Two of motorsport’s biggest characters hooked up for a drifting masterclass in Saint Petersburg as Mad Mike Whiddett took on multiple Dakar Rally winner Eduard Nikolaev at the famous Kirov Factory.
– Russian Nikolaev welcomed New Zealand car drifting star Whiddett to his home country for a unique challenge in the nation’s northern capital.
– The idea first came up a year ago as a joke at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England where the pair talked about drifting head-to-head.
– Ahead of his 2019 Dakar Rally truck defence next January in Peru, 34-year-old Nikolaev started his nine-ton KAMAZ truck ride at one end of the factory.
– Meanwhile Whiddett, 37, began his Bad Bull Mazda RX-8 ride at the other end of the factory before the two met in the middle for a drifting masterclass.
– With Whiddett’s car nine times lighter than the truck and the four-rotor engine five times smaller compared to the KAMAZ diesel engine, their respective torques were poles apart as the Kiwi battled to keep alongside.
– Both drivers managed to drift in sync pulling a similar acceleration of around 1,000 horsepower.
– Whiddett, who made his first trip to Russia for the challenge, said: “It took me quite a while to get used to such a big and heavy truck speeding right next to me. Any of its four wheels is bigger than my entire car!”
– 2010 Silk Way Rally champion Nikolaev added: “I am super happy about this adventure of ours! We have actually once again shown that we can perform away from the sands and dunes too.