Former champ rises to win D1NZ opener at Bay Park
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Photographer Greg Henderson captured the tyre smoke and sideways action at Mount Maunganui’s Baypark Stadium on Sunday evening as New Zealand’s top drift drivers opened the 2019 D1NZ Championship season.
A field of 24 Pro class competitors battled for Baypark honours with eliminations coming down to a final pairing of Auckland’s Darren Kelly (Nissan R35) who defeated fellow Aucklander Daynom Templeman (BMW E46).
“This weekend hasn’t been easy at all," said Kelly.
“The car has been on form, but we had issues. We got a bit hurt in qualifying for an error with our brake light coming on and sticking on, that really hurt us qualifying 13th, but we got all the way to the final.”
“We had an epic battle against Daynom and managed to take on the win, so an epic start to the season.”
Kelly’s run to the final included wins over ‘‘Fanga’’ Dan Woolhouse (Ford Mustang) in the quarter-finals with his next scalp being Australian Matty Hill (Nissan S15).
Hill came out ahead of Tauranga’s David Steedman (Nissan S14) in the third place run-off while defending D1NZ champion Cole Armstrong (Nissan R35) was an early casualty when he was eliminated in the second round by fellow Tauranga driver Adam Davies (Nissan S14).
The five-round national series will continue at the Max Motors Wellington Speedway Arena on February 15-16.