Press Release – DINZ
Local hero Daniel ‘Fanga Dan’ Woolhouse (Castrol Edge Holden Commodore) was the toast of a large and vocal crowd after dominating the second round of the 2012/13 Cody’s D1NZ National Drifting Championship on a new temporary course in transport company Toll’s Whangarei yard today.
After pipping fellow Northlander Gary ‘Gaz’ Whiter (Tectaloy Nissan S14 V8) and Waiuku driver Jason Sellars (Wong’s Kitchen 2JZ Nissan Laurel) for the top spot in qualifying in the morning Woolhouse beat last season’s Pro-Am champion Cam Vernon (Skinny Mobile Nissan R32) in the Top 16, fast-rising young Auckland driver Zak Pole (Nissan Skyline R33) in the Top 8 then fellow series front-runner Andrew Redward (Achilles Tyre Mazda RX7 V8) in the Top 4.
He then went on to complete a perfect day with victory over eventual runner-up Nico Reid (Luxury Sports Nissan S15) in the final.
Last season at the Northland round of the Cody’s D1NZ series (at Ruakaka south of Whangarei) Woolhouse also got to the Top 4 only to have the top spot taken by Auckland-based drift international ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett. At the opening round of this season’s series at Manfeild, meanwhile, a broken front suspension component saw Woolhouse forced to relinquish what looked like certain victory to defending Cody’s champion Curt Whittaker (The Mount Shop 2JZ Nissan Skyline R34).
This time the pendulum swung Woolhouse’s way, with Whiddett (Red Bull/Speedhunters Mazda RX8 turbo) hobbled in qualifying by a gearbox problem then – having borrowed another gearbox for the battles – he was beaten by a hard-charging Zak Pole in the Top 32.
Round one winner Whittaker also struggled, this time with steering issues, rising to the Top 4 – amid some controversy and a protest from the Whiter team after he and Gaz Whiter clashed in their Top 8 encounter – but deciding enough was enough after being beaten in the Top 4 battle by eventual runner-up Nico Reid.
Victory was especially sweet, Woolhouse said, because so many of his loyal local fans were at the Toll yard to see it.
“I’ve got a lot of support up here (Northland) but not many people can afford to travel when the next closest round is usually Pukekohe. It’s awesome when we have a round here because we get people from here (Whangarei) but also from the Far North.”
In the Pro-Am class Aucklander Darren Kelly (DKM Fabrication Nissan Skyline R32) proved the man to beat, topping qualifying on Saturday and winning battles against Russell Sifleet (Nissan S13), Jody Verhulst (Mad & Turbo Tauranga Toyota Supra), Joseph Kukutai (Freshly Whipped Nissan Skyline R32) and Jacob Hakaraia (DTM Nissan S13) to claim the top spot.
Auckland’s Michael Thorley (Femme Fatale Nissan Laurel) and former motorcycle road-racing champion Sam Smith (Franklin Cams Nissan S15) qualified second and third respectively but both struck trouble, Smith a non-starter in Sunday’s battles thanks to alternator issues, Thorley hitting the wall a glancing blow in his Top 8 battle with Jacob Hakaraia.
With his home round win, Woolhouse now takes an early lead in the 2012/13 Cody’s D1NZ National Drifting Championship points standings from defending title-holder and round one winner Curt Whittaker with fellow Aucklanders Nico Reid third, Andrew Redward fourth and Daynom ‘Slim’ Templeman (NAC Insurance/Achilles Tyre Mazda RX7) fifth.
With a class win at the opening series round third-placed Matt Lauder is the series points leader in the Pro-Am class, with Russel Sifleet second and Jacob Hakaraia third.
The 2012/13 Cody’s series now moves south to a second new temporary course at the Bay Park Speedway complex in the Bay of Plenty over the January 19/20 weekend.