SATURDAY, 7 DECEMBER
MAD MIKE’S SUMMER BASH
HAMPTON DOWNS MOTORSPORT PARK
DON’T JUST SPECTATE
When ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddet created Mad Mike’s Summer Bash (MMSB) three years ago, the goal was always to create an event that everyone could come not just to watch but to participate in, and leave with a smile: “I’ve travelled to many different events around the globe and thought about how rad it would be to host my own drift event in New Zealand, incorporating elements from events that I love most. With Summer Bash, I’ve taken the best parts and left out the boring bits to create a fusion of motorsport action, which will hopefully be equally appreciated by both fans and drivers alike,” explains Mike. “The ultimate goal is to create a fun, festival-style event with action-packed entertainment.”
MMSB offers spectators the chance to get involved with the action, even if you don’t have a car of your own to enter into the drifting or Time Attack. Jump behind the wheel of an MX-5 and try your hand at drifting in the Mazda Drift Gymkhana, all in a controlled environment of the purpose-built skidpan. The skidpan will also be open to drive your own car and test your skills against the Mad Mike–designed gymkhana course. Rolling Hard also returns this year with two Internationaltrack cruising sessions, where everything from classic Mazdas to hot rods, low-riders, and dailydrivers will hit the track for a cruise session led by ‘NIMBUL’ and the entire Mad Mike fleet. One of the biggest names to throw their hand into the ring will be Rod Millen. Rod will be piloting his Mazda RX-3, which was built as a modern tribute car to the RX-3 that he campaigned in the New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) in 1975–1977. This car is a constant class leader at Leadfoot, and will no doubt embarrass a few modern turbo cars at the Bash.
Off track, the hardpark is always a popular attraction and is backed with massive prizes on offer. “With it being so close to Christmas, we wanted to keep it as accessible to everyone as possible. That’s why it’s free for under 15s, and we have a huge family fun zone at turn two, and a Yamaha kids MX track, so there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained,” says Mike.
Tickets can be pre-purchased online from madmike.co.nz, with all driving events requiring pre-purchase. Every ticket purchased will go into the draw to win hot laps with Mike in a ‘BUL’ of the winner’s choice.
ALL COMERS WELCOME
In 2018, MMSB saw a revamped drift format for the Top 16 Drift Superclass, which proved a success, allowing amateur drifters to go head to head with New Zealand’s best. Acting as a proving ground for those trying to make a name in the sport, it’s one of the only chances they get to test their skills against the professionals.
“In previous years, we ran the Top 16 as invite only, but, in 2018, we opened to anyone with a MSNZ [MotorSport New Zealand] roll cage. All you have to do is rock up on the Friday and claim a spot by qualifying,” Mike tells us. “It’s a great opportunity for up-and-coming drivers to pit their skills against New Zealand’s best drivers. Last year, we had some big upsets with the likes of Kieran Stewart in his little MX-5 taking out some big contenders — that’s a success in my eyes. It’s about giving these guys a platform, which they might otherwise not get.”
For those who don’t qualify for the big show during Friday’s qualifying, there are also the three open drift sessions throughout Saturday. And as well as the two cruising sessions, there’s also the infamous Triple Threat Team Drift for those who like to bang doors with the homies.
NIMBUL SET TO KILL
Finished just before it was loaded into a container heading to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mike’s latest and perhaps most-polarizing build, the Lamborghini Huracán dubbed ‘NIMBUL’, will, for the first time, kill tyres in front of a New Zealand crowd at Summer Bash as the headline star this December. The Huracán was built over the course of only a month by a small dedicated crew working almost around the clock to transform the supercar into a drift-capable machine before debuting on the world stage. The naturally aspirated V10 is now assisted by a 150kW shot of nitrous oxide, and the car also features some very trick suspension components custom built for the project.
Having only just arrived back in the country from the UK, the car has undergone a few tests at Hampton Downs to ensure that Mike is ready to put on a show with some demo runs during the event, and he tells us that it will also be out in the cruising sessions. NIMBUL joining all the other BULs in Mike’s stables to lead the two cruising sessions. “This is the only event in the world where I have all the cars in one place and out on the track together,” explains Mike.
TIME ATTACK RETURNS
Alongside the Top 16 Drift Superclass, New Zealand’s biggest names in Time Attack will contest in four sessions throughout the day, vying for top honours and fastest lap. Entry to this requires an MSNZ-legal car, and also gives entry to the two cruising sessions and burnout comp.
STOP WHEN THEY POP
Killing tyres is in Mad Mike’s DNA, so it makes sense that any event he hosts will have a burnout competition. The fiercely contested Skid King, included as part of your Rolling Hard entry, has proved an extremely popular addition to the show.
For those looking to have a seriously lush day, the premium ticket option will deliver VIP treatment, with access to the trackside VIP grandstand, a barbecue lunch, drink vouchers, and special parking. With grandstand being situated right at the exit of the Double Bastard, you won’t find a better seat to catch all the action trackside.