Cham­pi­onship event drifts into Feild­ing venue

Manawatu Standard - - The Turbine - Sam Kilmister

Smokey cir­cles, deaf­en­ing en­gines and the stink of burnt rub­ber will ring out from a Manawatu¯ race­way as it gears up to host New Zealand’s cov­eted drift­ing cham­pi­onship.

The D1NZ grand fi­nal will come to Feild­ing’s Man­feild Park for the first time when it rolls into town on April 26.

The event’s fi­nale has spent the past four years at Pukekohe Park Race­way – a track re­garded as the spiritual home of drift­ing – although the Auck­land venue will only host round four of the com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son.

Or­gan­iser Bren­don White said the event would be brought for­ward by two months to seek warmer weather for spec­ta­tors and bet­ter track con­di­tions for driv­ers to tackle some of the fastest drift­ing cor­ners in the world.

The series is a sanc­tioned cham­pi­onship un­der Mo­tor­sport New Zealand, the coun­try’s of­fi­cial gov­ern­ing body for mo­tor rac­ing.

It be­gan in 2003 as a small com­pe­ti­tion, con­sist­ing of sev­eral teams from around the coun­try to or­gan­ise and reg­u­late drift­ing meets. It has since grown larger and turned pro­fes­sional, in­volv­ing in­ter­na­tional-ranked driv­ers.

The sport, first pop­u­larised in Ja­pan in the 1970s, sees driv­ers over­steer their ve­hi­cles with a loss of trac­tion, while main­tain­ing con­trol and driv­ing the car through cor­ners. Com­pe­ti­tions are judged on line, show, an­gle and speed.

White said Man­feild’s cir­cuit fea­tured a fast-paced drift sec­tion with a tech­ni­cal last sec­tor, and it would be some­what of a home­com­ing for the pop­u­lar event.

‘‘D1NZ has had a long­stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with Man­feild. It’s where some of the first events were held over 15 years ago, and it feels fit­ting to close this chap­ter out with a track that has a rich his­tory with our driv­ers.

‘‘It would be good to see driv­ers in top gear bat­tling for those fi­nal cham­pi­onship points.’’

The D1NZ cham­pi­onship be­gan on Satur­day, with round one held at Trust­power Bay­park Sta­dium in Bay of Plenty.

Driver Adam Davies com­petes in his Nis­san 180SX on the way to win­ning last year’s D1NZ drift­ing cham­pi­onship.

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