MAD MIKE’S SUMMER BASH
Four-time former D1NZ ‘Drift King’ Gaz Whiter confirmed his status as one of the best drifters in New Zealand with a dominant performance in ‘Mad Mike’s’ Summer Bash at Hampton Downs in late December last year.
The Whangarei builder defeated Darren Kelly in the final battle after almost missing the morning qualifying session with a mechanical issue.
“We had a bit of a shocking start to the day,” says Whiter. “The belt on our new supercharger kept coming off. We got a belt delivered from Pukekohe and the crew managed to get it done just in time for qualifying.
“It’s great to come back and prove that I can still drive after a long time out of the seat. I love drifting and I love pushing the boundaries.”
Whiter came out of retirement for the first Summer Bash in February 2017 and the prize for defending his title includes an overseas trip to compete in Red Bull Drift Shifters this year.
“I was trying not to think about that,” says Whiter. “The location for Drift Shifters hasn’t been confirmed but that’s a proper prize and it will be a top-class international field. I’ve done some drifting overseas when I was younger but this will be a bit special.”
Fellow former D1NZ #1 Darren Kelly, who defeated event organiser ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett in a closely fought battle in the Top 8, claimed second after facing Whiter in the final battle.
“Gaz was just on fire,” said Kelly. “He opened a gap on me in the first battle and I couldn‘t stick with him. In my lead run, I did everything I could but Gaz is a great chaser and a good all rounder so congrats to him.”
There was some consolation for Kelly who teamed up with Andrew Redward and Troy Jenkins to win the Triple Threat Team Event. Redward also took home third place in the Top 32 Shootout as well as the Hard Charger award.
Tauranga’s Adam Davies won the Insane Entry competition, while expat South African drifter, George Myburgh won the Spirit of Summer Bash award.