Demon Energy D1NZ Drifting Championship Round 1

The 2014/2015 Demon Energy D1NZ Series kicked off last weekend returning to Manfeild Raceway after a long absence. Friday was scheduled for practice and part of the pro-am series, while Saturday was left for the podium positions for pro-am and the top 32 pro drivers to battle it out for that 1st place at round one!

This was the first time that the public was able to see all of the cars new liveries in person, this series teams have really pushed themselves to step out of the box, these cars were on a different level altogether, livery, engine and body wise.

Weather conditions for day one were terrible, heavy winds and pouring rain didn’t make it easy for teams when they wanted to spend the day practicing for the coming battles.

With Gaz Whiter sending his S14 to Australia for the World Time Attack Challenge he was borrowing an old D1NZ car with less power, but he definitely took up the challenge.

Shayne Giles’s new livery for his S14.5 looked totally angry in the weekend, all black and menacing with massive lock to get that much desired angle that most of the drivers are looking for.

Bruce Tannock left his car’s body scheme pretty much untouched over the off-season, he made the right choice because it already looked amazing.

Pro-am drivers are really stepping the game up this season. If you didn’t know who was who it would be easy enough to get cars mixed up to which series they belong in.

With the rain still pouring down, cars kept spinning out, coming off the track and having a nap in the gravel. It wasn’t a good way to start the first round of D1NZ this year.

As the weather was starting to get a little bit better in the afternoon some smoke started to emerge from the overly damp tires and race track.

This started to show when Dylan Woolhouse (V8 C35) and Adam Davis (180SX with a S14A front end swap) left clouds of smoke behind their drift machines!

This year we have seen a whole heap of new cars, but also what’s coming out of the woodwork is team cars, there are quite a few team cars this season most of which have one driver in pro-am and one in pro however there are the few that run in the same class.

Day two at the track on Saturday started to show a good day ahead with no rain for most of the day.

By afternoon the sun was shining through the clouds and some impressive practice battles started to play out.

As the day went on the battles started to get better and better, with the cars gradually inching closer to the door of the driver in front.

Close battles between Joel and Adam lead to a couple of OMTs but we weren’t complaining because every battle they had was good enough to be in the pro class.

Lunch time at D1NZ means the pit walk, this is when the drivers can show off their cars, take photos with fans, support their sponsors, sell signed posters and merchandise.

Lunchtime entertainment included a few motorbike jumps, but as the wind picked up it seemed a little bit too dangerous to be jumping off massive ramps!

The Promo girls are always ready for a picture and a laugh.

After lunch qualifying got underway with the top 32 battles, with the sun shining and the track dry, it was time for some door to door action between the top drivers in New Zealand!

Fanga Dan’s Holden had mechanical issues, so he borrowed pro-am driver Ben Jenkins S13. Although it laked a little bit of power compared to his mighty V8 Commodore, it was still very light and he managed to keep up with the pro cars before being knocked out.

After an intense two days it all came down to a battle for third and fourth position between Adam and Daynom, with Daynom sitting inches away from the Precision Wheels S15.

And of course the final battle between Darren Kelly and Andrew Redward, which saw a big gap on Andrews lead run, but Darren took the win in the borrowed pro-am Skyline.

The next round of D1NZ will be held at Mt Smart stadium on the 7th and 8th of November, visit the D1NZ facebook page to purchase tickets.

 

Words and Photos by Shaun Constable (Ambition Works)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ambition-Works/513022928777592

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