Drift King Mad Mike Whiddett will bring his RUMBUL super truck to the Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge next month.
The 2018 Formula Drift Japan Championship winner is one of New Zealand’s most successful and recognisable motorsport personalities and will be a major feature at the November 15 event at the purpose-built WRC-calibre power stage on former national champion Andrew Hawkeswood’s Auckland property.
“I’ve known Andrew Hawkeswood for a long time,” Whiddet explained. “I was up at his property about five years ago with my son Lincoln ripping around in his trophy cart in the bare paddocks.
“I bumped into PJ [Rally New Zealand 2020 chairman Peter Johnston] out at Hampton Downs at the cafe and he mentioned that even though WRC isn’t happening this year they were still going to push on with this mega event out at Hawkeswoods.
“I met up with Hawkeswood and looked at the property and I was blown away with what they were constructing with excavators, bulldozers, dump trucks etc and I was super pumped to see it.
“Also having an off-roader that has been sitting in the shed all year, I was like yup, I am going to bring this out.”
Whiddett will run his 13B twin rotor engine Mazda B2000 Stadium Truck on a separate course to that of the rally cars across the day to ensure he doesn’t cut up the stage too much.
“Andrew is going to custom make a course for myself so I can run demos all day,” Whiddett said. “I don’t have to wait for the whole field to pass, I can run whenever I feel like it, which is really cool.
“I will be doing demos throughout the day and then mingling with fans.
“With everything that has happened this year it has been a super challenging year. We had 31 international events on the calendar this year and we have done one.
“I am super looking forward to getting back behind the wheel.”
The Red Bull star thinks the Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge will be one of the biggest events in New Zealand motorsport history.
“I am just excited about being a spectator – watching Paddon and Murph and SVG is coming over and having a thrash – so there are some real heavy hitters coming to the event,” he said. “The course they have created represents New Zealand so well and I hope that in the next year or two the WRC can come back to New Zealand and put on a special stage like this.
“That is one thing drifting does really well – we create this atmosphere where the crowd can see all the action. Rallying is one of those things where you stand on a corner and see a car come flying past, but it is past and gone within seconds.
“What they have created out at Jacks Ridge will give that atmosphere similar to the drifting where fans can see 95 percent of the course.”
The Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge will screen live on Sky Sport – tickets can be purchased via Ticket Fairy.