Mazda

Mazda
Fuchū, Hiroshima

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Mad Mike's souped up drifting car - Madbull Generation 5 - First shakedown

Feast your eyes on the fifth generation of Madbull, the almost completely rebuilt Mazda RX-7 of New Zealand's drift racing idol Mad Mike Whiddett. After six weeks of tinkering, it's time for the first test run which left him and everybody else looking forward to the next race. Check out Madbull 5 in it's first shakedown, straight from the workshop floor.

3:37 6 1,715,572

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Mad Mike Whiddett and his Mazda MX-5 "RADBUL" Drift Highlands

At the highest level of professional drifting, race cars are thrown sideways at speeds topping 200km/h. They are precision instruments engineered for a purpose. Kiwi drift driver Mad Mike Whiddett and his newest - and arguably craziest - addition to his Mazda factory-backed stable of machinery yet, a Mazda MX-5 named RADBUL, is a fine replica of this. Down at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell, Otago, New Zealand, Mad Mike Whiddett takes his custom four-rotor, twin turbo 26B rotary engine and drifts around the challenging and technical track, showing us that he has the skills, the team and the machine to put the car exactly where he wants. 

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Mad Mike Drifts BADBUL Around the Franschhoek Pass | Conquer The Cape

‘Mad Mike' Whiddett has drifted a car up a mountain in his native New Zealand and powerslid across a frozen lake in Japan. This time he took the Mazda RX8 BADBUL around the iconic Franschhoek pass in South Africa

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Mad Mike drifting Crown Range in New Zealand

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 750 horsepower engine out to its redline. 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. 

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