Christchurch is set for a high-octane smoke show this Easter Weekend at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, with the penultimate round of the 2016 Demon Energy New Zealand Drifting Championship (D1NZ) kicking off over the 26th and 27th of March.
The event also hosts Round 3 of the first ever HiTec Oils Trans-Tasman Drifting Championship, a unique four part series that pitches eight of New Zealand’s best drivers against eight of Australia’s best, culminating in an ANZAC Weekend motorsport test at Auckland’s Pukekohe Raceway in April.
This weekend brings some of the best drifters in the Southern Hemisphere together for the first time, with team Australia flying in today ahead of the big event. Sydney based Scott Schembri (recently crowned the 2015 Australian HiTec Drift-Allstars Champion) is one of the top drivers competing this weekend in his Nissan 180sx, alongside his team-mate James Abbott.
“Coming to New Zealand for the first time to compete is definitely one of the highlights of my drifting career, it’s crazy awesome. The opportunity to drive new tracks, meet new drivers, meet the D1NZ fans, and cook heaps of tyres!” said Schembri, who is also excited to be competing in Round 5 of the New Zealand Pro-Series – his first ever D1NZ event.
Round five of the New Zealand Pro-Championship also heats up with the top five ‘Drift King’ title contenders seperated by just 25 points, with only 3 points seperating third to fifth.
Former circuit racer Daynom Templeman (Auckland) in his 1200hp E46 BMW currently leads the series standings after competing at the Waikato’s Hampton Downs circuit.
“We had a rough start to Round 4, backed the car into a tyre wall during practice and battled a handbrake failure all weekend so to finish on the podium at a track we’ve never had success at is awesome”, said Templeman after his second place finish at the last event.
“I’m really looking forward to Christchurch this weekend, it’s always a fun trip and one of my favourite tracks. We’ve got a new track layout this year which should bring more excitement to the driving as well as better viewing for the spectators, bring it on!”
His closest rival is the young Nico Reid from Otara in his Nissan Silvia S15, having topped the podium three times in a row this season and shows no sign of slowing down.
“I’m keen on that title shot, with ten points separating us and two rounds to go it’s anyone’s game, but I’ll be charging hard and won’t be taking any prisoners,” said Reid, a former Pro-AM Development Series Winner now keen to add a Pro-Championship to his trophy cabinet.
Other international drift stars competing this weekend include two-time NZ Champion Daniel Woolhouse in his 800hp Century Batteries Holden Commodore V8, former champ Curt Whittaker in his 750hp Autosure Insurance R34 Nissan Skyline V8, and Cole Armstrong in the 700hp Turbo-Six V Energy Nissan 250GT.
Gates open from 9.30am each day, with Qualifying on Saturday afternoon and the main event competitions on Sunday. Full event details and ticket information is available at D1NZ.com