Go Crazy for Mad Mike – the Drift King of New Zealand

‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett has been pushing the limits of speed since boyhood. If you’ve followed this guy’s career, you really shouldn’t be shocked by his outstanding success.

mad mike signing a can of red bull

Who is Mad Mike Whiddett?

Now, his drifting prowess, big-brand sponsorship and crazy rotary-powered cars have together earned Mike the accolade at New Zealand’s very own Drift King.

Here, we lift the helmet visor and take a good look at the man who’s one of the few to have revved up a world-class, pro drifting career.

madbul sunset

Beginnings of Mad Mike’s career

Mike was a thrill-seeking child – his need for speed was evident when he used to pelt downhill on his tricycle. A few years on, he discovered the rush of BMX, then as a teen accelerated to freestyle motocross.

This was when the ‘Mad’ was added to Mike, thanks to his tricks, designed to impress onlookers. They lapped up his showmanship.

In late 2006, he swapped two wheels for four, and began his journey into pro drifting. Little did he know at the time that this move would be the catalyst to snowball his career.

Mike continues to be driven by a relentless thirst for achievement and showmanship, wowing crowds and fans around the world with stunning performances, both on the track and mountain passes.

mad mike helmet

Mad Mike’s Drifting achievements

Throughout his career, Mad Mike Whiddett has claimed many victories, including the first ever drift driver in New Zealand to win an award from the Motorsport New Zealand for Outstanding Achievement.

He has also taken the Goodwood Festival of Speed by storm, as one of the first drifters to race in the new category.

Is it any surprise that global names like Red Bull, Mazda and Nitto Tire are sponsoring him?

Not only that, but we’re captivated by the cars Mike builds and unleashes on to the drifting scene.

mad mikes madbul and badbul

Introducing Mad Mike’s cars

Mike’s custom-built beasts are a wonder. They’ve blown drifting fans away with their unique rotary engines and wild styling.

Even as a young lad, he wanted to get his hands on a rotary engine – the first time he heard its sound, he set his sights on getting himself one! He was just nine.

“Every one of my cars is a dream build. I’m honored and privileged to be able to work with the world’s leading brands, and each time I’m building these cars, it is the dream car.”

“For competition, we want the car to be as fast, as explosive and to have as much grip as possible.”

Mad Mike’s cars


Madbul specification

You can read Madbul’s full spec and more photos on Mad Mike’s website, here: madmike.co.nz. Madbul is a heavily modified Mazda RX-7.

Madbul power plant

  • Pulse Performance Race Engineering (PPRE) 26b quad rotor
  • Peripheral Port
  • Lightened balanced hi comp RX8 rotors
  • Hi-rev mod
  • Pulse Performance Race Engineering (PPRE) Custom end & centre plates
  • Hand built chromolly crankshaft
  • 3 window bearings
  • Hand fabricated intake runners
  • InjectionPerfection 55mm throttle bodies
  • Primary & secondary staged injectors
  • MOTEC fuel rails
  • WALBRO lift pump
  • FuelSafe cell
  • BOSCH 044 EFI pump
  • Turbosmart regulator
  • BOSCH HEC715 coils
  • M&W Hi energy CDI running 2 x 2 channel boxes & 1x 4 channel box
  • Custom MSD leads
  • HKS plugs
  • Custom alloy sump
  • Hand fabricated tuned length headers
  • 3.5″ stainless exhaust to Borla muffler
  • Alloy radiator
  • Redline twin oil coolers
  • Oil breather
  • Stainless heat shroud
  • Stewart electric water pump
  • Pulse Performance Race Engineering (PPRE) Tuned Haltech Elite 2500 with platinum series TC4 Thermocouple Amplifier & AFR Couplier communicating via Haltech CAN Hub
  • Gilmor drives

Madbul drive line

  • HKS sequential 6speed
  • HKS PRO2 twin plate clutch
  • HKS flywheel
  • MAZDASPEED 4:3 crown wheel on Custom full spool Locker

Madbul suspension & chassis

  • TEIN Super Drift equipped with EDFC
  • Custom steering arms
  • Custom tierods
  • Megan Racing toe arms rear
  • Mod fire wall & chassis for steering clearance
  • Cut rear quarters for wheel clearance
  • D2 Air Jack setup

Madbul brakes

  • Zinolli rotors with EBC pads all ABS removed
  • B&M launch control kit
  • Autosport Dynamics hydaulic handbrake

Madbul rims & rubber

  • Custom Nessen Forged / Mad Mike Gold rims 17/9.5 front & 18/11.5 rear

Madbul tyres

  • Nitto NT05 235/40R17 front 265/35R18 rear

Madbul exterior

  • Rockey Bunny FD3S Kit
  • Custom CRE8GRAFX livery
  • SARD 3d wing

Madbul interior

  • Takata Racing Seats
  • SPARCO wheel
  • HKS knob
  • RacePak digital dash
  • 6 point roll cage
  • Takata harnesses
  • Custom alloy dash & door skins

Madbul power output

  • 537hp @ the wheels


Badbul specification

You can read Badbul’s full spec and more photos on Mad Mike’s website, here: http://www.madmike.co.nz

Badbul power plant

  • Pulse Performance Race engineering (PPRE) 20B 3-rotor
  • Monster Bridgeport
  • Lightened/balanced rotors
  • Cross-drilled eccentric shaft
  • Pulse Performance Race Engineering (PPRE) apex seals
  • Modified stationary gears
  • Garrett GTX-45 Turbo
  • Custom merge exhaust manifold
  • Turbosmart Mad Mike Signature Edition 60mm Power-Gate 60 external wastegate
  • Redline Performance 6″ intercooler
  • Turbosmart blow-off valve
  • K&N air filter, custom 3.5″ stainless steel exhaust system
  • Custom fuel cell
  • 2x Bosch Motorsport 044 fuel pumps
  • Bosch Motorsport lift pump
  • High-flow fuel lines
  • Turbosmart adjustable fuel pressure regulator
  • Custom fuel rails
  • High-flow injectors
  • Gilmer belt drives, custom catch tank and overflow bottle
  • Redline Performance alloy radiator
  • 2x Setrab oil coolers
  • Intercooler and radiator water sprayers

Badbul drive line

  • Holinger RD6S-SS Sequential 6Speed
  • Clutch & flywheel by Direct Clutch
  • Autosport Dynamics / Winters quick-change rear end
  • Autosport Dynamics limited slip differential
  • Custom Driveshaft Shop axles & hubs

Badbul engine management / electronics

  • Pulse Performance Race Engineering (PPRE) Tuned Haltech Platinum Sport 2000 ECU
  • Custom loom

Badbul suspension & chassis

  • KW Suspension 3way Adjustable
  • FD3S RX-7 steering rack
  • Megan Racing steering arms
  • URAS tie-rods
  • Megan Racing tie-rod ends
  • MMM steering knuckles
  • Custom tube frame

Badbul rims & rubber

  • Front: 17×10″ Rotiform SLC
  • Rear: 18×11.5″ Rotiform SLC

Badbul tyres

  • Nitto NT05 225/40R18 tires – Front
  • Nitto NT05 (dry) and Nitto INVO (wet) 265/35R18 tires – Rear

Badbul exterior

  • Hybrid Lab wide body kit
  • BN Sport vented hood
  • Seibon carbon fiber doors
  • Seibon carbon fiber trunk lid
  • Sard GT wing
  • Custom CRE8GRAFX livery

Badbul interior

  • Six-point weld-in rollcage
  • Takata Racing seats – custom MM
  • Takata Racing belts belts
  • RacePak digital dash
  • Autosport Dynamics hydraulic e-braker lever
  • Lifeline fire extinguisher system
  • D2 Racing air jacks
  • Custom switch board

Badbul power output

  • 812hp @ the wheels


Join Mad Mike as his competes in Humbul – TCP Magic of Japan’s tuned Mazda RX7 at Formula Drift Ebisu, Japan.


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.

Mad Mike in video games

Several of his cars have even been immortalised in video games like EA Games’ Need For Speed Shift Unleashed and Project CARS.

Mad Mike in Project CARS

Mad Mike in Need For Speed Shift Unleashed

These games are probably the closest we will get to driving Mike’s amazing cars.

Want an instant hit of drifting action? Try our free to play drifting games.


Conquering the drifting world

There’s no doubt about it – Mike is one of drifting’s best entertainers. He’s taken on drift projects that show off his skills and leave us wanting more.

Red Bull Drift Shifters

In 2012, Mike created Red Bull Drift Shifters – a pin-ball inspired drift track in Auckland!

Mad Mike Conquers The Crown

The Conquer the Crown project was a global online sensation. In 2013, Mike drifted 47 corners of the Crown Range Road – a 10km stretch between Wanaka and Queenstown, and New Zealand’s highest road.

Conquer The Cape

Another of Mad Mike Whiddett’s adrenaline-inducing rides is Conquer the Cape, when he drifted his Mazda RX8 BADBUL around South Africa’s Franschhoek Pass in 2016.

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

Magic Roundabout

Perhaps not as exotic but still iconic, is his drifting of the notorious Magic Roundabout in Swindon, UK.

Take a look – you’ll see what we mean.


What Mad Mike does when he’s not drifting

If this wasn’t enough, Mike sheds the ‘Mad’ prefix when he’s focusing on his sign writing and graphic design company.

Alongside his international drifting career, he’s been building his Auckland-based business, CRE8GRAFX, since his early 20s.

Madbul with Mazda 767B

What’s next for Mad Mike Whiddet?

Mike’s year-round international drifting schedule is tight. He is involved in a lot of interesting events including the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2017. We will do our best to keep you up to date with the latest coverage of Mad Mike and his crazy cars.

Thank you for reading our article and if you have any feedback i’d love to hear it in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to get free updates.


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author avatar Written by

Joe is an avid writer and car enthusiast. When he's not cruising the streets alongside his friends in his Nissan Silvia S15, he's drifting on his VR racing simulator.

Joe's passion for cars is always on display. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the automotive industry, he hopes his writing conveys his excitement and knowledge of cars and games.

Joe's work has been featured on many platforms including drivetribe.com, 180sx.club, carthrottle.com, smartdrivinggames.com, databox.com and ceoblognation.com.

When he's not behind the wheel or at his keyboard, he's likely daydreaming of his ultimate ride - the legendary Lexus LFA.

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