We have already set down the odds for the World Time Attack Challenge Pro Class, so we thought we would ask our resident “drift expert” and the event co-ordinator of the Tectaloy International Drift Challenge, Amy Boatwright, what odds she gave of each competitor grabbing the big trophy on the Saturday night, and here is what she came back with…
Kumakubo: 3 – 1
What can we say that hasn’t already been said about the Team Orange boss and 2006 Japanese D1GP champion Nobishige Kumakubo. He’s starting as the odds-on favourite when the sun goes down. The Japanese will be hard to beat when they are driving their own cars.
Suenaga: 4 – 1
The number 2 driver for the Team Orange starts at 4.1 – just behind his boss. Many seasons of top level Japanese competition will make either of these guys hard to beat.
Curt Whittaker: 4 – 1
The favorite from New Zealand is also the crowd favorite in his stealth Skyline. Won the D1NZ Championship this year, won the Tectaloy International Drift Challenge last year and has been the guy to beat everywhere he runs. In top form and the track suits the high powered 2JZ Skyline he starts at 4-1 can be a serious threat to the Japanese.
Luke Fink: 4 – 1
Now that Fink is back in the Holfords Motors S14 he will start as the favorite to bring home the gold for Australia. Has been almost unbeatable in the ADGP series and is currently competing in the JDM Allstars and other events throughout Europe.
Beau Yates: 5 – 1
Beau has finished on the podium every time at the Tectaloy Drift Challenge and is the only Aussie ever to do so. Despite only really competing at this event throughout the year the 2006 Drift Australia Champion has certainly shown that he has still got it and his AE86 Corolla is built to perfection. Expect him to shine under pressure.
Rob Whyte: 6 – 1
Leading the ADGP championship (tie with Fink) and the Stadium Drift Championship, Rob is in a pretty good form. Since debuting the new Monster 350Z race car late last year Whyte has shown that he can mix it with the best and will no doubt be one of the guys to beat from the Aussie contingent in August.
Christian Pickering: 6 – 1
This one is hard to pick. The guy certainly has the skill and the car is a state of the art build but how much “bonding” time these two get in the lead up may determine the outcome. Pickering has a long history on the Toyo R1R tyre and also drove for this very team in 2007 in the USA Allstars event. He won the G1 deal in Japan last year and currently has a drive in the D1SL series with Team Orange. Will certainly be hard to beat if everything falls into place on the day.
Mad Mike Whiddett: 6 – 1
Finishing in 2nd position in the D1NZ championship in 2012 behind Curt in the Madbul RX7 and also winning the Gatebil Drift in Norway last week , Mike is certainly in good form and has had plenty of seat time in the past 12 months. He has always maintained the Badbul RX8 is the more competitive of the two cars and that is what he is bringing to Sydney in 2012. It has had a major revamp since competing in Formula D USA a couple of seasons back.
Fanga Dan: 7 – 1
The former D1NZ champion has found some form of late and finished 3rd in the championship this year. He is a former D1NZ champion and the V8 Commodore is well sorted and now more powerful than ever and will suit the Eastern Creek circuit.
Gaz Whiter: 7 – 1
Whiter is a three time D1NZ Champion and that record speaks volumes. His driving ability is second to none and the car is well setup but suffered a terrible season last year with major mysterious engine reliability issues that had the team scratching their heads. Even then he still finished fourth in the championship and if the car stays together he could certainly start at much shorter odds. Gaz will be out to put on a show for his major sponsor Tectaloy.
Leighton Fine: 7 – 1
Leighton “Crabman” Fine is another Drift Australia Champion who has the talent and the experience to take on all comers but is in a non familiar car. In saying that, the Cameron Hill prepared Skyline appears to be well put together and if everything falls into place on the day these guys could shine through for sure.
Jake Jones: 7 – 1
The top qualifier from last year will certainly be out to show what he has got in 2012. After competing in D1GP with Team Orange a couple of months back he should be in a top form, but has not had a lot of seat time this year.After an eventful season in D1NZ in 2010-11 Jake will be keen to mix it up with the Kiwis and the Japanese. The Onevia definitely has the power to suit the track layout and when he is on song he has the skill to mix it with the best.
Michael Truscott: 8 – 1
The Tasmanian drift series champion is a true veteran of Australian drift and year after year shows he still has what it takes. A well sorted car and years of experience in both car setup and competition help but Michael has not competed alongside this caliber of competition.
Tony Harrison: 8.5 – 1
Another drift veteran of many years in his homestate of Queensland. Famously drove the 50man Commodore for many years wowing crowds he has now stepped up in V8 LS2 powered S13 and the results have shown in recent times as he currently sits in position number 2 of Stadium Drift behind Rob Whyte.
Chris DeJager: 8.5 – 1
A successful Drift Australia competitor that moved abroad to “follow the dream” after the demise of the series. He’s back in a well prepared car and he is going to give it all on the night. Chris has had a reasonable success in regional Japanese drift events and has spent time learning from the “masters”
Josh Boettcher: 8.5 – 1
Freshly returned from Formula D Asia, JB could well be the dark horse of the event. He has had quite a bit of seat time this year and competing alongside the likes of Daigo Saito and some of the other Japanese big guns would certainly bring him up to speed.
Nick Coulson: 9 – 1
Young gun from Queensland will be out to make a name for himself. Started drifting at a tender age of 15 and now has quite a few years of competition experience under his belt and the new V8SS Ute should suit the big circuit. Team have spent all year making improvements to the car and should be a good each way bet in August.
Luke Broadbent: 10 – 1
Did very well and showed his strength as an underdog last year at WTAC but hasn’t been competing nationally over the past couple of years. Currently sitting in 19th place in the South Australian state series, Luke could shine through as the underdog again, only time will tell!
Danny Kenneally: 11 – 1
Sitting in 4th place on the national series leader board, Danny is always a strong competitor. He’s been around Australian drifting for many years and always shows great style and consistency.
Simon Michelmore: 12 – 1
Faced some issues last year at WTAC and fell just short of a good result but coming in at 16th place in the 2011 ADGP series and currently sitting in 8th place this year shows Simon’s still got it and with recent improvements to the car he will be a tough one.
Cole Armstrong: 12 – 1
Coming in at 5th place in the latest D1NZ series, Cole is amongst the best of the Kiwis. But this year at WTAC he will be driving a local R33 Skyline which he is yet to have any driving time in. He’ll have a quick practice before the event but will it be enough to get him comfortable with the car and ready for competition? .
Andreas Pareskavas: 12 – 1
Insane Drifter from Melbourne always puts on a good show and last year really stepped it up, coming at 2nd place in the 2011 National Drift Series. Aggess is known to bring his A-Game to the table when he needs to and could be a tough competitor.
Nigel Petrie: 12 – 1
Performing well last year in his highly competitive ETS 180SX, Nigel will be a strong competitor no matter what. Although his absence in some of the big comps recently could mean he has some catching up to do, when it counts, Nigel always drives hard and his skill and consistency shines through.
Tom Monkhouse: 12 – 1
Tom will be a strong force to reckon with! He has competed in Japan and always does well in comps with constant podium finishes. In the newly re-worked car he’ll be competing in, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve!
Khudar El Houli: 12 – 1
Crowd favourite from Victoria is never short of a tough battle! Competing whenever he can get the chance, he always drives hard and pushes his car and skills to the limit. It will be interesting to see what he has in store for this year.
Steven Sole: 12 – 1
Sitting in 12th place in D1NZ, Steven is a tough competitor and a D1NZ original! Coming on strong in his JZX100 Chaser, he will be a strong force to reckon with. It will be interesting to see how he shapes up against the Aussies!
Jason Sellers: 12 – 1
Making his debut in Australia, Sellers is another interesting one. He has done pretty well in D1NZ recently and came in 2nd place in the 2008 D1NZ comp. From what I’ve seen he is a strong driver and will definitely put on a show, with his experience in Formula D Asia, Jason has got what it takes to mix it with the big boys!
James Abbott: 12 – 1
Returning to the TIDC in fine form with his newly improved Toyota 2JZ powered Nissan S15, Jabbit is always a tough and consistent competitor, but he is a hard one to pick. With the level of competition heating up will the upgrades on the car put him in line?
One Event. One Track. Two Days. One Winner. Be there!
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