Freshly Blogged


We head back down to the South to check out the first ever “North Vs South Battle of the Islands”; being held at Levels Raceway in Timaru.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWith practice on the Friday being cold, wet and slippery I woke up on Saturday morning pulled the curtains to reveal a sunrise and breathed a sigh of relief - Sky Zhao’s S15 looking super staunch in the morning light.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWith the wet practice day getting the cars all dirty first job was to get them clean and shiny. Enkei RPF1s Tucked under Andrew Redwood’s wide body.\r\n\r\n\r\nAt drivers breifing I had a look around the drivers and had to pinch myself at who i was standing next too. After following the D1NZ series for so many years via the internet but never being able to make it to one event i kenew was going to be full of excitement.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOnce roll call, rules and driving expextations were sorted it was staright into the practice session.\r\n\r\n\r\nOn my way out to centre field I had to move aside for the only picnic table I’ve ever seen that needed a exhaust and a gas can.\r\n\r\n\r\nFirst out were the locals. Tom Hadlee in his R32.4 pushing it hard out of the gates. Switching back through the transition – “Look mum no hands”.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCurt Whittaker quickly getting to grips with the dry line.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTroy “Family Guy” Forsythe looking extremely comfortable in the Southern Drifters S13 considering he had blown up and rebuilt a fresh engine within the week leading up to compete.\r\n\r\n\r\nOn my way back to the pits to check up on the boys my jaw almost hit the floor when i saw the Spirant 180sx.\r\n\r\n\r\nI had been tipped off by the local boys that it would be making an appaerance but it had to be seen to be believed.\r\n\r\n\r\nIt was quite strange to see this car through my viewfinder after following it online.\r\n\r\n\r\nAnother car the i couldnt take my eyes off was this ridiculously tidy R32 GTR. Awesome wheels and chassis match!\r\n\r\n\r\nWith 18 South island drivers wanting to take on the North Islanders, qualifying took place bringing that number down to top 16.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe top 16 then battled to get down to the top eight to take on the D1NZ drivers.\r\n\r\n\r\nA spin From ollie biggs on the chase put the pressure on.\r\n\r\n\r\nBut on his lead lap Johnny Latham spun aswell calling a re – run. Johnny taking out the rerun 4.5-5.5 , 10-0.\r\n\r\n\r\nMark O’Hara going hard against Russell Major. With Mark going through 7-3 , 8-2.\r\n\r\n\r\nTroy taking out Guy Kerr. Troy blowing massive smoke.\r\n\r\n\r\nGlen Pupich (GP) Dusting off his Cefiro after winning last seasons Drift South making it into the South Island’s top 8.\r\n\r\n\r\nWith a quick introduction to the crowd (and a few skids) it was straight into battles.\r\n\r\n\r\nBrad Lauder and Chris Jackson having some insanely close battles. The first Being a draw 4-6, 6-4 causing a re-run.\r\n\r\n\r\nJackson taking out the re run (6.5-3.5, 10-0) moving him through to the  top eight.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe crowd fixcated on the action except for the one guy in the red hat. Shot Bro!\r\n\r\n\r\nWith a costly spin from Robee Nelson, GP took an easy ticket to the top eight.\r\n\r\n\r\nA super aggressive entry from Darren Benjamin on his lead run.\r\n\r\n\r\nThis caused his super stretched tire to come off the bead and that gave him a zero. A solid chase wasn’t enough to shake Tom Hadlee which saw Tom move onto the next round.\r\n\r\n\r\nTroy was faced up against Mark Burling in the Top 16. With some awesome racing between both drivers, the scores only just went Tom’s way in their rerun 5-5 , 5.5-4.5.\r\n\r\n\r\nAfter a soild finish in round four the weekend prior, Latham looked awesome out their in his LS1 V8 FD RX7. He was pulling off some big faint entries, holding pure lines which saw him knock out Andrew Redwood and meet up with Troy on the top eight.\r\n\r\n\r\nCurt – Big angle, big smoke and a roaring 2JZ Showing the South why he was crowned 2012 D1NZ Champ.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe nimble S13 powered by a RB25 stuck to Johnny like glue. Judges calling it in Familys Guy’s favor – but only just.\r\n\r\n\r\nWith the D1NZ cars came alot of North Island media. It was strange after shooting the Drift South series with only a very small amout of other photographers.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe last of the top eight battles saw a North vs North battle with Sky taking on Curt. Sky not managing to keep up with the champs pace saw Curt move on into the top 4.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe top 4 was made up of Paul Tomlin, Glen Pupich, Troy Forsythe and Curt Whittaker with the South Island fans on the edge of their seats.\r\n\r\n\r\nTroy being one of the hardest chasers I’ve seen in this sport, he was on a mission to keep Curt as close to him as possible.\r\n\r\n\r\nA solid lead put Troy into the final battle – a South island top 2. Exactly what the home crowd wanted to see.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe final battle. Troy doing what he did all day driving like a true weapon taking out Glen 6-4 , 6-4.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLet the celebrations begin.\r\n\r\n\r\nA South Island 1,2,3 finish with the South claiming a the winning Island trophy. A well deserved win; such an awesome weekend.\r\n\r\nI hope that this becomes an annual event.\r\n\r\nFinishing placings:\r\n\r\n1. Troy Forsythe\r\n2. Glen Pupich\r\n3. Paul Tomlin\r\n4. Curt Whittaker\r\n5. Sky Zhao\r\n6. Tom Hadlee\r\n7. Johnny Latham\r\n8. Chris Jackson\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n- Andrew Burns\r\n



1 Comment

  1. Luke says:

    Superb images, even saw myself in a few!

Add Your Comment