Freshly Blogged


Seen as we have this fancy new website, we decided it was the best place to drop our day 2 post of D1NZ. As you may have already noticed, the pictures from now on will be just a tad bigger.\r\nAs Day 1 marched on, we started day 2 Pukekohe at 8am, ready for briefing. As the course is based on entering the sweeper at high speed, what the drivers do after that must flow well even at high speed. After a few crashes from the rookies, the Pro’s were out to make sure their cars stayed in one piece. Sadly not all turned out so swell.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAfter the crazy noise enforcing on day 1, many of the drivers were sent home to figure out how to make their cars quieter. Mad Mike decided on a truck muffler for his Red Bull RX7. As you can see, it sits up pretty high, just enough to blow flames into a persons crotch.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhile the drifters sorted out their cars, the NZ Time Attack drivers headed out to start laying down some times.  Daniel Currie had his Garden Cities Helicopter’s WRX STI out, which ran a best time of 1:06.018. As you can see, a lot of work has gone into this car with a full aero kit added to the car, giving it the full time attack ‘look’.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFriend of the whip Hans Ruiterman had his highly impressive S14 FL out running amazing lap times. The car has been completely set up for time attack, with the car running a VVL SR20 head from a Primera, to allow for better, safer power. Han’s put down an overall best time of 1:02.853.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWith the Time Attack drivers finished laying down their times, the pro drifters started to line up. As the drivers get a quick rundown chat from their mechanics, media or friends the track clears for them to get out. We decided to hop into a friends car to drive to a better spot to shoot from.\r\n\r\n\r\nOnce we reached the spot, BK the camera man and all round GC told me ‘By the way, you can die at this spot. But I mean, if you know the risks and are fine with it then sweet!’ with a big grin. That was a slightly eerie moment. As Robee Nelson came in a bit far out to the clipping point we all got sprayed with dirt and various bits of shrapnel. I knew at this point that BK was scarily right – you could die here.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThat didn’t change a thing however – we stayed here and shot the qualifying runs. Mad Mike came in hot with great speed and heaps of smoke. As you can see he knows how to leave a smoke trail with his truck muffler leaving him below the 95db limit – success.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMany people have complained about Pukekohe’s rough surface. The track itself is getting older and older and thus leaves uneven spots around the track, but maybe that’s park of Pukekohe’s charm? Gaz came into this sweeper here easily over 170kph+ and with the magic of photography you can see how he managed to get onto 3 wheels coming in. No wonder we had 3 cars hit the wall in front of us.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCurt Whittaker’s R34 was looking awesome completely murdered out with its all black appearance. It looked tough to begin with, but now it’s on a whole other level. Curt Whittaker was then put through to the top 16.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nYou can’t let the noise limit get you down. Mad Mike’s nifty truck exhaust attachment allowed him to get below that 95db limit and keep on drifting. The car sits crazy low and as a 5’11/6ft guy it hardly comes up to my waist. I think that is part of the love for this car; it’s stealth, fast, sounds great and has international appeal. Oh and the fact that Mike drives it probably helps too. Sadly upon reaching the top 16 he blew his diff doing a burnout for the crowd.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAnother hot RX7 on track was that of Chris Trundle’s FC. The Red and white paint job + fluro wheels seems uncanny, but we think it works pretty well.  He made it into the top 16 but was then knocked off the top 8 by Steven Sole in his JZX90/100.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFanga Dan, known for his giant cars had his Castrol Edge V8 Commodore out to showcase a supercar sideways.  Fanga went into the top 16, to compete with Nico Reid for the top 8, with Fanga coming out on top.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFresh out of Pro Am, Darren Benjamin is looking to show himself off in a big way with his C35 Laurel. A fresh red paint job and some graphics have made the big 4 door look mighty tough up against competition. Coming up against Sky Zhao in his top 16 battle he managed to do a great job maintaining smoke and showing what the new kid on the block can do. He beat Zhao and progressed onto top 8 to face Bradley Lauder.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCole Armstrong’s new R34 Sedan still looked like a coupe as it took the corners with ease. Coming up against Randal Luipihi in his S15 Silvia, Cole managed to take Randle down with his masses of smoke and crazy attitude towards corners. Cole moves onto the top 8 against Daynom Templeman.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nComing up against Matt Jackson, Curt Whittaker showed his murdered out R34 coupe’s potential by making some smooth runs and allowing for his car to shine through the corners. He came in with confidence and moved onto the top 8.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nGaz was placed against Dave Steedman and showed how well his S14 FL can move through the corners. Sadly in qualifying he hit the sweeper wall pretty hard. Even with this he managed to qualify and fix up his car in order to move on. As you can see above, even with a dented rear, it still looks good.\r\n\r\n\r\nMoving onto the top 8 battles, Cole Armstrong was placed up against Daynom Templeman. Cole Armstrong’s V Powered R34 managed to beat Daynom’s NAC Rx7 and go onto the top 4. A very close battle between the two.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWith the two Rookies turn Pros placed up against each other, it was anyone’s battle for the top 4 between Bradley Lauder and Darren Benjamin. But as seen above, Darren managed to pull through and keep the smoke coming off his C35 Laurel.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTwo big cars fighting for a place in the top 4. As you can see this was a very evenly paced match. With both drivers throwing their big cars into the corner with great lock and great smoke, it was anyone’s call on who would go on. The judges ended up with putting Curt Whittaker through to the next round.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nGaz Whiter was placed up against Steven Sole for the top 8 battle. With Gaz’s buggered rear end, he still managed to pull away from the JZX90/100 and pull through into the top 4. Gaz’s car still looks mighty clean.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCole Armstrong and Gaz Whiter were then placed up together for the top 4 battle. With both of these cars being so evenly matched, the judges called for a re-run. After the going one more time, the judges concluded that Cole Armstrong goes onto the final battles.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSadly at the end of his battle he bent a wheel and called it a day after maxing out his 5 minutes.  As you can see, his rear got pretty buggered after hitting the sweeper wall.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe other top 4 battle consisted of Curt Whittaker and newcomer Darren Benjamin.  Curt Whittaker managed to pull away from Darren’s Laurel and leave Darren with 3rd place by default.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSeeing two big R34 Skylines come into Castrol corner is something some can only dream of.  Luckily with Cole and Curt placed up against each other  it was possible. With both cars being evenly matched, the call came out very close.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nJumping to the podiums we saw Harry Dodson take out the 1st place trohpy for the Pro Am series of NZ Time Attack with a best time of 1:01.687 in his R35 GTR. Second place was taken by Daniel Currie and third by Leon Scott.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFirst place in the Pro Time Attack Series was won by Hans Ruiterman in his S14.5  with a best time of 1:02.853.  Second place was taken out by Steven Brown-Thomas and third was won by Scott Kreyl.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMoving onto the Pro Am drifters, we see Shaneo Poulton come out on top, with Cam Vernon second and Joe Kyle in third.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nInto the pro’s we see a close call between Cole Armstrong and Curt Whittaker with Curt coming out on top. Newcomer Darren Benjamin showcased 3rd place.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nQuickly figuring out how the wine bottles work, Cole decided the promo girls he requested could use some of the wine too. They didn’t seem to enjoy it in the same way..\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhat’s a win without some victory skids with your mates? Curt, Cole and Darren hopped in their cars and clouded the front of Pukekohe Park Raceway with ease.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAfter all the celebration, some people such as Pedey and Taryn decided to walk but Dom thought it was a smarter idea to drive the little quad bike. I think everyone wants one of these little bikes now.. I know I sure do. That’s Pukekohe D1NZ over for another year.\r\n\r\nSadly we won’t be covering D1NZ round 3 as I am covering it for another website. Please check here for a link to their article however. I’m sure you’ll all enjoy it, I know we’re very keen to shoot it.\r\n\r\nCheers to all of the sponsors for making this day happen.\r\n\r\nBut most importantly, BK was hit at the sweeper and has been in hospital due to his injuries. Due to this he will be off work for a while, while he recuperates from his injuries. Please donate to him here.\r\n\r\n-Chris

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