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FIRST OUTING FOR FANGA'S NEW FORD MUSTANG: "IT'S A BEAST"

  • Written by D1NZ Admin

 

‘Fanga’ Dan Woolhouse’s first competitive outing in his Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D marked a significant moment in the former drift king’s career.

 

 

But it was a moment he’ll probably want to forget quickly. For the first time in his 12-yearlong drifting career, the 2006 champion spun on his first qualifying run.

 

 

However, it wasn’t helped by some of the trickiest conditions this season to date on a cold slippery Levels Raceway in Timaru.

 

 

“It’s the first time in 12 years of competing that I’ve had a spin in my first run,” he said.

 

 

“I’ve never spun in qualifying. It pissed down with rain in that second round of qualifying, so I was shitting my pants and just needed to bank something.

 

 

“It’s one wild machine that we’re trying to tame a little bit. It’s a beast.”

 

 

After his spin, Woolhouse managed to bank a 63-point run. That put him just outside the top-10 in 11th behind Benjamin Wilkinson and just half a point ahead of Australian Matty Hill.

 

 

Warmer conditions are predicted for Saturday’s battles. Drivers struggled during qualifying with drizzle that kept the circuit just damp enough to not get any grip into their tyres.

 

 

Made even more difficult for Woolhouse was the limited running before qualifying. Having missed the first practice session, Woolhouse managed to bank just four laps.

 

 

“It wasn’t ideal for what we needed with this new car, but we didn’t come here to go P1 and try to blow the doors off everyone. We came here to learn the car. If we get a result then we’re happy.

 

 

“I hope tomorrow we get some good battle time and dial the car in. It’s early days, it’s a beast of a car to drive and I’m still learning so it’s exciting too.  

 

 

“Bring on the battles tomorrow and have some fun! Hopefully the weather is more consistent and we can sit the car where we want it. Let’s go and have some fun.”

 

 

Woolhouse said he believes they’re no scratched the surface with the potential of the car. He said he’ll continue to work with his team to develop the car as they move forward to rounds four and five at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon and Pukekohe Park respectively.

 

 

The third round of the Link ECU D1NZ National Drifting Championship takes place at Levels Raceway, Timaru over March 9-10.

 

 

D1NZ RETURNS TO TIMARU AFTER DECADE-LONG ABSENCE

  • Written by D1NZ Admin



The Link ECU D1NZ National Drifting Championship will return to the South Island this year with its first visit to Timaru in over a decade.

The country's leading drifting series will be joined by Drift South, a series solely based in the South Island. It'll be the fourth round for them and round three of the D1NZ calendar come March 9-10.

The last time D1NZ ventured to Timaru was in 2007. The round was won by Carl Ruiterman, who went on to win the Drift King title later that year.

The Pukekohe local, who runs vehicle modifications outfit E&H Motors, said the level of competition has developed dramatically over the last decade.

"The cars have definitely moved a long way," he said.

"Back then we were running a street tyre, now they're running semi-slicks. Back then you could easily compete on 450hp, but now the cars you see today are up around 1000hp. Things have come a long way.

"I remember it being quite a tyre hungry track. So, it'll be really interesting to see how the guys go this weekend. I'd say they need to be prepared with quite a few tyres."

That year the field was dominated by the Nissan Silvia chassis', but fans will be treated to a wide variety of cars 11 years later. The series is now host to BMW, Ford, Holden, Toyota, and even a factory-backed GT-R from Nissan as well as the humble Silvias and Skylines.

Ruiterman remembers the track being one of the hardest on the calendar with a drift section like none other in the country. Still in the 11 years since the series ventured to the circuit no circuit comes close in design with it's wide open entry and tight second sector.

"The circuit is quite technical. You have to get the line right for it to flow properly, especially in a low powered car. It was a really good challenge, I actually really enjoyed Timaru.

"It was a cool atmosphere when we went there. I reckon it'll be really cool going back there again."

11 years on he's still heavily involved in the drift scene, but in a different role as a judge for the series.

"It's hard for a driver because when I watch it I just want to race. It's really good giving feedback to the guys that want it and ask you where they can improve."
The return to Timaru also marks a significant moment for one driver. Gaz Whiter is one of very few who raced in 2007 who still competes to this day. While 'Fanga' Dan Woolhouse did compete in the same era, he didn't compete in Timaru.

Whiter comes to Timaru the sole driver remaining who last competed at the first event. Ever since he started competing in D1NZ he has always competed in a Nissan Silvia S14.

Over the years the numerous Silvia's he's driven have changed their guise, but the chassis stays the same. Then he was running six-cylinder RB20DET, but now he's piloting a Smartcookie8-backed V8-powered S14.

When the series hits the track on Friday it'll be a new kind of drifting never seen before for the Timaru locals. D1NZ Category manager Brendon White said the atmosphere will be totally different.

"10 years ago, most of these guys were running at 450hp and that was the best of the best," White said.

"The speeds are up, the proximity is closer, and best of all, the battles have gone to another level. When the spectators arrive at the circuit they'll have not experienced drifting like these before.

"It's also cool to be able to return to what is one of New Zealand's oldest circuits, which means it's got a real old school feel about it with plenty of fast open turn and corners with a bit of camber.

"We can't wait to bring it back."

Round three of the Link ECU D1NZ National Drifting Championship takes place at Levels Raceway, Timaru over March 9-10. For more information visit D1NZ.com or NZXMS.co.nz.

GRASSROOTS DRIFTING GETTING TUNED IN ON TRACK

  • Written by D1NZ Admin

While a lot of testing and tuning takes place on the pit lane or in the workshop, Link ECU D1NZ Pro-Sport Series newcomer Ben ‘Beedub Drift’ White is shaking things up.

 

The 2018 series debutant sits 18th in the standings heading to the second round of the series at Levels Raceway in Timaru over March 9-10.

 

After several years of track days and grassroots drift events, White decided to give his first ever car, a Nissan Silvia S15, an overhaul.

 

The goal was to bring something new to the series. He’d been running the stock engine since he bought the car, so opted to shoehorn a V8 into the car.

 

“I’ve been chasing the next thing with this car ever since I got it,” White said.

 

“I had the SR20DE, and the next thing was a bigger engine. I’m a sucker to do things different. I like to stand out and I liked to be noticed.

 

“The next thing was the V8, then put more juice in the V8, and the next thing was D1NZ. We’re ticking them off one-by-one.”

 

The Silvia is running a standard VH45DE Nissan V8 found in the luxury line Nissan President. The engine is hard to come by in New Zealand, akin to that of the Toyota Century V12 engine, which are exceptionally hard to find domestically.

 

White has barely touched the internals of the engine, but with all the added parts its pushing close to 430hp and 500ft of torque.

 

The car runs a Steve Murch HX40 Holset Turbo “with all the goods around it”, and a 50mm Turbosmart external wastegate. Add to that adjustable fuel pressure regulators and plenty more to give it some extra juice.

 

The car is straight-pipped, but the turbos mean the car is kept relatively quiet.

 

However, it’s the brain of the car where things get interesting.

 

White’s interior isn’t remotely close to stock standard. Instead of analogue gauges, White’s dashboard features a tablet stripped of all its operating system. Instead it runs a custom-made operating system and is then connected to a Link ECU.

 

By his side is a numeric keypad that he uses as hotkeys to navigate the tablet and choose built-in presets.

 

The system was built by Russell Cole at Cole Customs Electrical and gives him the ability to live tune the car on the fly.

 

“Russell can live tap into the car from anywhere in the world and configure mapping, check fuel pressure, literally anything.

 

“A good example was at Manfeild for our first test session. He could see where I was coming on and off the power, where I was switching and how the car was reacting to all of that. We’re able to make adjustments as we were going.

 

“The other cool feature is that it has a speed sensor on it, so he can work out what entry speed I’m at, where I was doing better and where I wasn’t. He can effectively adjust a timer set in the ECU for a light that comes on the dash to know when I’m in the sweet spot.

 

“It blows my mind. With the small adjustments that Russel was making on the side of the track, you could feel it straight away. As if you were at Blastacars and they were adjusting your speed, it’s crazy stuff.”

 

Ultimately the goal is to get White into a rhythm and to the point where he can be contending for podiums and wins.

 

The technology will help him hit his marks and gives him the ability analyse his own driving. However, he also said it’ll give his team the data they need too.

 

“I think the best part is that it’s going to help the team a lot and get the car really dialed in for each track.

 

“We’ll have so much data logging and the guys we’re working with come from a racing background, so they can take that info, interpret that, and make adjustments accordingly.”

 

Round three of the Link ECU D1NZ National Drifting Championship takes place at Levels Raceway, Timaru over March 9-10. For more information visit D1NZ.com or NZXMS.co.nz.