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By Oversteer TV, Apr 24 2015 06:02AM

Rattla Motorsport's Curt Whittaker took a commanding win at the Link ECU backed penultimate round of the Demon Energy Drinks D1NZ National Drifting Championship Series, held at Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch over the Easter holiday weekend.

At the helm of the Autosure Insurance R34 Skyline, Whittaker was setting consistently strong laps all weekend; securing fifth place in qualifying and earning himself a bye-run in the Top-32 main event.

The former New Zealand champion then progressed through the competition defeating Dave Steedman in the Mimico Nissan S14, Shane Giles in the WR Twigg / A1 Holmes Nissan S14, and Bruce Tannock in the Achilles Radial S13. This saw a final showdown between Whittaker and the young Nico Reid Drift in the Genuine Vehicle Imports Nissan S15.

By Oversteer TV, Mar 29 2015 11:57PM

Darren Kelly Leads D1NZ Championship Photo: Glen McNamara
Darren Kelly Leads D1NZ Championship Photo: Glen McNamara

Australasia’s best drifters are heading south for round five of the Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship Series in Christchurch next weekend, supported by locally based motorsport instrumentation company Link Engine Management.

Mike Pero Motorsport Park is set to host the penultimate round of the thrilling 2015 title fight, where the polarising battle between the V8’s and Turbo’s has served as a fitting backdrop for the championship points race.

Dubbed the ‘Royal Rumble’ series organisers are expecting another big turnout, as South Island petrol heads get their annual taste of pro-class drifting this coming Easter Weekend.

Former D1NZ Development Series champion Darren Kelly currently leads the series standings in just his second year in the Pro-Championship, a feat that has required Top-Four finishes at every round; including a round win at the season opener at Manfeild, along with his recent second place finish at Hampton Downs.

Campaigning his DKM Fabrication Nissan R34 Skyline Kelly has quickly found himself as the poster boy for loyal Turbo supporters, sitting 30.5 points ahead of his V8 rival Andrew Redward. While the small point’s buffer is an advantage heading into round five, Kelly is mindful about competing at the longest drift section in the country.

“It’s an awesome section, fast-pace and flat out, i like that style of track. Tyre wear is always an issue at Ruapuna though, so we have to take it easy early in the weekend to make sure we don’t cut ourselves short.

“The track can be very testing on running gear at times and we don’t run a dry sump setup in our car. The engine tends to breathe a lot by the end of the lap, one of the main reasons for doing major upgrades to our fuel and turbo setup to try get the same, or slightly more power but dropping the boost to stop the engine breathing.” Says Kelly.

Californian born Andrew Redward in his Club Auto Insurance backed V8 FC-RX7 took the lead for the series standings heading into round four, but has since dropped back to second with 320 points; though still in prime position to take the title with two rounds to go.

With more than a decade of drifting experience Redward is familiar with the pressure of being in title contention, but is also keeping a level head heading into round five next weekend.

“Ruapuna is an awesome track, just a mission to get there and with the amount of tires we use it gets real expensive. As many know it’s hard on the cars and the surface is quite grippy. Championship wise it’s still anyone’s game, even up to the last round you can never be comfortable.

“You need to be in the game every round and win as much as you can.” Says Redward, who could become the first internationally born driver to win the New Zealand title.

Whichever way the series battle goes, history is set to be made come the grand final in May. The Demon Energy D1NZ Series is set to make a triumphant return to New Zealand’s own ‘House Of Drift’ at Pukekohe Raceway.

Regarded as the spiritual home and birth-place of competitive drifting in the country, series organisers rejoiced after a winning a three and a half year battle to bring D1NZ back to one of the fastest drift sections in the world, with car speeds reaching over 200kmph into the infamous Pukekohe sweeper.

The grand final announcement was launched on the 1st of March with a short film called ‘Never Lift’, a thrilling viral video that has been viewed by more than 200,000 fans. D1NZ director Brendon White says pre-sale tickets and VIP packages have already been selling beyond expectations.

“The response for the grand final has been phenomenal; we’re really looking forward to ending the season with an action packed show. It’s the perfect place to hold a grand final and with thousands of fans packing out the stands it’s going to be a great atmosphere, if you’re a petrol head this is one event you do not want to miss.” Says White.

The fifth round of the Demon Energy D1NZ Drifting Series will roar into action this coming Easter Weekend over the 4th and 5th of April at Mike Pero Motorsport Park. Also joining the entertainment line-up for the event is the Link ECU Team Drifts, trade stands, show cars, burnout demonstrations and more.

For full event information visit www.D1NZ.com

Written By Kenny Ruddell

Photos By Glen McNamara

By Oversteer TV, Mar 12 2015 03:04AM

Four time New Zealand drift champion Gaz Whiter has taken victory in the fourth round of the 2015 Demon Energy D1NZ Championship series at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, defeating series leader Darren Kelly in an enthralling Turbo vs V8 final.

Piloting his new look Fenix Performance Nissan Silvia, Whiter earned himself a bye-run in the Top-32 after finishing fourth in qualifying. The LS7 V8 pilot then defeated Matt Lauder (Bling Company Nissan 180sx) and David Steedman (Mimico Nissan S14) to get into the semi-finals, taking another win against Driftcorp team-mate Daniel Woolhouse.

By Oversteer TV, Feb 13 2015 12:07AM

D1NZ Championship leader Andrew Redward (USA)
D1NZ Championship leader Andrew Redward (USA)

One of the closest title fights in D1NZ history is about to unfold for Round Four of the Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship Series at Hampton Downs next weekend.

Californian born Andrew Redward in his Club Auto Insurance backed V8 FC-RX7 currently leads the series title race by just 2.5 points ahead of Auckland’s Darren Kelly in the turbo-charged DKM Fabrication R34 Nissan Skyline. The two friendly rivals have found themselves right in the thick of the controversial “V8 vs Turbo” battlefront that has polarised fans young and old this season.

By Oversteer TV, Feb 12 2015 11:58PM

Cole Armstrong's NASCAR Dodge V8 powered Nissan 250GT Skyline
Cole Armstrong's NASCAR Dodge V8 powered Nissan 250GT Skyline

Tauranga local Cole Armstrong has taken a dominating hometown victory at Round 3 of the Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship Series, held at the ASB Baypark custom drift-course over the weekend.

A bumper crowd enjoyed two days of sunshine as top tier international drifting returned to the Bay of Plenty, with more than 7,500 fans packed in to witness the Pro-Championship main event on Sunday.

Piloting the V Energy 250GT Skyline, Armstrong qualified first by one and a half points ahead of series young-gun Joe Kukutai in the Rockstar Energy R32 Skyline; who held an 87 point provisional pole for much of the qualifying session after a spectacular bar-setting run which had fans cheering on their feet. Armstrong was the only driver to better Kukutai's score with an 88.5 earning himself a bye-run in the Top32 competition, before defeating V8Supercar ace Shane Van Gisbergen in the Top-16, former champion Curt Whittaker in the Top-8, and series points leader Darren Kelly in the Top-4.

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