New Zealand’s best drifters will return to Hampton Downs on December 9 for the second edition of Mad Mike’s Summer Bash.
Organised by ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett, the first Summer Bash at Hampton Downs last February attracted the top 16 drivers in the country as well as giving the grassroots of the sport an opportunity to test their skills on a world class racetrack. Whiddett is looking forward to hosting an even bigger and better event at the end of the year.
“For the first Summer Bash we attracted New Zealand’s top drivers including all of the national champions, some of whom had retired and returned specifically for the event,” says Whiddett. “The feedback from the drivers was outstanding so I’m expecting all the top drivers to be back again. We’re also hoping to attract a lot more of the grassroots guys this time around. This event is all about opening up opportunities for other drivers.”
The Top 16 Shootout is only a small part of what will be a huge day with the track open to all levels and abilities, from the grassroots of drifting to families looking to get out on the Hampton Downs track and enjoy their cars.
As part of his mission to make drifting more accessible Whiddett has also started running regular drift track days at the Hampton Downs circuit. Mad Mike Drift Force is open to rookies and more experienced drivers alike and the aim is to give them more track time ahead of the Summer Bash.
The first Drift Force event took place at the end of July with over 30 cars and drivers turning out to mix it up with Mad Mike. There are two more events planned this year and one lucky Drift Force driver will win a wildcard entry to compete in the Top 16 shootout at the Summer Bash.
“It’s not necessarily the best driver who’ll win the wildcard but someone that really wants it,” says Whiddett. “They need to be able to drive obviously and they’ll need to be able to negotiate the course but it’s more about the passion they have for drifting. When I started drifting in 2007 I was determined to make a career out of it and I hope that these events will give some other young drivers an opportunity to chase their drifting dreams.”
“The level of driving has improved dramatically since I first started drifting ten years ago. Drifting in this country is in a great place and it just needs more exposure to take it to the next level. That’s what the Summer Bash is all about.”
One of the stars of the Summer Bash will be Whiddett’s RADBUL, a 1200hp, 4 rotor, twin-turbo Mazda MX5. Whiddett finished third in last year’s Formula Drift World Championship in RADBUL and it will be a rare opportunity for drift fans to see Whiddett drive it on the track in New Zealand.
Whiddett has also got a new car build planned for the event. He’s converting a 1980s Mazda Luce into a full drift spec four-seater taxi dubbed MADCAB. It’ll be kitted out with a roll cage and racing seats so Whiddett can take up to three passengers for the sideways ride of their life.
“I just want people to come and have fun in a safe environment,” says Whiddett. “I want to share my passion for drifting with the fans because trust me, it’s the most fun you can have, jumping in a drift car and thrashing around a race track.”
Off the track, there will be a hard park Show ‘n Shine for people to display their cars and ‘Mad Mike’ will be wandering around picking his favourite cars. There will be a Family Fun Zone, VIP trackside hospitality, new viewing platforms and grandstands so the fans can get up close to the action and entry is free for U15s accompanied by a paying adult.
Enter your car or grab your tickets click here
Zade Quilter August 29, 2017
Posted In: News