DAY ONE – FRIDAY
Day one of the Tectaloy International Drift Challenge saw some tough qualifying with all competitors pushing their hardest. The field was by far the best Australia has ever seen with our home grown finest and some of the top international competitors from New Zealand and Japan.
The first night of the comp left us with our fair share of car problems which lead to some long nights for teams to get the cars ready and back in shape for Day two of the competition.
Kumakubo has mechanical issues which was disappointing for all but his team mate Naoto Suenaga shone through and showed the crowd what the best of this world really has to offer!
Some of the top cars did not make it into the Top 16 due to mechanical issues and problems within qualifying which lead to a very ecstatic “Best of the Rest” competition!
A withdraw before qualifying by Levi Clarke put reserve driver Nathan Weissel from NSW in the comp and he did not fail to impress, qualifying in 10th place.
DAY TWO – SATURDAY – COMPETITION TIME
With some disappointing news in the morning that Mad Mike was out of the comp due to a bent rotor seal we were all in high hopes the rest of teams efforts to get the cars ready and going were successful, and we were not disappointed there. Big congratulations to all of the crews of all teams who worked through the night to get the boys back on track.
The night kicked off with the International Team Challenge which saw Naoto Suenaga and Nobushige Kumakubo from Japan go head to head with Daniel ‘Fanga Dan’ Woolhouse and Steven Sole from NZ and Luke Fink and Beau Yates from Australia. Japan took out the win, Australia came in at 2nd place with New Zealand in 3rd.
Next was the Top 16, which saw a very remarkable field and some serious battles. A withdraw from Mad Mike saw Michael Truscott take his place to battle Gaz Whiter.
Nathan Weissel came up against Australian Champion Luke Fink for a very tough battle, Fink took the win.
James ‘Jabbit’ Abbott battled Cole Armstrong and came out on top with a pretty convincing win.
Battle of the V8s – Tony Harrison vs Khudar Elhaouli – Australian National runner up Harrison took the win.
Rob Whyte vs Fanga Dan – Tough battle saw Fanga come out on top.
Leighton Fine vs Jason Sellers – Fine drove hard considering he was competing in a car he hasn’t had much comp experience in. His consistent driving shone through and he took the win.
Dan Kenneally vs Beau Yates – this was always going to be a tough battle, Yates took the win after fixing mechanical issues on the car seconds before his battle.
Josh Boettcher vs Suenaga – Boettcher withdrew because of mechanical issues which put Suenaga straight through.
Top 8 saw what was definately the best the comp had to offer. With a field of Australian and international champions, competition was heating up and battles like this had never been seen before.
Next we saw the “Best of the Rest” competition! Simon Michelmore took out the very well deserved win! Although this comp was strictly for those who didn’t make it into the Top 16, the field was still full of some of the world’s best drifters and showed the crowd that the entire field was full of pro class drivers.
Top 4 saw some controversial battles and a few re-runs in there as the driving was so close! With such a high level of competition it is to be expected.
1st: Naoto Suenaga – Team Orange
2nd: Tony Harrison
3rd: Leighton Fine
4th: Luke Fink
Photo by MGNINC.co.nz
A huge thank you to all involved who helped pull off this competition and all the hard work has definitely paid off. We’ll be looking at some bigger and better things as we move forward and can’t wait to see what next year holds!