Starting out in a Ford, he was second in the Driver to Europe Series and that gave him a springboard into more than a decade of open-wheel racing, mostly in Formula Two and Formula Pacific cars. He was a regular overseas racer too, competing in Britain, Macau, Malaysia, and New Zealand against a wide range of rivals including Bowe. But it was a Kiwi, Steve Millen, who gave Miedecke his “Mad Andy” tag while he was racing in March in Formula Pacific.
The “Mad Andy” tag stuck thanks to some spectacular open-wheel crashes! He turned his car into a canoe in a giant crash in Macau in 1980 and, in 1984, went through a trackside billboard at the New Zealand Grand Pix at Pukekehoe.
“I was driving one of Graeme Watson’s cars. I lined up on the second or third row for the second heat, dropped the clutch and got a good start. As I got into the braking area I accelerated. The car went upside-down and I took the “R” out of “Castrol” in a giant billboard!
It turned out a rock had jammed the throttles.
“In Harry Galloway’s car I had a crash in practice for the New Zealand Grand Prix and broke both my legs. One was broken in 20 places.”
Touring cars might have looked safer, but Miedecke was really looking for a way to turn professional.
“I had been in single-seaters a long time, but I could see there wasn’t going to be any money – ever. If I was going to be able to drive professionally, apart from going up to Asia, it had to be in touring cars. In late 1986, or it might have been early 1987, I went to New Zealand and rented a Ford Sierra. A few of the Kiwi boys had them. They were early Roush cars; they had the 2.3 Pinto engine.”
On the plane back to Australia, Bo Seton – father of Glenn – came up to Miedecke and suggested a way to go racing in a Sierra.
“He doesn’t talk much but he said, “ A mate of mine, Don Smith, has got these Cosworth Sierras and is getting duded, and told me to give him a call.”
It didn’t take Miedecke long to forge a partnership, using some of the money he had made with a new car dealership in Port Macquarie.
“So that was the ’87 touring car championship. The deal I struck with Don was that I bought a Sierra from him for $125,000 and he paid all the expenses to run it, with OXO sponsorship. We were pretty competitive. That first year I remember we were the dominant Ford Sierra team.
But Bathurst was a boomer. He qualified on the front row and led easily, although he always knew Smith – more than five seconds slower in practice – would not be able to sustain a serious run.