World drift star to compete at Taupo

The Demon Energy Drinks D1NZ National Drifting Championship hits Taupo’s Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park next weekend – 29th, 30th and 31st of January 2016 and the high octane series is bringing global drift superstar and arguably the worlds number one drifter Daigo Saito to compete.

Series Organiser Brendon White says it is a coup for the championship to have a mega star of drifting to come to New Zealand to compete.

“Daigo’s had a huge couple years on the international stage and more recently with the big release of his V12 Lamborghini Drift Car it was a great time to ask the star to join us in this historic grassroots and Pro-Competition return to Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park,” says White.

While he is here for the event, Saito will compete in the championships wild-card 450Kw 6-cylinder D1NZ Toyota’z Galore GT86.

“The D1NZ team are proud that we can offer New Zealand’s best drivers the opportunity to go door-to-door some of the world’s best, especially when Daigo lets loose at the following event in Taupo.”

Daigo Saito’s achievements are vast but more notably in recent years he has taken ‘Drift King’ Championship titles in both Japan’s D1GP and the globes biggest drift series; Formula Drift in the USA. Saito will drive the custom built Toyota GT86 All-Star car backed by Toyotaz Galore.

Daigo Saito is naturally keen to compete in New Zealand and has been keeping a keen eye on the D1NZ Series for a long time.

“New Zealand Drifting has a high level of drivers and the car development is very similar now to Formula Drift, so I’m really looking forward to battling with NZ’s best door to door next month and meeting all the fans and drivers in Taupo,” says Saito.

With over 60 drivers competing over the three-day event, drifting has become one of New Zealand’s most popular motorsport disciplines and it is expected to draw a large crowd and according to defending series champion Darren Kelly, it’s a circuit he and the other drivers love.

“I really like Taupo for its full throttle, fast flowing section to a hairpin finish. It makes for awesome close door to door battles and some huge angle should be seen this year with everyone pushing the limits,” says Kelly.

The three day event will join forces with the ZCD Summer Drift Matsuri (Drift Festival) and will produce the most track time of any drift event in NZ; with over 36 hours of drifting on multiple track layouts including 40+ grassroots drifters joining in for Taupo’s first ever evening drift sessions, with track action finishing around 8.30pm each day.

The D1NZ field in both the Pro-Championship and Pro-Sport classes is also expected to be boosted with the ‘Club Auto Insurance Triple Crown’ series returning (comprising of three events; Taupo, Hampton Downs and Pukekohe), where a spot to represent New Zealand in the Hi-Tec Oils Trans-Tasman Drift Championship is up for grabs amongst the bonus prize-pool.

After two rounds, Whangarei’s Daniel Woolhouse leads the Pro-Championship on 166 points, with Curt Whittaker in second on 145 and round two winner Nico Reid in third place on 140 points.

The second tier Pro-Sport championship is currently lead by Chad McKenzie on 159 points, followed by Calvin Clark on 158 Followed by Blair Gribble Bowring on 158.

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