Published on January 27th, 2022 | by Subhash Nair0
Mad Mike Is Building A RWD Rotary-Powered Mazda3 For Pikes Peak
Can you imagine what this quad rotary Mazda3 will sound and look like in motion!
There are some who really love the new Mazda3 hatch for all that it is, and there are some who see that it can be something a lot more insane. New Zealand drifter, Mike Whidhett, better known as “Mad Mike” is one of the latter. He and his team are taking the current generation 5-door Mazda3, stuffing in a four-rotor 1,200 metric horsepower rotary engine in the front, somehow getting the whole thing to send power exclusively to the rear wheels and racing it up Pikes Peak.
Mad Mike’s Instagram page seems to suggest that the project is supported by Mazda Japan themselves, with additional sponsorship coming from Toyo Tires, Red Bull Japan, and TCPMagic.
While no additional details were shared, we know the car will have to be ready for the race on the 26th of June 2022. This will be a historic race indeed, and not just because of the car Mad Mike will bring, but because it’s the 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The 100th anniversary was in 2016, but the 2nd World War put it on hold for a few years.
About Mike Whidett
Mike Whiddett lives for the thrill and adrenaline of drifting. As a result, he is always pushing both himself and his car to the limits.
From racing his trike down the driveway at two-years-old to sending it sideways around the Crown Range in a rotary-powered monster, ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett lives life chasing the next adrenaline hit.
By the time he reached his teens, Whiddett was a promising motocross racer, placing second in the New Zealand Junior Motocross Champs. However, Mike struggled to meet the high costs associated with competitive motocross. He decided to give Freestyle Motocross a go.
Whiddett also says having the label of ‘Mad Mike’ added pressure for him to live up to the name.
Now over a decade deep into his professional career, Mike has solidified his legacy in New Zealand and global motorsport folklore. Winning the 2018 Formula Drift Japan Championship is one of Mike’s biggest career highlights.
About The Pikes Peak Hill Climb
Commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to explore the Great Plains, Lt. Zebulon Pike first saw Pikes Peak in 1806 from the eastern portion of today’s Colorado in 1806. As he approached the magnificent peak, rising abruptly from the plains, Pike swore this mountain would never be conquered by man.
Zebulon Pike never scaled the mountain which bears his name. But today, Pikes Peak has been climbed by tourists from all over the world by car, motorcycle, bicycle, train, mule, horse, and on foot. Most visitors are overcome by its beauty, including Katherine Lee Bates, who was inspired by the view from the summit to compose the famous lyrics to America the Beautiful in 1893.
Pike could have imagined neither the vehicles nor the automobile race course which would conclude at the summit of his peak a little over a century after his first sighting. By 1900, a carriage road had been built. Spencer Penrose, one of Colorado Springs’ city’s major benefactors, realized the tourist potential of such a beautiful landmark and in 1915 he finished converting the narrow carriage road into the Pikes Peak Highway. In order to publicize his new road, and draw visitors to his Broadmoor Hotel, he devised a simple plan; run an automobile race to the summit of Pikes Peak. The Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb was first held on August 10, 11, and 12, 1916 and Rea Lentz was crowned the winner with a time of 20:55.600.