Brothers drift back on to track

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

At the fourth round of the D1NZ Na­tional Drift­ing Cham­pi­onship, Mata­mata lo­cals and drift-brother-duo Aaron and Jonathan ‘Jock’ Ben­nett found them­selves back in drift com­pe­ti­tion eight months be­fore planned.

Driv­ing Jonathan’s AE85 Toy­ota Levin, which the team re­built in a mere fourand- a- half days, the pair were in­vited back to com- pete in the week­end’s aptly named Leg­ends Bat­tle in their Nis­san- pow­ered Toy­ota and, in the name of good sports­man­ship, the brothers snapped up the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete against some well- known and re­spected rac­ing names such as Shane Wigston and Dean Perkins.

Aaron, the elected driver for the week­end, emerged on top af­ter bat­tling V8 Su­perTourer driver An­gus Fogg, but suc­cumbed to former D1NZ Na­tional Drift­ing Cham­pion Adam Richards in the semi­fi­nal.

‘‘ It has been over two years since I last com­peted prop­erly but I thor­oughly en­joyed it, es­pe­cially be­cause I was able to com­pete against some of the top V8 guys like An­gus [Fogg],’’ said Aaron.

‘‘It wasn’t as hard to get back into the car as I thought, but the skill level of the drivers has really in­creased so we’re go­ing to have to work really hard over the coming months to make sure we are ready.’’

As well as their brief so­journ back on the drift track over the week­end, the brothers have been gen­er­at­ing ex­cite­ment and com­mit- ment to an LS1 pow­ered exNZV8 Holden Com­modore Drift Ute.

As well as cre­at­ing some­thing new for typ­i­cal drift fans to en­joy, the brothers have other rea­sons for the de­ci­sion to move to this new chas­sis.

‘‘We want to be a part of the con­tin­ued, ex­cit­ing evo­lu­tion of our sport in New Zealand, and feel that the Ute also of­fers a unique in­road for tra­di­tional V8 rac­ing fans to ex­pe­ri­ence and en­joy the skill and ex­hil­a­ra­tion of pro­fes­sional drift­ing,’’ said Aaron.

The Mata­mata duo’s drift cam­paign for their ex-NZV8 Ute will start at the be­gin­ning of the new sum­mer D1NZ sea­son, in Oc­to­ber. The sea­son runs un­til April 2014.

Photo: CHRIS SMITH

Drift­ing duo: Mata­mata brothers Aaron and Jonathan Ben­nett com­pete at the fourth round of the D1NZ Na­tional Drift­ing Cham­pi­onship.

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