D1NZ is now in its eighth season has seen over a million dollars worth of tyres go up in smoke, and we have battled with some of the greatest motor sport names in the world and won as D1NZ is New Zealand’s fastest growing motor sport with the biggest age and ethnic group competing. The question I ask you is “have you come and experienced this fun filled motor sport yet?”
D1NZ hits six rounds nationwide with Christchurch being the first stop of the 2010-2011 Rockstar Energy Drink National Drifting Championship tour.
It seems weird to be summarising the round-up as round 1 was straight after the first ‘quake and now our nation suffers another disaster as I write this article with Christichurch’s second ‘quake hitting and affecting everyone including D1NZ drivers.
Canterbury needed a break and the D1NZ Championship drivers put on a great show to relieve some of the region’s stress. A charity concert was held in Hagley Park on the same weekend as D1NZ which saw 120,000 people attend, but this didn’t deter Christchurch coming out in thousands to witness who the round’s bragging rights went to, with the dark horse Curt Whittaker in his Sonar Tyres 2J- powered R34 taking top podium spot.
Big names such as Gaz Whiter and Mad Mike were knocked out early in the round and some exceptional footage of the skillful battles which played out over the championship round can be viewed online now.
Next stop on the championship schedule was Manfeild raceway where the weather gods put on a stunning weekend to host Manawatu’s only round.
D1NZ consists of two platforms, the feeder series D1Rookie which runs on the Friday and the Pro Championship which runs on the Saturday.
The Manfeild round saw D1NZ change the way it qualifies its top 16 to three passes scored by each individual judge. In the past qualifying has been a jam session where 5-6 cars on the track at a time impressed the judges, but now each individual driver grids up in his reverse championship order and gets one warm-up lap and three qualfying laps.
If you spin you get a zero and two more goes or you don’t qualify for top 16 three judges score each driver style points out of 10. Each individual judge has his own aspect which includes line-up to 25/100, speed up to 20/100 and angle 25/100. Style makes up the other 30 points and the highest qualifier will get top spot and battle the bottom qualifier.
Round 2 saw American Andrew Redward take out top qualifying spot and he was the one to beat. However when it came to battles the pressure was too much and he lost it to newcomer Gary Tenana.
Round 3 was at Mt Smart stadium, the first time in central Auckland with the new super city under the night sky. This round was the biggest setup for D1NZ to date with over 300m of barriers in place and was great to see the drivers were amped to get out and swap paint with the concrete.
Mad Mike Whiddet entered near 90 degrees at 110 km/h on the short course, rubbing his back bumper constantly along the wall - it was a sight that you can only take full appreciation of when you see it in the flesh. Many other drivers were on form including Adam Richards, Australian Josh Coote and Fanga Dan in his freshly Wrapped Hell Holden Commodore.
However the weather didn’t agree with D1NZ on the weekend which really killed the event set-up and constant rain over the two days kept the masses away. However the hardcore enthusiasts braved the elements to witness some of the best battles New Zealand has seen, with the crowd screaming at the top of their lungs and the judges often going for OMT – one more time.
Once again it was Gaz Whiter and Curt Whittaker fighting it out with Whiter narrowly taking the win. However Curt Whittaker currently leads the championship as we head into round 4 at Taupo Raceway, and by the time you read this the Pukekohe round will be rolling around the corner with the world’s fastest drifting corner – 210 km/h entering sideways! Make sure you come down and check it out as it’s sure to be an epic on March 12.