Oldest Car in 2024 D1GP: Mad Mike’s Quad-Rotor Mazda RX-3 Wagon Steals the Show

2024 D1GP welcomes back his inaugural drift car for competition.

Renowned drifter Michael Whiddett has been reunited with his treasured Mazda RX-3 drift car – the very first machine he used for drifting – and it will be his top pick for the 2024 D1 Grand Prix season. Mad Mike claimed victory at Skid Fest in 2004 with this remarkable car, however, due to financial limitations, he was forced to part ways with it that same year. Now, after two decades, he has come back to where it all began.Correction:Professional drifter Mike Whiddett has once again joined forces with his beloved Mazda RX-3 drift car – the original vehicle he used for drifting – which will serve as his prime choice for the upcoming 2024 D1 Grand Prix season. In 2004, Mad Mike triumphed at Skid Fest with this impressive car, but unfortunate financial circumstances led him to sell it later that same year. Now, twenty years later, he has completed a full circle by reuniting with his initial ride.

Since its initial sale in 2004, the RX-3 has exchanged hands a total of 10 times, with each new owner putting their own unique spin on the vehicle. Some opted for a fresh coat of paint, while others went as far as stripping it down to its skeleton. One of the more recent owners aimed to bring the drift car back to its original 2004 state, but unfortunately, the end result fell short of expectations. After reclaiming possession, Mad Mike took matters into his own hands and gave the ride a complete makeover, leaving it in pristine condition and fully prepared for the race track.

Mad Mike's Girl That Got Away, But Came Back? New 2024 D1GP Mazda RX-3

Mike has recently brought back the car’s “Fursty” plate, which it had during his initial ownership. Despite only having the car for a mere two months after repurchasing it, Mike has already reconstructed it from its previous dismantled state. Thanks to the addition of a Rocket Bunny widebody kit, the car now boasts an impressive appearance, with the ability for all four doors and the rear hatch to still open. The custom two-spoke front wheels, proudly displaying the Mad Mike logo, further enhance the car’s style. Additionally, all four wheels are adorned with Toyo R888R tires.

Beneath the surface, the RX-3 boasts a TCP-crafted 26B rotary engine with four rotors. Mike estimates its power output to be between 600 and 700 horsepower at the wheels, which proves to be more than sufficient for his drifting endeavors.

Transferring power to the ground is made possible by the Mazda MX-5’s rear end, equipped with a completely independent rear suspension. The front end of the car features an AE86 steering rack and Techno Toy arms. In addition, notable components such as EFI hardware, a Haltech R5 system, Radium Auto fuel system, KW coilover suspension, and HGT six-speed sequential transmission are all integrated into the vehicle. A nitrous system has also been added for an extra boost. Moving to the interior, the RX-3 boasts a custom race interior featuring Bride seats, a roll cage, and a metal dashboard. The placement of these seats has been strategically shifted in order to optimize weight distribution for the car.

While some may find it unimpressive for someone of Mike’s caliber, it should be noted that he recently took things to the extreme with the world’s first five-rotor Mazda. Therefore, this serves as a pleasant shift in pace for him.

The 2024 season of D1GP is set to start in Japan next May and will come to an end in November.

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