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Mad Mike: the Biography by NZ Performance Car

Mad Mike: the Biography by NZ Performance Car

Mad Mike: the Biography by NZ Performance Car
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Long before he was dubbed "Mad Mike" by a local radio personality, Mike Whiddett was living life the only way he knows, with the throttle jammed wide open. Now a self-made global superstar who is living the proverbial car-guy dream of building wild cars and drifting all over the planet, Mike’s story is one that should inspire an entire generation wanting to leave their mark on the world. NZ Performance Car have followed his rise from the early 2000s, and over that time we’ve amassed a volt of ‘Mad Mike’ content which we’ve curated into the ultimate ‘Mad Mike’ collectors item; Mad Mike: the Biography by NZ Performance Car, including in depth features showing the evolution of all his cars, an exclusive and frank interview with Mike, and a look at his life before the fame and the name.

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New Zealand
Parkside Media

in this issue

2 min.
the mad one

Welcome inside the world of Mike Whiddett, better known to the world as ‘Mad Mike’. This is a man that needs no introduction, he’s held more page space in New Zealand Performance Car than any other, and he’s had a profound impact on the sport of drifting, not only in New Zealand but the world over. For the team at New Zealand Performance Car, Mike’s rise to drifitng icon has been one that we have been covering since long before he even tried his hand at the sport, so it should come as no surprise that we had a literal vault of content with which to produce a stand-alone Mad Mike special edition chronicling his life and the mad creations that put him on the map. We’ve got so much…

16 min.
a mad, mad life

It was 2006, and I was awkwardly crouched on a slippery boat ramp as the icy waters of Lake Taupo quietly lapped at my unlaced Etnies skate shoes. I fiddled with the settings on the camera I’d borrowed from my boss the day before, doing my very best approximation of a guy who actually knew what he was doing. I clearly didn’t, but this shoot was too important for my fledgeling journo career to back out of, and no one else seemed to notice. The early morning tranquillity was murdered with the high-pitched whirring of a starter motor, followed by four or five anticipatory chugs and then an almighty eruption of noise from an angry peripheral-ported 20B rotary. The camouflaged Mazda RX-7 that housed the triple rotor was backing off its…

8 min.
the golden ticket

Back in 2006, there was only one name on everyone’s lips — Mad Mike Whiddett. Mike was new to the world of drifting, but his foray into the sport would be anything but subtle. From the outset, the Aucklander did things differently, and as a result, the package he showed up to contest D1NZ with — his 20B PP RX-7, known then as FURSTY — was unlike anything anyone else was running down pitlane. Little did anyone know at the time, but Mike had just created his golden ticket to the world. It has become an icon of a generation and a car that remains a crowd favourite some 13 years later. The biggest talking point for that first build was the triple rotor 20B PP engine built by Kiwi RE.…

1 min.
k&n filters

“EVERYTHING WE HAVE BREATHS K&N” “I’ve run K&N filters since I was 13 — long before performance or reliability was any kind of consideration. Just having the 5-inch filter sticking way out of the bonnet of that old school rotor was a must. I’ve always loved the style of the brand, with that old school American logo. It went from just being a cool thing you’d have on an old school rotary to something that plays a big part in the performance and reliability of all our cars. That’s why I love the set-up on MADBUL — it’s a throwback to using that style of filter but obviously in a drift car, and having two sticking out of the bonnet with it being a four-rotor. “We’ve been with K&N for eight years…

5 min.
rotary engine basics

Since its first production in the late 1960s, the basic design principles of the Mazda rotary engine haven’t changed an awful lot. Although very different from a regular piston engine, the rotary also shares a lot of similarities — like a four-stroke combustion cycle — but with far fewer components. Over these pages, we’ll get back to basics and hopefully shed some light on the inner workings of a Mazda rotary engine. DESIGN CONCEPT The rotary engine is very simple in its major components’ makeup. Compared to a basic four-stroke piston engine, a rotary has a substantially-smaller number of moving mechanical components. In fact, there are only three in a two-rotor (10A, 12A, or 13B) engine — the two rotors themselves, and the eccentric shaft. In a piston engine, it’s easy to…

1 min.

1. INTAKE STROKE The first part of the combustion cycle starts with the intake, which is when the engine draws in the mixture of air and fuel. When the apex of the rotor passes the intake port and the port is exposed to the chamber, the chamber is at its smallest size, but then when the rotor moves past the intake port, the chamber size grows as it draws in the mixture. Finally, as the rotor apex passes the intake port, the chamber is fully sealed off, and the compression stroke begins. 2. COMPRESSION STROKE As the rotor continues its path around the housing, the chamber size gets smaller and the air/fuel mixture gets compressed as that’s all it can do — it has nowhere else to go. By the time the face…