Thursday, Nov 30 03:52pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett would 'love to do Bathurst 12 Hour'

‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett has indicated he's keen to expand his GT3 racing portfolio in the future with a drive in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

However, the chance for the Red Bull drifter might not come for a while yet with schedule conflicts meaning he won’t be able to race in the endurance season opener in 2018.

Whiddett told velocitynews.co.nz he is interested in continuing to drive for Hampton Downs and Highlands Motorsport Park owner Tony Quinn in the future. Last year Whiddett made his Australian GT Championship debut with Quinn’s son Klark Quinn at the Hampton Downs 101.

Whiddett has driven in five races so far behind the wheel of Quinn’s McLaren 650S GT3 and said if it weren’t for an already packed schedule he’d be doing more.

“Yeah I’d love to do the [Bathurst] 12 Hour,” Whiddett said.

“It would be awesome. I just love driving and it doesn’t really matter if I’m in an off-road truck, in a drift car, or learning a GT3 car.

“We could have done more events. We were offered more drives this year in the GT3, but it’s just such a busy schedule with drifting.

“We have six cars now. We’re somewhere every weekend driving something, which is really cool. Coming from a kid with a big dream who grew up with his mum, now we’re driving bloody GT3 cars and travelling the world—it’s awesome.”

Traditionally Rod Millen’s Leadfoot Festival has fallen on the same weekend as the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour. Earlier this year Kiwis Shane van Gisbergen, Matt Halliday, Dan Gaunt, Simon Evans, Chris Pither, Craig Baird, Sam Fillmore, Earl Bamber, Dom Storey Andrew Waite and five other amatuer drivers competed in the race.

Whiddett said he’s already booked to appear at Millen’s festival in Hahei come early February.

“I think the Bathurst 12 Hour is the same weekend as the Leadfoot Festival. That’s one we’ve already committed to and one that I love, because it’s like a New Zealand version of the Goodwood Festival of Speed.”

Whiddett’s alignment with Mazda as a factory supported operation got him the opportunity to go over to Australia recently to drive their spec-series cup cars. That he said gives him a kick because he’s constantly in the hot seat.

“Not long ago we went over for Mazda and I was just doing hot laps in a Mazda MX-5 cup car, which are probably 200hp.

“But when you’ve got 10 of them that are exactly the same speed at Sandown Raceway, it’s just awesome. Just as a driver it’s about pushing and finding the limits and bringing up that adrenaline.”

However, Whiddett said the conflicts aren’t all bad. It means he gets a chance to relax during the off-season doing what he loves and give his fans a up close experience with drifting.

“It’s great to spend some time in New Zealand because I don’t get to much now with this international schedule.

“So it’s awesome to be down here and try do as much during Summer. I’m here for the fans so they can see us.”

Whiddett's next on-track appearance will be at his own event, 'Mad Mike's' Summer Bash' at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park on December 9.