Mad Mike's Summer Bash returns
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New Zealand's biggest drifting spectacle will be staged before Christmas this year while next year it expands to the South Island.
Mad Mike's Summer Bash was a raging success earlier this year and it is expected to grow bigger heading into this summer.
Organised by drift king Mad Mike Whiddett the event, featuring professional and amateur drivers, will take place at Hampton Downs Raceway on December 9. The following year there will be two events - one at Hampton Downs again but one at Highlands Motorsport Park near Cromwell.
Following on from last summer's success Whiddett is expecting a top field of entries.
"Last year we attracted every one of the national drifting champions - even the ones that were in retirement, built cars just for the Summer Bash," he told The Herald.
"We are looking to attract the top 16 for the drifting super class.
"But the event is really about trying to create New Zealand's motorsport festival of entertainment - from drifting to the time attack, the grass roots open track and really keeping it fun for the guys who don't have the big sponsors.
"Last year the Insane Entry winner was a grass roots driver that walked away with the big prize and the bragging rights of being the Summer Bash Insane Entry winner."
Whiddett has tried to come up with something for everyone at the event - from hard core enthusiasts, to amateur wannabees as well as mums and children, who have free entry if they are under 15.
"We have the top 16 super class drifting, there is open-track drifting for all levels - grass roots and pro," he said. "We have the Time Attack Outlaws, which is where everyone is chasing trying to break the lap time around Hampton Downs. We have the Mazda Gymkhana - where spectators can pay $30 and actually jump into a brand new Mazda MX5 and experience drifting and try win the prize there. There is the Show 'n Shine where some of New Zealand's finest show cars are on display."
And in 2018 the event will expand to the South Island for the first time - going to the picturesque Highlands track in Cromwell.
"Partnering with Tony Quinn and his amazing tracks at Hampton Downs and Highlands - I'm really stoked to be able to take it to Highlands next year," Whiddett said. "We will have a north version and a south version so for the guys that can't afford the ferry to get up to Hampton Downs we will take it to them.
"Highlands is by far my favourite track on planet earth and that place offers everything - so many different variations of curbs and elevation. It is such a beautiful part of New Zealand."