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Drifters call for Baypark return

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Some of New Zealanders top drifters want to return to ASB Baypark Stadium for another run at the specially-made concrete D1NZ National Drifting Championship circuit.


For the first time, the stadium’s infield housed all of the action on February 24-25 after being covered with 5000m2 of concrete to form a circuit for wall-to-wall and door-to-door action.

It was the second time the D1NZ National Drifting Championship undertook their second stadium event.  The series opened at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium, with drifting under-roof for the first time in Southern Hemisphere history.

Now round three winner Tom Marshall wants to see the series come back to Tauranga, but with changes to the circuit – incorporating the wall to be run twice.

“It’d be mean if they do decide to return. Maybe they could make it a bit longer, it’s quite short now and it was all over pretty quick.

“Even if you went back on the way you entered so you do a figure-of-eight. It’s always cool when you come out of a sweeper and you ride the wall.”

Tom enjoyed the new challenge of riding the outer speedway wall, finding the wall ride easier to tackle than expected.“This track is probably easier to ride the wall than the ones at Dunedin because it’s a constant flow.

“You can get the car on the wall and know the corner is the same all the way around. Whereas in Dunedin you’ve got lots of clipping points and you just sort of aim for the points.”



Former D1NZ Pro Series champion Darren Kelly, who despite his early demise from the event, got to experience it from the sidelines.

“I liked the layout of it. It was very technical with the 90-degree switch at the end, but that just makes for more of a challenge. That’s what we’re here to do, is challenge the best drivers.

“I liked it and would definitely be keen to do it again,” says Darren, who thinks the stadium setting is the perfect venue to give fans the best show possible in NZ motor racing.

“They definitely have to do it again. The atmosphere inside there was amazing! The crowd lined all the way around the outside.

“Everybody got involved in it, battle after battle after battle everyone was cheering and clapping and just enjoying it.

“It’s a totally different atmosphere and style. These stadium events are definitely something we need to keep doing.”

And hometown favourite Cole Armstrong, who endured a tough time at ASB Baypark, still supports the event.

“[Absolutely] 100 per cent yes. It just showed, even at half-time, the crowd that was there was phenomenal. That’s what we want as a sport.

“It’s bringing a wide variety of people to come in and see what we do.

“It’s only going to help drifting continue to grow. I definitely love it, if we come back here we’d change it up and make it slightly different, but make things better. I’d love it to come back.”

Round four of the six-round series is at North Waikato’s Hampton Downs Motorsport Park on the newly-built club circuit.

For more information, visit: D1NZ.com


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