National Drifting Championship Series Rnd 3
CODY'S D1NZ NATIONAL DRIFTING
For immediate release
* 2012/13 CODY'S D1NZ National
Drifting Championship Series
NEXT STOP TAURANGA FOR CODY'S D1NZ DRIFTING CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Tauranga's Baypark entertainment complex will host the next round of the 2012/13 D1NZ National Drifting Championship over the January 19-20 weekend in a move series organiser Brendon White says is all about keeping the sport fresh for drivers and fans alike.
"We're a young sport and a vibrant sport and we like to mix it up a bit - in this case by creating an all-new event in a part of the country we've never been before at a time of the year when there are still a lot of holidaymakers in town."
Like the Mt Smart course used for the past two seasons in Auckland, and the new Whangarei one used for the first time this season, the Tauranga one will be held in a tightly defined space, in this case the large carpark behind the Baypark arena.
Car park courses are popular in the home of drifting, Japan, and White says they tick all the boxes as far as a successful drift event is concerned.
"From a start you can - as we are doing here - take the sport to the people, then there's the fact that the action is in an enclosed space so they're good for the fans. The drivers like them too because though the speeds are lower than they are at permanent tracks like Manfeild or Pukekohe there's the added challenge of keeping the car off the wall."
White says that he has had his eye on the Tauranga/Mount Maunganui area and a mid-summer round of the popular Cody's D1NZ Drift series for a couple of years now and believes that the Baypark event will be well received by fans, holiday-makers and the general public alike.
"To my knowledge this is the first time in a long time - since the old Bay Park motor racing circuit closed in 1995 anyway - that the "Bay area has hosted a round of a national championship motor racing series and from what people tell me those meetings used to be massive so I am super-stoked that Tauranga City Venues, Tauranga Council and the residents have allowed us to bring our show to town to show the province what this new sport of drifting is all about."
Speedway at the new Baypark stadium has obviously taken up some of the slack since the old Bay Park motor racing circuit was closed. Not all though as a strong local drift scene attests.
Tauranga-based international Cole Armstrong (V-Energy Nissan Skyline R34) is the best known Bay of Plenty driver currently contesting the Cody's D1NZ series. But he is by no means the only one with talent, the list of local drivers entering their home event including Drew Donovan (Mag & Turbo Warehouse Tauranga Nissan S15 V8) and his partner, the country's top female drifter Jodie Verhulst (Mag & Turbo Warehouse Toyota Supra), as well as Aden Omnet (Aden's Tyres Toyota Altezza) and Te Puke driver Ben Belcher (Green Brothers Racing Mazda RX7).
Though entries are not yet officially closed yet White says he believes fans will see more than 60 drivers from throughout the country battle it out for D1 or Pro-Am honours at the Baypark meeting over the January 19-20 weekend.
Included in that list is current series points leader Daniel 'Fanga Dan' Woolhouse (Castrol Edge Holden Commodore V8) from Whangarei, defending Cody's D1NZ champion Curt Whittaker (Autosure/The Mount Shop 2JZ Nissan R34 ), high-profile Auckland-based international 'Mad Mike' Whiddett (Red Bull/Speedhunters Mazda RX7) and current Pro-Am series points leader Matt Lauder (Shred Industries Nissan 180SX) from Wellington.
There will also be considerable interest in the re-appearance at a Cody's D1NZ series round of former V8 Supercar star Shane van Gisbergen. The young Aucklander shocked the V8 Supercar world when he announced he was leaving that series and returning home at the end of the 2012 season but after thoroughly enjoying his drift debut at the opening round of this season's Cody's D1NZ series at Manfeild in October he has agreed to complete the balance of the series rounds back here in New Zealand sharing the Rattla Motorsport Ford Falcon V8 with car owner Shane Allen.
The Tauranga round is also the second of three carrying points for the series' BP Ultimate 98 Triple Crown (the others were the opening round at Manfeild and the penultimate one at Christchurch's Powerbuilt Tools Raceway at Ruapuna Park in late March) with round one winner Curt Whittaker currently leading that category.
Tickets for the Baypark Tauranga event are on sale on Ticketmaster now and there will be gate sales ($10 per adult on Saturday, $20 per adult on Sunday) at the venue on both days.
The two-day event sees D1 and Pro-Am practice and Pro-Am qualifying on Saturday then the Pro-Am Top 16 and D1 qualifying and Top 32 on Sunday, Sunday being the main competition day with the best times for the event being between 11.30am - 4.00pm.
Whangarei driver Daniel 'Fanga Dan' Woolhouse (Castrol Edge Holden Commodore) and Aucklander Andrew Redward (Achilles Tyre Mazda RX7 V8) will be two of the drivers to watch out for at the third round of the 2012/13 Cody's D1NZ National Drifting Championship series at the new Baypark venue in Tauranga over the January 19-20 weekend. Photo credit: Erron Soon for Cody's
2012/13 CODY'S D1NZ NATIONAL DRIFTING
Points after Rnd 2
1. Daniel Woolhouse 204
2. Curt Whittaker 174
3. Nico Reid 146.5
4. Andrew Redward 143
5. Daynom Templeman 129
6. Ben Belcher 127.5
7. Gaz Whiter 127
8. Carl Ruiterman 124.5
9. Sky Zhao 116.5
10. Brad Lauder 115
1. Matt Lauder 194
2. Russell Sifleet 146
3. Jacob Hakaraia 146
4. Sam Smith 144
5. Michael Thorley 140
6. Joe Kukutai 135
7. Gareth Grove 132
8. Vincent Langhorn 131
9. Jodie Verhulst 128
10. Darren Kelly 124
Rnd 1: Oct 26-27 2012 Manfeild Feilding
Rnd 2: Dec 01-02 2012 Whangarei
Rnd 3: Jan 19-20 2013 Baypark Tauranga
Rnd 4: March 01-02 2013 Hampton Downs incl. Legends Challenge
Rnd 5 March 30-31 2013 Powerbuilt Tools Raceway @ Ruapuna Park Christchurch
Rnd 6: April-May 2013 Grand Final Pukekohe Park Raceway