‘Fanga’ Dan Woolhouse stole back top spot in qualifying ahead of the D1NZ Pro Series battles at ASB Baypark Stadium this afternoon.
Woolhouse nearly had his top spot taken away by underdog Vincent Langhorn, who took pole position provisionally with his first run. However, on Woolhouse’s last run the RTR Mustang pilot snatched back the lead with a 91-point run against Langhorn’s 85-point run.
Meanwhile, Red Bull Holden Racing Team ace Shane van Gisbergen qualified 12th on his return to the series.
Gaz Whiter took the initial advantage early on in qualifying with a 75.5-point run that scored highly in style. Whiter was consistent on and off the throttle and poured smoke from his Nissan Silvia S14.
So much smoke poured from his car that the session had to be briefly stopped to let the stadium clear.
Series returnee Tom Marshall scored a zero in his first pass after he spun. Tauranga local Dave Steedman’s first run was hit-and-miss. He ran wide out of the bottom hairpin and suffered a points deduction for a dirt drop.
‘Fanga Dan’ Woolhouse edged ahead of Whiter after his first run. The RTR Mustang driver was just half a point ahead after their first run.
Woolhouse’s time at the top was short lived, however, as Cole Armstrong excelled in his first run. Woolhouse’s 76-point run wasn’t quite enough as Armstrong went to provisional pole with 80-points.
Jaron Olivecrona had his best qualifying run with a 62-point run. The Hartley Engineering built V12 sung in the stadium and made sure to use all of the rev range available. He qualified 13th.
Jase Brown’s debut season started off strong in Wellington with fifth equal for the round. He carried that form to Tauranga with a fourth place run provisionally the first time through. By the end of the session he was 13th.
Round one winner Matty Hill from Australia equalled Jase Brown in his first run, so the pair sat on 71.5-points each. Hill eventually finished seventh.
In one of the most unlikeable runs, Vincent Langhorn smashed Armstrong’s pole setting lap with an 85-point run. Langhorn stacked on angle and aced his line. The judges said he was aggressive, was bang on line, but was given a deduction for slow speed.
DMNZ drifters Drew Donovan and Jodie Verhulst both struggled on their return. Verhulst continued to battle mechanical issues, meanwhile, Donovan couldn’t nail his line. Verhulst didn’t make the top-24, but Donovan got 18th on the board.
Having set a first run good enough for ninth, Darren Kelly put in a good challenge for the top spot. He managed to get up to third, only two points behind Langhorn.
Cole Armstrong got an identical score in his second run, 80 points in total. In the following run, D1NZ debutant Carl Thompson leapt to sixth on his second effort.
Fanga Dan Woolhouse put in one last effort to get pole position back. He stacked on plenty of angle, almost to the point of half spinning, but managed to recover on the switch. Of the 35 points on offer he scored 33 in angle, 27 in style and 31 in line.
Despite being near the point of spinning, the judges deemed the excessive angle was in a zone that didn’t have any clipping zones. The high level of angle meant he received style points.
Qualifying resumed the next day at 12:30, nearly 15 hours after qualifying began. Despite only getting a few practice runs, Shane van Gisbergen set a run good enough for 15th, but his second run got him up to 12th.
The Link ECU D1NZ National Drifting Championship Pro Series top-24 battles continues at 2pm on Saturday at ASB Baypark Stadium