Motor Equipment News - - FRONT PAGE - By Robert Tighe Pho­tos: Graeme Mur­ray/Red Bull

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.

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