The country’s top drifters will descend on Manfield Autocourse, November 27/28 as the Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship gets underway.
With over 60 drivers competing over the two-day event, drifting has become one of New Zealand’s most popular motorsport disciplines.
Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control from entry to exit of a corner. A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle, to such an extent that often the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa, also known as opposite lock or counter-steering).
Professional drifting competitions like the Demon Energy D1NZ are judged according to the speed, angle, showmanship and line taken through a corner or set of corners, it gets more intense when judges ask competitors to slide the car past specific clipping points on the track with only millimeters clearance and another car chasing door to door all while maintaining the drift.
This is the lower North Island’s only chance to see the stars battle it out in Round 1 of the championship, alongside the brand new D1NZ Pro-Sport series also kicking off their 2015/16 title fight with competitors of all age groups of from 18 – 60 years old.
Fans will be treated to new cars, new drivers, a Demon Energy Freestyle FMX Show, car Show n Shine, a kids zone, Trade Stands, Free Pit-Walk and door to door battle action at one of the country’s fastest drift sections. A host of New Zealand’s trop drivers will be competing over the weekend including current champion Darren Kelly (Auckland), and Curt Whitaker (Waihi), Fanga Dan Woolhouse (Whangarei) and Cole Armstrong (Tauranga).
Looking to shine at his home event will be 24-year old Feilding driver Jaron Olivecrona who makes the step up to the Pro class, having competed a number of years in the Pro Sport development class.
Olivecrona says he can’t wait to hit the track in front of his home crowd.
“Manfeild is great for competitors, that track is very flowing with a good entry speed. Manfeild can be challenging depending on conditions, it really is a horsepower track and that’s what we like!! Big angle and a heap of smoke. Not only that but the facilities for competitors and spectators is outstanding,” says Olivecrona.
Olivecrona got into the motorsport sport following in his father’s tyre marks, with drifting becoming his chosen discipline.
“With my father Kester Olivecrona having a huge background in motorsport it was inevitable I was going to do some kind of motorsport witch just happened to be drifting, and I love it!! Super cool atmosphere and just all round great times travelling with the family and good friends.”
This season is Olivecrona’s second full season in D1NZ, stepping up to the top class of ‘Pro’ where the cars are much more powerful than the development class of ‘Pro Sport’. With his first season in Pro about to start, Olivecrona is modest about his championship goals.
“Stepping up to Pro isn’t going to be easy with the level of the drivers competing and five new graduates from last years Pro Sport class but what we would love to achieve especially here at our home track is a podium finish. But hey, you have to crawl before you can walk. We have a top level car and great support crew to bring us to where we want to be, I guess its up to me to drive hard and stomp on that loud pedal!”
Organisers have also announced a special offer for the Manfield event. As a thank you for their service to the country, any New Zealand military personnel can gain free entry to the event, just by bringing their military ID card and showing it to ticketing staff on the gate.