Mad Mike’s Southern Bash at Highlands announced for March 22, 2025

Internationally acclaimed Drifter and Red Bull athlete Mad Mike Whiddett will host Highlands Motorsport Park’s first-ever drift event in March 2025.

Mad Mike’s Southern Bash at Highlands will offer a never-before-seen opportunity for drift and motorsport fans alike to take in the famed South Island venue in a new capacity.

Expect car shows, track cruises, world-renowned talent, and a range of Whiddett’s one-of-a-kind creations to make the trip down from the Hampton Downs ‘Mad Lab’ for the event on March 22, 2025.

“This is a great opportunity for everyone to be able to experience the track that I’ve fortunately been the only one to experience going sideways and drifting intentionally,” said Whiddett.

“We’ve been talking about it for years. It’s something we’ve always wanted to do, but the schedule has been so busy with international travel.

“Highlands, for me, is my favourite track on the planet, hands down. It’s got a mix of everything. All the corners, elevation changes, the twists and so on. It reminds me of an old slot car set you’d have from when you were a kid.

“It’s cool that we can now open it up to drift fans and drivers. It’s a real summer festival vibe, and it’s going to be the first time the public has the opportunity to drift and cruise on Highlands.

“From my machinery, we will be bringing down as much as we literally possibly can. We’ll load up the rig from my most fun creations to the fastest, craziest creations that we build at the Mad Lab at Hampton Downs and bring them south.”

Whiddett’s goal with Mad Mike’s Southern Bash at Highlands is to encourage participation across the entire spectrum of automotive car culture.

“Our cruise sessions are a real spectacle to see everything from hot rods, low riders, bikes, trucks, classics and professional race vehicles together where drivers drop their ego and enjoy the unique car culture that we have here in New Zealand,” he adds.

Whiddett, who will debut a McLaren P1 GTR drift car dubbed ‘MADMAC’ at the Goodwood Festival of Speed next weekend, began hosting Mad Mike’s Summer Bash at Hampton Downs in 2017.

Since then, the event has become a staple on the New Zealand motorsport calendar, attracting fans from across New Zealand and the world.

Open drift sessions, track cruises, gymkhana, drift battles, and special guests have brought out New Zealand’s top talent and machinery in years gone by, and more of the same is expected at Highlands.

“This is going to be massive,” said Highlands Motorsport Park CEO Josie Spillane.

“We’ve worked with Mike and Toni for years, and I always promised him that the first-ever drift event at Highlands would be his!  In our 12th year of Highlands, the stars have finally aligned to make it a reality – we can’t wait.  

“Mad Mike’s Summer Bash has been a highlight on the Hampton Downs calendar every year, and I think we are going to fill Cromwell to the gunwales with this event when it heads south in March.  

“I’d encourage everyone to mark the date and come and give it a look – the technique, the skill, the commitment, it’s a very impressive show!

“We are about to see Highlands as we’ve never seen her before! Save the date of March 22. This is an event you don’t want to miss!”

More information on Mad Mike’s Southern Bash at Highlands will be announced in August, so sign up to the Highlands socials to be kept up to date!

Mad Mike Whiddett
Mad Mike's Southern Bash at Highlands
Mad Mike (right), pictured with Andrew Waite, Shane van Gisbergen, Josie Spillane and Tony Quinn at Highlands in November 2017