Four time drift champion Gaz Whiter has romped home to victory in the fourth round of the D1NZ series at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, defeating series leader Darren Kelly in an enthralling final battle.
Piloting his new look V8 powered Nissan Silvia S14, Whiter defeated Matt Lauder and David Steedman to get into the top four.
Whiter then came up against teammate 'Fanga' Dan Woolhouse. A mistake by Woolhouse in the second run handed teammate Gaz Whiter the win - progressing through to the final battle against Darren Kelly.
The final battle of the weekend then got underway with Kelly leading Whiter into the first turn, the pair initiating into the drift section. Despite a mistake from Whiter which saw the champion run wide at the first corner, the Nissan driver caught up to Kelly at the second switch - running close to the R34 Skyline for the remainder of the run.
With Kelly seemingly holding an advantage going into the final run, Whiter launched an attack for the final run - initiating the drift several car lengths ahead of Kelly. Whiter continued through the drift section maintaining a substantial lead over Kelly - the judges rewarding Whiter with the win by virtue of his close proximity to Kelly during his chase run.
Photos / Matthew Hansen, Velocity Motorsport
"Something went wrong with Darren over the hill and he lost a lot of speed, so we were able to get up close and push him over the line which I think got us the win," Whiter said following his win.
"I think I've been driving well all day (...) It was a good top four and final battle so we're very happy with how today went."
Despite losing to Whiter in the final, Darren Kelly retakes the lead of the series from Andrew Redward.
"For the whole season, we've been in the top four. Two years ago, I would never have thought that would be possible," said Kelly.
"Now that we're doing it regularly, anything outside the top four feels like a disappointment!"
Darren Kelly, Gaz Whiter and Curt Whittaker on the podium.
Curt Whittaker now moves into second overall in the series standings after placing third, defeating Fanga Dan Woolhouse in the play-off for the final podium slot.
Having just returned from the Bathurst 12 Hour Graeme Smyth took victory in the feeder pro-am series beating out a selection of young up and coming drivers.
The series now heads south to Christchurch in early April for the penultimate round of the series at Mike Pero Motorsport Park - Darren Kelly looking to maintain his series lead over Curt Whittaker.