Motorsport: Top guns drifting into town

By Cameron Leslie

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New Zealand's top drifters are returning to Rewa Rewa Rd this weekend, with defending champion Fanga Dan (left) hoping to put on a good show in front of his home crowd. Photo / Erron Soon
New Zealand's top drifters are returning to Rewa Rewa Rd this weekend, with defending champion Fanga Dan (left) hoping to put on a good show in front of his home crowd. Photo / Erron Soon

National drift champion Daniel "Fanga Dan" Woolhouse can't wait for the second round of the D1NZ National Drifting Championship to rip into gear in Whangarei tomorrow.

Whangarei's Woolhouse feels honoured to have the opportunity to compete in front of a home crowd as the defending champ, noting that not many have had that chance.

"It's mean, and I hope it keeps coming back to Whangarei because that's kind of where it started I feel," Woolhouse commented while trying to keep on top of his day job.

"We're proud of what we've achieved [as a drifting fraternity in Northland]. Obviously with us winning the championship it's good to be able to have it in our town because not many have that."

For Woolhouse the buildup to this weekend hasn't been ideal, but he is looking forward to focusing on his driving once the weekend rolls around.

"We're getting there, obviously I want the cars to be 100 per cent and they've got to look and feel good.

If I can finish my work I'll be able to get home and get a good sleep and be ready."

Adding to his tasks is the unveiling of Woolhouse's new drift car, which is to shown off tonight at Rynoz.

"[It'll be good to] get that new car off my mind, because I get asked 20 million questions a day. [I'm lucky I've] got some pretty good family and friends, especially because I've been real busy with my job and that."

While Woolhouse is the current champion, nationally and at Whangarei, it was another Northlander who snatched top points in the first round at Hampton Downs.

After two lean years, things are looking up for Dargaville driver Gary "Gaz" Whiter. Whiter, a three-time former D1NZ series champion and overall winner of the New Zealand Drift Nationals series in 2012, stormed back into series title contention at the opening round - beating high-profile Auckland-based international "Mad Mike" Whiddett in the final.

This weekend's temporary course, which has been marked out in transport operator Toll's marshalling yard on Rewa Rewa Rd, has been nicknamed "The Concrete Jungle" following its inaugural appearance last year.

D1NZ CEO Brendon White says that he is again expecting big things from the daunting piece of concrete-lined tarmac.

"It helps, obviously, that two of our top guys [Woolhouse and Whiter] are from the area. But the main thing, I think, is that we put on a show. And by doing events like Whangarei we can take that show to the fans."

Also competing this weekend are Kerikeri brothers Tom and Joe Marshall from Waipapa, who burst on to the national drift scene in the Pro-Am class at the opening round of this year's championship at Hampton Downs last month.

What you need to know....

*The action is happening at The Toll Concrete Jungle Raceway on Rewa Rewa Rd tomorrow and Sunday.
*There will be action on both days with Pro-Am qualifying and battles and D1 Pro practice tomorrow from 9am.
*Qualifying and battles go from 9am on Sunday, with the main battles starting at 11am.
*Drifting is an all-weather sport with the action on both days held rain, hail or shine.

* For more information go to www.d1nz.co.nz or check out the D1NZ Facebook page.

- Northern Advocate

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