He's a two-time national drift champion and has amassed over 40 podium finishes but drift king Daniel Woolhouse, aka ‘‘Fanga Dan’’, has never gone sideways around Invercargill’s Teretonga Park.
But that’s all going to change this weekend, as he pitches his 750hp Ford RTR Mustang around the southern circuit in the opening round of the D1NZ Drifting Championships. He will be competing against about 30 professional drivers in their brutally powerful drift cars, as the popular series runs as part of the second round of the Speedworks Events Motorsport New Zealand Premier Championship Series.
For Whangarei’s Woolhouse, the excitement of racing on a new track after a 17-year career, which has seen him light up almost all of New Zealand’s circuits, had the same appeal as heading to foreign turf, but without expensive transport logistics or having to deal with jet lag.
“I’m super excited to come and drive a new track without having to ship the car overseas. It’s got the same feeling as going overseas,” he said.
Also on this weekend’s programme is the Toyota Racing Series (TRS) and after a classy opening round in Cromwell last weekend Kiwi Liam Lawson is aiming to maintain his excellent form.
He won two of the three races at Highlands Motorsport Park and lifted the Dorothy Smith Memorial Cup for a second year in the process. He plans to add more silverware to his trophy collection, with the Spirit of a Nation Cup up for grabs tomorrow.
Lawson quickly got to grips with the FT60 and promised that last weekend’s performance was just the beginning.
“There’s certainly more to come from the car and me,” he said.
However, it wasn’t all easy victories at Highlands for the Red Bull Junior racer and Lawson was lucky Brazilian Caio Collet, who matched him for pace in the single-seater FT60, had a dire weekend.
The TRS action includes a two races and qualifying ahead of tomorrow’s feature race for the Spirit of a Nation Cup.
Some of the nation’s best up and coming drivers will be seen in the Toyota 86 Championship, the NZ Formula Ford Championship and the South Island F1600 Championship. The South Island Porsche Series and Rush Hour race are also on the race programme.
- Catherine Pattison
Photo: PHOTO: D1NZ