The D1NZ Pro-Sport Series standings are set for a shakeup following a dramatic exit by one of the championship contenders.
While Waikpukurau drifter Jared Andersen took pole position, Jordy Cole bombed out of competition after he recorded back-to-back scores of zero.
Cole came into his second run needing to get a score on the board. He got through the first sector of the circuit safely and looked to have a strong run on the table, but drama struck with an almost identical finish to his first run.
He exited the final corner and the car ground to a halt. Noticeably annoyed, he lit up his tyres and teared down the back straight.
It means the second placed drifter won’t partake in the top-24 battles on Saturday. His early exit was made even worse by the fact series leader Liam Burke qualified third.
Anderson took an early lead with an 81-point run, which no one bettered. He excelled with plenty of angle to take 32-points out of a total 35 on offer, with scores of 26 and 23 in line and style respectively.
“It’s good to get pole, especially on this track,” Andersen said.
“This is my local track for me. It feels good, I honestly didn’t think I had got it. I just want to get through tomorrow and do well.”
Callum Neeson impressed with a 77.5-point run and only narrowly missed out on taking the top spot.
James Steele took the reigns of the ex-Chad McKenzie Nissan Silvia S14.5. Following a workshop fire that destroyed his race car, Steele managed to find a new car for his racing return. A 63-point run got him to 17th.
Tully Puckey had been impressive in practice but made a mistake on his first run and straight lined—eventually he got to ninth.
In only the second round with his new Nissan Silvia S13, Scott Dinsdale put his car into contention with a 73-point run. He improved on his initial marker, a 65-point run, with a high angle score.
Championship leader Liam Burke improved one place into the top three with a 76-point run just six points better than his first. Despite not the best qualifier for the weekend, Cole’s demise put Burke into prime position to extend his series lead.
A season best qualifying run by Ben White saw the series newcomer qualify fifth on a 70.5-point run.
Following one of the scariest crashes in recent D1NZ history, Callum Neeson got his car repaired and running for the penultimate round. The crash clearly hadn’t shaken the young gun as he lay down a 77.5-point run to go second on the ladder.
The fourth round of the Link ECU D1NZ National Drifting Championship takes place at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon over April 20–20. For more information visit D1NZ.com or NZXMS.co.nz. Tickets are available via iTicket.co.nz.
D1NZ Pro-Sport Series, qualifying results top 10:
1. Jared Andersen – 81.0
2. Callum Neeson – 77.5
3. Liam Burke – 76.0
4. Scott Dinsdale – 73.0
5. Michael Thorley – 72.0
6. Ben White – 70.5
7. Kyle Jackways – 70.0
8. Taylor James – 69.0
9. Tully Puckey – 69.0
10. Ra Heyder – 69.0