Round 5 of the Cody’s D1NZ National Drifting Championship saw the series return to Ruapuna Raceway in Christchurch. Located in the South Island of New Zealand, the round required about a 16 hour drive for most teams or paying for shipping and flights. Ruapuna was a huge success last season so it was no surprise to see this round would host the biggest field of entries all year.
The track is also the longest drift section this year and one of the fastest, meaning it was a tire killer at only 1-2 laps per set. The teams were prepared for this and packed extra tires into every nook and cranny they could find. Alongside his stock of Nitto’s, Mad Mike Whiddett decided to ship down both the RX7 Madbul and RX8 Badbul being spoiled for choice.
It was my first time visiting the track and I found it a blast to shoot. The fast, flowing corners and vast scenery made for cool photos. It was also great to see some new cars from the South Island entering in competition.
Earning the best result of the southern drifters was Phil Sutherland in his A31 Cefiro. Qualifying in a respectable 6th place before taking down both Nico Reid and Bruce Tannock to show he was a serious threat. Eventually beaten out by Shane Van Gisbergen and finishing in 6th place making the locals proud.
Running late into the day we were treated to some awesome golden light. Qualifying in third place was Fanga Dan Woolhouse in the Castrol Edge LS Holden Commodore. Started the day by winning against Darren Kelly before he too was taken out by Van Gisbergen.
A surprising and controversial battle was that between Mad Mike Whiddett and Dave Steedman. With Mike judged as putting two wheels off on his lead run and Steedman spinning following that – the battle went one more time where Steedman took the win. An early exit for the current series leader Whiddett who was battling mechanical gremlins in both rotary machines all weekend.
Moving on to the top four was Gaz Whiter and Drew Donovan. Both LS V8 powered Silvia’s had proven their potential with consistent driving from the pilots. A closer chase run saw Gaz into the final and Donovan battling for third place.
After taking out Andrew Redward in his top four battle, Shane Van Gisbergen met Whiter in the final. It was awesome to see these two cars against each other, both with a deafening V8 roar but that’s where the similarities end. The Rattla motorsport Ford Falcon is running a billet alloy 460ci Ford V8 good for 800hp compared to the big LS7 in Whiter’s S14.
With SVG applying his immense talent from the V8 Supercar series and Gaz showing his experience and control behind the wheel, it was a great battle the fans will remember for a long time. A decision had to be made by the judges however and with Whiter’s chase looking a little closer he was announced as the round winner and walked away as the new series leader! Taking a close second of course was Shane Van Gisbergen and rounding out the all V8 podium was Drew Donovan.
Next round we return to Mt Smart stadium May 23-34 in Auckland city for the grand final under lights!
-Images and Words from David Atkinson
James Deane leaks the first video of himself testing his newly built 2JZ powered Nissan 240sx. The testing went down at Kart World Adventure Centre in Cork, Ireland. James car looks pretty insane in testing and is featuring WiseFab suspension on the new build.
Watch the video: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=675349619168791stream_ref=10
A fan managed to capture this insane Silvia wreck from D1SL Round 1 at Bihoku! We have a results posts along with a video of the final battle from Round 1 at Bihoku here. The tires really sent this car on a ride!
Here is a qualifying gallery from Round 1 of the British Drift Championship! You can see some of England’s high profile cars like the SATS Motorsport Supra and the Driftworks 86 in action! Follow the link below for all the images.
Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=391
GT Radial tire made its American drifting debut in the Formula Drift series a few weeks ago. This awesome video does a great job telling the story of both drivers running GT Radial for the weekend. Tyler Wolfson in his 1.3L rotary failed to qualify while Kyle Mohan’s RX-8 smashed the car up in Top 32 and advanced into the Top 16 before losing to Kenneth Moen! Check it out.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2014
A’PEXi Racing- FORMULA DRIFT 2014 – ROUND 1-LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA RACE REPORT
ORANGE, CA – The 2014 Formula Drift season kicks off a new season with a new beginning for the A’PEXi Racing team with seasoned D1GP driver, Kuniaki Takahashi behind the wheel of the Lexus SC430. During this offseason, the crew was at work making changes to the SC430 machine that were geared towards Takahashi-san’s vehicle settings, including converting the vehicle to right-hand drive to assure the driver acclimation process to be as efficient as possible. Takahashi is known for his aggressive “all out” driving style driving Toyota chassis’ such as the JZX100/ Mark II and his current vehicle in the D1GP series, a Toyota Mark X, he is no stranger to the Lexus SC430.
The twin-turbocharged Lexus SC430 on Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08-R tires put down a couple of practice runs during practice, but unfortunately ran into mechanical issues during the session, and the crew hustled to get the machine back out on track in time for qualifying sessions, however, the limited seat time was not enough to result in a Top 32 qualifying score out of an estimated field of 60 cars. On the following weekend, the team was back out for the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge during the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend, Qualifying in the 11th position, and faced up against 2013 Formula Drift Champion and Yokohama Tire teammate, Michael Essa in his turbocharged BMW 3-series. Though, not able to advance into the Top 8 competition bracket, the potential of the vehicle with Kuniaki Takahashi behind the wheel was witnessed immediately during the tandem Top 16 round, and the team is anticipating a successful 2014 season.
During the back to back competition race weekends we were proud to introduce this year’s team and partners: A’PEXi Racing x Up Garage x Yokohama Tire with Kunny’z, rest assured that the team is hard at work preparing the SC430 to be the dependable and competitive machine that it has lived up to be the past few seasons. In addition, to developing and dialing in the vehicle to Takahashi’s specifications.
We would like to thank all of our 2014 partners for their continued support as the team gears up and prepares for the upcoming Formula Drift Round 2: Road to the Championship event hosted by Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA on May 9-10, 2014.
Round 5 of the D1NZ series was interesting as it saw Gary ‘Gaz’ Whiter drive straight to a victory from the top qualification spot. Due to car trouble, Mad Mike Whiddett was eliminated early after having a gearbox issue in his RX-8 and then pulled out his backup RX-7 and suffered a broken axle! This mechanical trouble watched his championship lead evaporate and he now sits in 2nd place. Last round of the 2013/14 season kicks off next month in Auckland! Below are all the results from the big D1NZ weekend:
D1NZ Round 5 Event Results
1. Gaz Whiter (Dargaville, Tectaloy Nissan S14 V8) 112 points
2. Shane Van Gisbergen (Gold Coast, BOC Gases/Racestuff Ford Falcon V8) 89
3. Drew Donovan (Tauranga, Milwaukee Tools Nissan S15 V8) 83
4. Andrew Redward (Auckland, Achilles Radial Mazda RX7 V8) 79
5. Curt Whittaker (Auckland, Autosure 2JZ Nissan Skyline R34) 67
6. Phill Sutherland (Christchurch, Drains Development 2JZ Nissan Cefiro) 65
D1NZ Series points after Round 5 of 6
1. Gaz Whiter 442.5
2. Mike Whiddett 412
3. Curt Whittaker 359
4. Andrew Redward 345.5
5. Daniel Woolhouse (Castrol Edge Holden Commodore V8) 316
6. Nico Reid (Luxury Sport Nissan S15) 295.75
7. Cole Armstrong (V Energy Nissan Skyline R34) 292
8. Shane Van Gisbergen 284.25
9. Drew Donovan 277.75
10. Darren Kelly (Auckland, Thirsty Liquor Nissan Skyline R34) 251.25
BP Triple Crown (Rnds 1, 4 5)
1. Gaz Whiter 328 points
2. Curt Whittaker 228
3. Andrew Redward 211
D1NZ Pro-Am Round points
1. Vincent Langhorn (Nissan Laurel) 110
2. Gareth Grove (Auckland, Spill Response NZ Nissan S14) 94
3. Rene Richmond (Taupo, ILS Mazda RX7/8) 80
4. Michael Thorley (Auckland, Femme Fatale Nissan Laurel) 71
5. Joel Paterson (Hamilton, Toyota AE86) 73
6. Joel Hedges (Auckland, C’s Garage Nissan S13) 65
D1NZ Pro Am Series Points after Roundnd 5 of 6
1. Vincent Langhorn 396
2. Garth Grove 383
3. Joel Hedges 364
4. Tom Marshall 362
5. Joe Marshall 346
6. Michael Thorley 325