Demon Energy D1NZ Drifting Championship Round 2

The Demon Energy Drinks D1NZ National Drifting Championship: Round 2 went down at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland City last weekend, and what a round it was. Close battles, massive crowd, big screen and plenty of carnage!

The event as usual was spread over two days, and included both the Pro-Am development and D1NZ Pro Series drivers competing head to head, on a new track layout in the concrete jungle. Perfect weather for both days was well received after an exceptionally wet first round, that meant lots of smoke as the cars burnt through a truck load of tires.

We find it cool that the D1NZ crew manage to take an average sized car park and turn it into a fast, flowing D1NZ spec track complete with FMX jumps and plenty of concrete barriers to provide some extra entertainment!

The pit walk saw the crowd descend on their favorite teams to secure themselves a quick chat and signed poster, and was also a great opportunity for fans to check out and snap some pics of the cars as they waited to hit the track.

Two major crashes on Saturday night saw the Milwaukee S15 piloted by Drew Donovan clip the concrete and spin along the stone wall, shortening the car up into a little compact version, what a heart-warming moment it was to see Drew’s team mate and partner (Ms Drift – Jodie Verhulst ) come out to check on her man. A cheeky slap on the butt and a quick hug sent the crowd into an awwwing friendzy.

The second major upset was the A31 driven by Phil Sutherland clipping the wall and getting knocked off line, resulting in an extraordinary roll up the fence, onto its roof and back down onto all four wheels, thankfully there were no injuries, but with both cars now out of action, it spelt the end of the round for both teams.

Sadly the disruption created a couple of minor problems, one being the fireworks display that was planned had to be postponed, but D1NZ officials say they want to plan a free event to let them off asap,, and the second being that the D1NZ Pro battle for 3rd and 4th was unable to take place with Motorsport NZ officials calling the time cut-off, forcing a non-battle, resulting in the teams agreeing to decide the outcome by using their qualifying run points. This saw Darren Kelly in the R34 sedan take 4th and put Gaz Whiter on the podium in 3rd place with the LS7 S14 Zenki. The battle for 1st and 2nd was down to Fanga Dan in the Century Batteries LS VE Holden Commodore and Curt Whittaker in the Autosure Ford V8 powered Nissan R34 Coupe. After a close first battle it all came down to the final run, and with Fanga entering the first corner hard and spinning, the round win was handed to Curt Whittaker and the Rattla Motorsport Team.

The D1NZ Pro-Am series was a different story, with 3 turbo charged cars taking the podium steps. Joel Hedges took 1st in the C’s Garage SR20DET Onevia, Joel Paterson in 2nd in the 4AGE 20v turbo AE86 and Troy Jenkins in 3rd with his RB30DET powered S15 Silvia.

R3 of the D1NZ series heads to Tauranga’s ASB Baypark over the 17th & 18th of January 2015, the second of the concrete lined custom courses. So for now it’s time to take a break from D1NZ until next year, which gives a few guys the chance to test their panel beating skills!

A huge thank you to our round photographers!!

Shaun Constable – Ambition works

Glen McNamara and Danielle Dines – Omegah Photography

David Liang – Autofocal Photography

Words by Chris Cave

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