MAD MIKE TO HOST HAMPTON DOWNS SUMMER BASH
HAMPTON DOWNS MOTORSPORT PARK, MAZDA NZ AND NEW ZEALAND DRIFT SUPERSTAR ‘MAD MIKE’ WHIDDETT HAVE JOINED FORCES TO BRING YOU THE BIGGEST DRIFT EVENT OF 2017 – MAD MIKE’S SUMMER BASH!
Whiddett, who has spent much of 2016 travelling the globe is looking forward to bringing it all back home in 2017, starting with this brand-new drift event on Saturday, February 18 at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park. A 16-strong field of New Zealand’s best drifters has already been confirmed for the headline Summer Bash event, where all comers will go up against Mad Mike in a new, exciting format. The field includes former New Zealand champions Gaz Whiter, ‘Fanga Dan’ Woolhouse and Darren Kelly, as well as the current champ Curt Whittaker. Rounding out the field are Daynom Templeman, Nico Reid, Bruce Tannock, Cole Armstrong, Drew Donovan, Jodie Verhulst, Sky Zhao, Andrew Redward, Adam Hedges, Troy Jenkins and Brad Smith.
“It will be New Zealand’s biggest one-day drifting festival and it will have something for everyone, from the grassroots of the sport to the pros,” says Whiddett. “There are so many great drifters in New Zealand and the calibre of the cars and the level of driving has improved dramatically since I first started drifting 10 years ago. The Summer Bash is an opportunity for drifters to showcase their skills in front of a big crowd at New Zealand’s best drift circuit.”
Tony Quinn, the owner of Hampton Downs, is looking forward to seeing drift cars strut their stuff on the new sevencorner international drift circuit, including the two-corner stretch Quinn has nicknamed ‘Double Bastard’, where the new 1.2km track extension meets the old track.
“We’ve made no secret of the fact that we intend to promote four or five major events every year, and drifting is definitely one of them,” says Quinn. “We intend on making this the biggest annual drift event in the country and one that will attract international stars over time. The drifting fraternity are already making the new 1.2km club circuit their home and we want to take this a step further and give them a chance to take part in a major drift event every year.”
One of the stars of the show will be Whiddett’s RADBUL, a 900kW (1200hp), four-rotor, twin-turbo Mazda MX-5. Whiddett finished third in this year’s Formula D Drifting World Championship in RADBUL and it will be the first opportunity for drift fans to see it on the track in New Zealand. Whiddett will be up against 15 of the best drifters from around the country in the Summer Bash Shootout — an invitational event with a brand new format.
“Usually, you show up at a drift event, you do a few practice laps and then you’re straight into elimination,” explains Whiddett. “If you’re knocked out, then you’re done for the day. We’re looking to give the drivers a lot more track time. As well as the Mazda Summer Bash Shootout, we’ve got lots of other cool events happening.”
The Triple Threat Team Drift is open to crews of three with free rein to navigate the judged section in their own style.
“We’re looking for those three cars syncing on the track,” says Whiddett, “but we’re also looking for something explosive. It might be one car drifts wide and the other two pass them on the inside. Or they might all do flying 360s across the finish line. It’s a chance to get creative and put on a real spectacle for the fans.”
The Double Bastard Drift Challenge is open to all comers and it’s the first time that Hampton Downs’ new International Circuit will be open to drift cars. This will be one of the feature events, as drivers of all levels go up against the stars in a judged entry and exit of the two-cornered Double Bastard.
You don’t have to drive sideways to experience the thrill of driving on the racetrack. The International Track Cruise is a rare opportunity for anyone to have a drive around the track, in a
controlled manner of course.
“Mum or Dad can put the kids in the family wagon and feel what it’s like to do a couple of laps around a racetrack,” explains Whiddett. “That isn’t something you get to do at any other event that I know of.”
The Time Attack challenge will see some of the top Super Lap drivers in the country attempt to set a new lap record around Hampton Downs. There will be lots of prizes for the winners plus anyone who pre-purchases a ticket to the Summer Bash goes in the draw to win a hot lap with Mad Mike in RADBUL. The other pro drivers will also be auctioning rides in their cars.
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, including a private lunch with Mad Mike and New Zealand’s top drift stars, and new viewing platforms and grandstands so the fans can get up close to the action.
It promises to be one of the best drift events on the best drift track in the country. See the cars and the stars at Mad Mike’s Summer Bash. For tickets and more info go to www.hamptondowns.com.