It's a new year, and that means its a new season of D1NZ! For round one, the D1NZ team opened with a banger, and it was Wellingtonians who were treated to it first. Our friend Keegan from KCL Photography was there to catch all the action!
The new venue was the Wellington Family Speedway Arena, where D1NZ laid down a new in-field concrete track that will be left there for future events. The circuit was exciting, with lots of speed, wall rides, and bumps. D1NZ has not been to Wellington before, and after years of trying, managing director Brendan White was finally able to secure the series a spot in New Zealand's Capital.
Pro-Sport is an exciting new competition class for Drifting in New Zealand. Formerly known as the D1NZ Pro-AM Development Series, this class is a training ground for new and up-coming drivers and is a feeder class to the Pro-Championship.
They came from all over the country, grass-roots drifters looking for a shot at the title. These guys have worked hard to bring their cars up to Pro-Sport regulations and they mean business. Like Ben White and his S15 from BeeDub Drift, running a modified VH45DE and huge Holset turbo.
Central Drift Team were on fire, with Rey Heyder taking the top qualifier position in his S15 and teammate Taylor James coming away with the round win in the S14.
Heyder advanced after his first battle against Jared Coombes, opening and maintaining a substantial margin over Coombes giving him the advantage.
Following that, teammate Taylor James knocked out David Hunter in the top 16, securing a spot in the top 8. However, this put him up against none other than Heyder himself, making for an all-out Central Drift Team battle.
As cool as that sounds, the reality was that one of them had to knock-out the other. It was Heyder leading James on the first run, unfortunately, he pushed it a bit too hard through the switch, spinning out. James ran a clean second run pushing him through to the Top 4 battles, pitting him up against 5th place qualifier Tulley Puckey in the R33 Skyline. James took the win over Puckey and moved on.
On the other side of the table, Liam Burke was making his way through the field landing himself inside the Top 4 after defeating John O’Gorman and the Falken Tire S15.
Jesse Greenslade was on a roll, getting into a Top 4 battle with James Steele in the WAGS S13 Silvia. Unfortunately for Steele, a mechanical failure on the start/finish line put him out of the game. Being on the line meant he was technically in the battle, and as harsh as it was, it handed a 10-0 win to Greenslade.
This resulted in a battle between Jesse Greenslade and Liam Burke, with Burke taking the win and progressing on to battle Taylor James for the 1st place podium finish.
After a tight battle between the two, with both making a couple of minor mistakes, it was over to the judges to decide where they would place and who would be crowned the DK of round 1. With James scoring highly on his driving line, it was him who would find himself celebrating a first place win.
Pro-Sport will be back on February 16th and 17th at ASB Stadium in Baypark, Tauranga and you will be able to find the live stream on our Facebook page.
A huge Thank You goes out to KCL Photography for these photos. You can check out the full albums on his Facebook Page.
2018 D1NZ National Drifting Championship calendar:
Round 1: Wellington – Max Motors Wellington Family Speedway – 12-13 January 2018 (Day/Night Event)
Round 2: Tauranga – ASB Baypark Speedway – 16-17 February 2018 (Day/Night event)
Round 3: Timaru – Levels Raceway – 9-10 March 2018
Round 4: Feilding – Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon – 20-21 April 2018
Round 5: Auckland – Pukekohe Park – TBC May 2018 – Grand Final
Current points table: