Motorsport: Drift star Whiddett makes impressive circuit racing debut

By Dale Budge at Hampton Downs

Mad Mike Whiddett speaks to his engineer at the Hampton Downs 101. Photo / Matthew Hansen
Mad Mike Whiddett speaks to his engineer at the Hampton Downs 101. Photo / Matthew Hansen

Drift star Mad Mike Whiddett raised a few eyebrows with an impressive debut in circuit racing at the Hampton Downs 101 on Friday.

Whiddett, who is partnering Klark Quinn in the Darrell Lea-sponsored McLaren 650S, was right on the pace during Friday practice.

The Red Bull drifting icon had a crash course with Supercars championship leader Shane van Gisbergen at the North Waikato track a month ago but has very limited experience in proper circuit racing despite his deeds in the drifting world.

"It was insane - the amount of grip level is just unreal," Whiddett tells

"The actual entry speed and the braking is just a whole different discipline for myself and coming to grips with it.

"We were two tenths off Klark - someone that is right at the front of the championship - so to jump straight in and do that exceeded the team's expectations.

"I'm not trying to set any world records this weekend but I am feeling really comfortable in the car straight away - it is a beautiful car to drive."

Whiddett will be back on track on Saturday where he will set a qualifying time before handing the car over to the more experienced Quinn. The best times from both driver are added together to get an aggregate with the top 10 best times earning that car a right to compete in the top 10 shootout.

- NZ Herald

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