NZ Heavyweights Battle for D1NZ Championship in Manawatu
New Zealand’s best drifters are going head to head this weekend in Feilding, as Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon plays host to the 2019 Galore Parts D1NZ Championship grand finale.
For the first time in Kiwi motorsport, Nissan will battle Ford for the biggest prize in Australasian drifting, as former champions Darren Kelly & Daniel ‘Fanga Dan’ Woolhouse eye up the iconic D1NZ Drift King title.
Leading the series standings is Auckland’s Darren Kelly, driving the Nissan-backed R35 GTR powered by an 800hp 3.4 litre RB engine. Kelly holds a cautious 58-point buffer after four rounds of competition, with two round victories and a second-place finish at Pukekohe last month earning him a 327-point total so far.
While strong finishes have given the former champion a dominating lead in the series all season, it’s his qualifying results earlier in the year that might be coming back to haunt him.
Two-time former champion ‘Fanga Dan’ from Whangarei has been a dark-horse of sorts this year, his recent come-from-behind victory at Round 4 has propelled him into second place with 269 points.
Over the last 18 months the FDC Motorsport team based out of CTB Performance in Manukau has been developing an American-built Ford Mustang RTR Spec-5D, powered by a 900hp 436ci Roush-Yates V8.
Consistency throughout the competition this year has seen the Century Batteries ambassador regularly in the Top-8 brackets at each event, along with strong qualifying performances. Woolhouse scored three pole positions in a row this season, and finally converted that qualifying strength into a round victory at Pukekohe.
While it might be a fight between the turbo-sixes and v8s, one driver standing out from the rest is Team DSR’s Adam Davies from Tauranga. Piloting the only rotary powered drift car in the series, Davies has brought a unique flair to the championship title fight in his 13b powered 180sx.
Team DSR will be the squad to beat in Feilding, with back-to-back victories at Manfeild raceway during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. With Davies sitting 3rd overall in the title race and team-mate Dave Steedman inside the top ten, there will be plenty to prove, as the team’s principal sponsor Mimico Machinery Imports have signed on as naming rights partners for the grand final event.
The final round of the Turbosmart Pro-SPORT Restricted Class will also entertain as undercard for the title fight, with Michael Thorley (Auckland) in the ENZED Nissan C33 leading the series standings ahead of Taylor James (Tokoroa) in the Central Drift Team Nissan S14, and Kurt Blackie (Tauranga) in the Cooper Tyres Nissan R32 Skyline.
The weekend’s action gets underway over the 26th & 27th of March, gates open from 11am each day with qualifying on Friday and the main competition getting underway on Saturday afternoon. For full event info and ticketing information visit D1NZ.com.