Some of you may or may not know we were lucky enough to have Brent’s Dad stay with us for Christmas, unfortunately he had a massive heart attack on boxing day which lead to a triple bypass and extended stay in sunny Perth. Fast forward two months and Dad was clear to fly so we got the chance to go back to NZ with him and luckily take our Rx7 to the last day of the Grass Roots NZ drift Matsuri in Taupo, and catch one of the most intense Motorsport events I have ever been to at the D1NZ Round 3 at Bay Park .
We’ll cover taking the old faithful Rx7 out in another post but while its fresh in my mind I really want to tell you about the D1NZ Experience.
O for Awesome is the only way to describe it, we have been lucky enough to catch some of the biggest circuit, drift and speedway races across NZ and Australia, but the atmosphere Brendon and the D1NZ team created at Bay Park was incredible. Check out this article on the build of the track laying concrete in the Bay Park Stadium if you weren’t up on it already. Link.
We were lucky enough to have the hospitality of two great teams for the event Jase Brown Drift in Pro Sport and Andrew Redward Racing in Pro I can’t thank these teams enough - not only are they both great mates but their teams always go out of their way to make us feel like we never left NZ some ten years ago.
For those that don’t know, the pro sport class is restricted to a 235 wide non semi slick tyre whereas Pro has no restrictions (The share power and build specs on the pro cars you could almost call it an outlaw class). Drift is hugely popular in NZ, the fact the country is motor sport mad with Drift as one of the few categories left where you can truly build whatever you want makes for crazy builds, big numbers (some 16000 plus for the event) and keen sponsors. Every configuration of engine possible was on display at round 3 - single turbo, twin turbo, supercharged, nos fed, rotary, 4 banger, v6, straight 6, v8; a truly refreshing sight to see.
There were 40 cars entered for pro sport, meaning the pressure was on to qualify and luckily thanks to Jason’s spotter Josh I was able to see the whole layout from the best vantage point and get an insight to what the judges wanted. Mind blown IMO you could take any of the pro sport drivers to any event here in Australia and they would be front runners. The level of machinery and driver skill was some of the best I’ve seen. You’d be foolish to say pro sport is an entry level class, more a preparation ground for the teams operation, reliability, PR and sponsors.
The commentators would have to be some of the best I’ve heard at a motorsport event, knowledgeable, funny and unbiased, moving into the pro field battles brought some of the funniest moments on air. For pro I had a fantastic seat right on the entry point of the first corner, with beer in hand I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. Anyone that’s been to a speedway event knows what it’s like to be on the fence inches from the action but for it to be drift with that clouds of burnt rubber and drift sprinkles it’s a whole other level. Although slightly biased memorable battles would have to be Andrew and Daynom in the 1000hp plus BMW; probably the highest horse power car vs the quickest car in the pro class field. The commentators all talked up the BMWs game as it came into the stadium (after all Daynom had qualified 4th) but weren’t 100% sure who he was facing till Andrew popped out this silenced them (bar MGN inc who through experience knew to put a go prop on the front of Andrews car). Andrew never gave the staunch BMW the chance to get away getting up on Daynom’s door from the entry applying pressure forcing an error by Daynom, in the lead run Andrew pulled a gap and took the win. The next notable battle was Andrew Redward vs Aussie Beau Yates, I was yelling so loud yet I couldn’t even hear myself over the crowd and cars (those that know me can only fathom how loud it must have been) I could go on for pages about the battles, In the end our good mate Andrew took 2nd in pro after a re run with Tom Marshall, and Adam Davis taking third, but I’ll leave it here, please check out the MGN and D1NZ pages for more. Also check out @NTT Photography for some sweet photos from the event.
The after party’s (both official and unofficial) were as always nuts, car show meets night club sorta thing - needing to be at Auckland airport by 9 the next day was never going to be fun but thanks to Josh I made it.
I truly loved being able to see the show, I truly hope it continues to the benefit of all Motorsport. To quote MGN “It has evolved beyond a drift round to an experiential entertainment show and I can't wait to see what happens next”
I really don’t know how they do it there, two entire fields full of top prepped cars and everyone seemed positive happy and just stoked to be a part of it. We just don’t see that in drift or even motorsport in general across Australia. What do we need to do to achieve this?