Curt Whittaker D1NZ Christchurch round
Rattla Motorsport's Curt Whittaker has won the second to last round of the Demon Energy D1NZ championship, defeating the popular Nico Reid in the final.
Piloting his Ford powered Nissan R34 GTR, Whittaker beat Dave Steedman, Shane Giles and Bruce Tannock to earn his spot in the top two.
Whittaker's chances were then strengthened by technical woes in the form of a blown gearbox on board Reid's Nissan S15 Silvia. Only having 3rd and 4th gear to play with, Reid would never be able to challenge Whittaker, who held on to take the win and the top points for the weekend.
Championship leader Darren Kelly looked set to have a run at the top four after qualifying on pole, and putting in a competitive opening run against Bruce Tannock. But his second run was marred by an error which saw him accidentally hit the kill switch in his Nissan Skyline, seeing Tannock progress to the top four instead. Despite the mistake, the consistent Kelly still leads the points standings.
Among those to have an interesting day was former 'drift king' 'Fanga Dan' Woolhouse, the Century Batteries Holden Commodore pilot repairing technical issues with his car by procuring replacement parts from a Holden Clubsport road car attending the meeting - its owner volunteering to supply parts.
'Fanga' was able to use the parts to his advantage, progressing to the top four before being knocked out by Reid. He went on to lose to Tannock in the play-off for third place after the Achillies Silvia was able to drive away from Woolhouse in their second run.
Like Kelly, fellow championship hopefuls Gaz Whiter and Andrew Redward also got knocked out during the top eight stage - Redward by virtue of a spin during one of his runs against Woolhouse.
Whittaker's round win now promotes the former champ to second in the points; 35.5 points adrift of Kelly. Andrew Redward and Woolhouse are also still in the hunt for the title, with 2nd to 4th separated by a mere 6 points.
The series now heads to Pukekohe Park Raceway for the season finale where a champion will be crowned. It will be the first time the series have drifted at Pukekohe since the local council barred the series from competition due to smoke complaints.