This year, 2022, marks the official 100th anniversary of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb event and speed demon Mad Mike Whiddett is whipping up something special for the celebration. In typical Whiddett fashion, it involves multiple rotors, high horsepower, and a guaranteed wild ride in the race to the clouds.
You might remember that Pikes Peak 100th birthday took place back in 2016, however, there was a pause in action during the second World War, which makes 2022 the official year to party. Mad Mike recently announced that he’ll be taking on the mountain in a whole new project based on a current Mazda 3 compact hatchback.
Once again backed by Red Bull, Mad Mike is fielding a five-door Mazda 3 powered by a turbocharged four-rotor setup expected to make upwards of 1,200 hp. His connection to rotary power dates back many years, with multiple competitive builds based on the often-misunderstood Wankel, including his “MADBUL” FD RX-7 with a four-rotor 26B swap, three-rotor 20B RX-8 “BADBUL” that produced over 800 hp, and his once-1,000-hp-plus “RADBUL” MX-5 Miata.
Inspirational Come Up
A beloved figure in the drift world, Mad Mike’s history is storied and includes a life-threatening injury in his early 20s while competing in freestyle motocross. A significant spinal injury landed him in the hospital for an extended stay with doctors insisting he would never walk again. Fortunately, the sensation in his feet would return and so would his competitive aspirations, and he would make a return to behind-the-wheel activities. Today, his son Lincoln is following in his motorsports footsteps, making impressive headway as a competitive drift and stadium off-road pilot.
Though the modern Mazda3 hasn’t captured the hearts of enthusiasts and become an aftermarket darling like the Civic and GR 86/BRZ, it seems a fitting chassis for something as wild as a Mad Mike creation. Combing the pedestrian (yet upscale and attractive) people-mover with a fire-breathing (literally) 1,200-hp rotary engine swap is the stuff of dreams.
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