Motorsport: Fanga's drifting by

By Cameron Leslie

Spinning a car sideways around a track battling another car may not sound like driving to some, but to Whangarei's Daniel Woolhouse and Garry Whiter this is just part of business.

This weekend Woolhouse, aka 'Fanga Dan', and Whiter will have home advantage for round two of the Cody's D1NZ National Drifting Series - in which Woolhouse currently sits second.

While their chosen sport has previously been criticised, Whiter is relieved to see a shift from the negativity which has been associated with the sport of drifting.

"You're always tagged with that boy racer thing and I think we're starting to finally break away, drivers and cars are quite professional now," said Whiter.

With a lack of tracks available to Northland drivers, with the closest being Hampton Downs, Woolhouse said the prospect of racing in front of friends, family, and supporters was exciting.

"You hear of kids at school, and a lot of older guys hit you up about it but they can't afford to take the whole family [to Hampton Downs].

"It's good for an event to be here, especially drifting, that their kids see on TV," said Woolhouse.

He said Whangarei needs some sort of drift course to keep the people who are dragging his sport down off the street, even if it is just a car park.

This weekend's venue, Toll United's truck yard on Rewa Rewa Rd, has Woolhouse and Whiter excited.

"It's the perfect venue for it, close to town and the surface is good - with some of the most exciting cars in the world drifting around the track," Woolhouse said.

"Come and watch the most exciting spectator event in New Zealand - why do people go to the Hamilton Street race?

"To see someone crash," said Woolhouse. "We don't crash, but we're doing that every lap, we're always teetering on that edge."

The two, Whiter and Woolhouse, are no mugs at drifting and have been drifting since 2003 and 2004 respectively - with Whiter creating New Zealand drift history by winning the National Series three times in a row.

Gates open at 9am with drifting scheduled until about 5pm. Sunday is the main race day for Woolhouse and Whiter.

Tickets are $10 on Saturday and $20 on Sunday.

- Northern Advocate

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