Northland drifting icon Gaz Whiter is back to winning ways after he claimed his third Mad Mike's Summer Bash title at Hampton Downs on Saturday.

Whiter, 34, finished second in last year's annual competition - often considered an unofficial drifting nationals - after winning in 2016 and 2017.

Last the weekend, Whiter progressed to the final and prevailed against the competition's namesake, Mike Whiddett.

Read more: Whiter aiming for Mad Mike's Summer Bash three-peat

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However, it wasn't all plain sailing for the Northlander who barely scraped through the qualifying round on Friday. Of 16 drivers to progress to Saturday's racing, Whiter was seeded 12th after he experienced a number of issues with his S14 Nissan Silvia.

A renowned Northland drift king, Whiter made it through a tough qualifying stage on Friday to see success on Saturday. Photo / wreckem.com.au
A renowned Northland drift king, Whiter made it through a tough qualifying stage on Friday to see success on Saturday. Photo / wreckem.com.au

"It wasn't a very good start, we only got three laps' practice so it was a bit of a slow start, but we managed to find a mate with a welder to fix it all before Saturday," Whiter said.

"As soon as we fixed the car back to what it should be, it was good again.

"We had a few practice runs on the Saturday before the competition so we made sure it was back to 100 per cent and then everything went well after that."

Whiter said his experience in the annual drifting clash proved a strong asset going into the final rounds.

"Obviously, it's all the top New Zealand drivers there but we've won two and got second last year, so it normally goes pretty well.

"But drifting is so cut-throat, you have one mistake and you're off, but we've managed to have some good competitions so far."

Whiter's last competitive outing was 12 months ago at last year's Mad Mike's Summer Bash, when he finished second. Photo / wreckem.com.au
Whiter's last competitive outing was 12 months ago at last year's Mad Mike's Summer Bash, when he finished second. Photo / wreckem.com.au

This was Whiter's first competitive drifting appearance since last year's Summer Bash. Formerly a big presence on New Zealand's drifting circuit, Whiter said he was becoming more selective in which events he contested.

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Read more: Whiter wins inaugural Liverpool drifting spectacular

"I've been doing it for 17 years so it's definitely on the back-burner, I'm just doing one-off events now."

"I just don't have the time to do it anymore, it's a big commitment and finding the sponsorship is a huge part of it, it's like another job really.

However, Whiter is certainly not giving up on his drifting passion. With his current Nissan earmarked for retirement, Whiter said he was looking forward to building a new car that could service him in the years to come.

With his current S14 Nissan Silvia (pictured) set for retirement, Whiter was excited to build a new vehicle for him to enjoy. Photo / wreckem.com.au
With his current S14 Nissan Silvia (pictured) set for retirement, Whiter was excited to build a new vehicle for him to enjoy. Photo / wreckem.com.au

Whiter said while next year's events had not been confirmed, he was determined to keep a relaxed attitude which he believed helped him on the track.

"I've always been a bit laidback about things which probably helps a bit, you don't get wound up."