Chris van der Drift has the gift in GT races
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Kiwi driver Chris van der Drift scored two wins from two races in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in South Korea at the weekend — in only his second outing in the Porsche GT car and at a track he had never seen before.
He also got one over one of the world’s most accomplished exponents of GT Cup car racing, fellow Kiwi Craig Baird. Van der Drift’s wins rocketed him up the table to second, just behind Baird.
“It was a fantastic result considering it’s only my second run in the car and to get the points was really good,” he said. “I’ve driven other GT cars but this [Porsche GT] is a lot more difficult. For a start the engine is in the back [and] there are no driver aids like traction control and ABS.
“I’m still learning more as we go on and I hope I get a bit faster. I didn’t expect it to go so well so early in the championship as it’s such a big field and the cars are so close performance-wise.”
Chris van der Drift takes the winner’s podium. At right is Craig Baird.
Van der Drift has built a reputation as being quick in anything he’s hired to drive. For the past few years he has been bouncing around various GT categories with only one or two drives in any championship.
It’s hard for a driver to jump into a car set up for someone else and go fast, so to have his own car and know a whole series is his for the taking has made the Kiwi a very happy man.
“I’ve also had to race someone else’s car, or share driving duties. This year I get my own car and it sounds a bit selfish, but I like it this way a lot more.
“Getting to understand the car and tuning it up is a great challenge. The team didn’t really know who I was so it was good to get a result to thank the team for taking a punt on me.”
■Glenn Inkster and Spencer Winn took line honours at the weekend’s Targa Bambina in Rotorua in their Mitsubishi Evo 8.
Following them home were Nic de Waal and Tom Grooten, with Simon Clark and Richard Somerville third.
■This weekend sees the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. Scott Dixon will be on pole position and hoping to grab a second Borg Warner Trophy.
■In Europe, Hayden Paddon and John Kennard will be hoping to get some valuable World Rally Championship points in Portugal.