Cole Armstrong competing in his R34 Nissan Skyline.
The 2019 D1NZ Drifting Championship begins this weekend in Tauranga at Trustpower Baypark Stadium, where more than 60 of New Zealand’s best teams and drivers are set to compete in the biggest drifting competition in the southern hemisphere.
The event dubbed ‘The Summer Smoke Out’ is the opening round of a five-part drifting tour, where cars featuring up to 800+ horsepower will entertain crowds around the country.
Top ranked driver and two-time defending champion Cole Armstrong is excited to be competing in front of a home crowd this weekend, piloting his V Energy backed Nissan R34 Skyline.
“The Gloves are off, the targets on my back and it’s going to be all on” says Armstrong, conscious of a back-to-back title defence in 2019.
“We’re excited, we’ve won here once before and I’d like to do it again. I’m a competitive person, I’m not going to throw it down and let someone walk away with it easy.”
Armstrong is amongst a number of local Tauranga-based drivers who are also competing, including Adam Davies and Dave Steedman from Team DSR, and partners Drew and Jodie Donovan from Team DMNZ to name a few.
New Zealand Drifting Champion Cole Armstrong in his V Energy G35 Skyline.
Internationally ranked drifting stars include two-time former champion ‘Fanga’ Dan Woolhouse in his V8 powered Ford Mustang RTR, and 2015 title winner Darren Kelly in his RB34 powered Nissan R35 GTR.
Some new faces join the lineup into the Pro-Championship class for 2019, with last year’s Pro-Sport Development Series winner Liam Burke making his debut behind the wheel of his Nissan S13 Silvia, alongside his 2018 championship rival Jordy Cole in his Mazda FC RX7.
The specially made custom concrete-lined drifting circuit has been un-earthed from the traditional speedway clay, buried underneath the stadium grounds since it’s construction at the last D1NZ event held in February last year.
The weekend’s action kicks off over January 12 and 13, with Qualifying on Saturday evening and the main competition on Sunday night, concluding with a Pyro Company fireworks display. For full event info and ticketing information visit D1NZ.com.
Earthworks begin at Baypark Stadium.