a team are excited to be partnering with Mazda and working on the start of a larger plan and vision. For us, having access to genuine parts and the wealth of knowledge and support Mazda bring will greatly assist our Motorsport pursuits both here and internationally. For 'MadMike' fans this will mean they can breathe a sigh of relief as he is now firmly set in the heart and "challenger" spirit of the Mazda brand."

Mike is currently working on Project: RADBUL his 3rd addition to the stables which will be the first recipient of the Mazda program and is well underway by his highly motivated team. "Mazda are not only looking after us on track they have us equipped us with brand new vehicles a BT-50 Arashi Limited Edition and a Mazda6 Wagon which in a matter of days have received the 'MadMike' treatment. As part of the transformation the cars have undergone a new livery scheme that ties the MADBUL RX7, Arashi and Mazda6 together."

"Mazda runs a global magazine called Zoom-Zoom in which they run a segment called the 'Mazda Maniac' - well that's definitely me, and now officially too, watch for my feature coming soon!"


About Mazda

Founded in 1920 Mazda Motor Corporation (マツダ株式会社 Matsuda Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese automaker based in Fuchū, Aki District, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. More Mazdas are raced every week than any other car brand. Find out more at


About 'MadMike' Whiddett

'MadMike' Whiddett is a professional drift driver from Auckland, New Zealand. Whiddett is one of the most recognized drivers internationally having competed in over 15 countries in 'MADBUL' a Naturally aspirated 4 rotor MAZDA FD RX7 and 'BADBUL' a 20B turbo MAZDA SP3 RX8. Whiddett also has 'RADBUL' a MAZDA MX5 / NC Miata in the build. For more information visit

Behind the scenes - Conquer the crown

6th May 2013

The Crown Range, New Zealand. 47 corners, 1076 metres elevation, 10.4km long. The country's highest paved road. Check out how Mad Mike and the production team created this amazing clip

“Mad” Mike Conquers the Crown Range

6th May 2013

The Crown Range, New Zealand. 47 corners, 1076 metres elevation, 10.4km long. The country’s highest paved roadway. For a moment in time it belongs to one man, Mike Whiddett. The moment will become the drive of a lifetime.

The former state highway cuts a path between Queenstown and Wanaka. It is a short cut, which has long been a route for travellers. The first track dates back to the early gold rush days. The road now is still one of the most demanding and technical drives of the country.

The drive for Mike Whiddett will be challenging and faster than most. For the first time in NZ motorsport history, the road has been closed across three sections for a unique filming opportunity. The New Zealand-based international drift driver has a chance to push his bespoke quad-rotor rotary engine car to new limits on a completely clear road. The road closure signs are rolled out; it is time for Mad Mike to Conquer the Crown.

On paper, the first section of the road appears to be the trickiest. Seven consecutive hairpin turns on a near-vertical mountainside climb give the Switchbacks their name. The second section is all about speed. Whiddett pulls sixth gear along the Crown Terrace and winds the Mazda RX7’s 26b quad rotor engine out to its limit. He hits 232km/h before slowing, fleetingly pulling on the handbrake to lock the rear wheels before stomping back on the accelerator. The tyres erupt back into a spinning frenzy; black marks the bitumen. This is drifting nirvana in its purest form.

The run up to the Crown Summit is a fusion of high, medium and low speed bends, created to attack sideways. With barriers flanking the road at one side and exposed banks at the other, it mimics the mountain touge roads that the Japanese forefathers of the sport originally, and illicitly, ran by moonlight. The margin for error is slim here, but Whiddett never backs off as the final forty-seventh corner passes by in a blur.

“I think drifters have an innate ability to slip from reality when driving up a road like the Crown Range in normal circumstances. We imagine drifting through the turns, the gear changes, the footwork, the hand brake and of course stomping on the gas. So for me, having the opportunity to get behind the wheel of my machine, push it to the limit and conquer the Crown is a dream turned into a reality,” says Whiddett.

The Crown: conquered.