Blog

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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 www.mazda.com

 

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 www.madmike.co.nz

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.