NZ Performance Car - - Summer Bash Hampton Downs -

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.hamp­ton­

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