Rally cars and motocross stars join D1NZ in Dunedin
D1NZ to provide motorsport mix for round-one showdown
Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium will see some of New Zealand’s biggest names in motor racing triple the action for the opening round of the Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship.
In a Southern Hemisphere first—drifting, rallycross, and motard action will thrill fans under the roof of the 30,000+ capacity South Island stadium.
Former world no.2 Kiwi motocross rider Josh Coppins will headline the support act in the motard field over December 2–3. Whilst Highlands and Hampton Downs Motorsport Park owner Tony Quinn joins the action with the Silver Fern Rally.
The annual rally and inaugural Supermoto Cup will join a line-up of motor racing madness, which will see drivers and riders from across the country compete on the temporary mixed–surface circuit.
Former 125GP and 250 Production national champion Seth Devereux says bringing motard racing to a new audience is going to be an experience not to be missed.
Duncan Hart competes in the Suzuki Tri Series on the streets of Paeroa, riding on one of the Motard bikes set to race in Dunedin
“We’ve made a crazy exciting new format which no one has really tried before,” said Devereux.
“We’re going to have a motocross gate start, four riders at a time in heats. What it means is that it’s going to be quickfire three lap races with four boys going hell for leather because they need the points to get through to the semi’s and ultimately to the final.”
“On a full track you only see them for like one corner or two corners, but in this format you can see the whole race, every move, every pass, every push and shove, it’s all there for everyone to see.”
The Silver Fern Rally brings together classic cars domestically and globally all on one stage—the picturesque sweeping gravel roads of the South Island. Drivers from Wales, Germany, England, Australia, Sweden, and Scotland will converge on the South Island for seven days of rallying.
Over 50 historic rally cars will race from sunrise to sunset for four days prior; before meeting at Forsyth Barr on Friday evening. The Super Special Stage will take place on the temporary circuit in a bent–sprint race against the clock for one night only.
The Rallysport Development Ltd Fiat 131 from the United Kingdom, set to be driven by Matthew Robinson and Sam Collis
Ultimate Rally Group Managing Director Peter Martin says the opportunity to compete at Forsyth Barr Stadium is perfect to expand the profile of rallying in New Zealand.
“We booked in the use of the stadium last year, and then when the discussions came about moving around D1NZ [to Forsyth Barr] we said ‘yeah we’re happy to be involved,’” said Martin.
“It provides some cross pollination and it’s a great opportunity to get a diverse and wide audience to any motorsport event.
“I think it’s really important that we engage as many people as we possibly can across the different genres to make the whole event worthwhile. So it was a no brainer from my perspective.”
A collection of legendary classic cars including the likes of the Fiat 131 Abarth, Ford Escort MKII RS1800, and Mercedes 190E Cosworth will all contest this year’s rally.
The Ford Escort is a stable of the Silver Fern Rally. 22 Escorts will race in this year’s rally
Adding to the action is the anticipated additional of current specification AP4 and 2000s-era Group N rally cars for a rallycross shootout. Drivers for the race will be confirmed closer to the event, but already numerous high profile drivers are planning to join.
D1NZ Category Manager Brendon White says he’s excited to bring a diverse and exciting show to the far south.
“I’m pumped for the show, the sound, the proximity fans will have to the action,” says White.
“The facts it’s in an indoor football stadium, there’s not one element so to speak that’s exciting me the most. I just can’t wait to enjoy such a unique event with everybody watching some of the world’s best Drifters, Motard riders, Rally Drivers, BMX and FMX Riders!”
The first round of the Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium takes place over December 2–3. The event is supported by the Silver Fern Rally and NZ Supermoto Cup.
2016–’17 Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship calendar:
Round 1: Dunedin – Forsyth Barr Stadium – 2/3 December 2016 (Night Event)
Round 2: Feilding – Manfeild Raceway – 6/7 January 2017
Round 3: Tauranga – ASB Baypark Stadium – 24/25 February 2017 (Night Event)
Round 4: North Waikato – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park – 25/26 March 2017
Round 5: Auckland – Pukekohe Park Raceway – 23/24 April 2017 – Grand Final
Round 6: Auckland – Mt Smart Stadium – TBC May 2017 – Teams Champs (Night Event)