On debut at the event, Japan’s Naoki Nakamura has won the International Drifting Cup presented by Garrett Advancing Motion at Sydney Motorsport Park tonight to round out the Yokohama Time Attack Challenge 2018 presented by Track Warrior.
After three rounds of World Cup-style heats where points determined the top eight and the traditional eliminations process to the top two, including the TTI Gearbox Top Four, Nakamura faced off and beat Australia’s Luke Fink in the final.
The Aussies Michael Prosenik and Dale Campaign duked it out for third and fourth. Prosenik narrowly took the first contest, and then had a single run as Campaign broke a wheel and wasn’t allowed the time to change it.
Earlier, Nakamura (S15) had won all three contests in his pool against Joel Dimmack (Datsun 240Z), Mitch Pullen (Toyota Hilux) and Danny Probert (Turbo Barra-powered XD Falcon) to progress to the Top Eight.
In the Top Eight he then beat Levi Clarke in what was the final run to determine the TTI Gearbox Top Four, with the latter spinning on his second contest to see the popular Japanese driver go through. Nakamura then continued his unbeaten run to see who would face Fink in the final, getting the job done against Campaign.
“I feel great,” Nakamura enthused after taking the win.
“It was difficult when I was following, as I was having trouble shifting. The most difficult contest was against the lower seeded guys when it was dry.
“I would love to come back, I had a lot of fun!”
Fink (turbocharged V8 S14) found himself in the TTI Gearbox Top Four after a rerun was required following a Top Eight draw between him and Brendon Greaves (BMW M3). The rerun went to Fink when Greaves spun on their second contest.
The former had earlier drawn with 16-year-old Irish lad Connor Shanahan (S13) and then beat competition winner Stephen Burgmans in Rob Whyte’s Nissan 350Z, and Michael Bonney (S15) in the pools.
He was then the first to put pressure on Prosenik in the TTI Gearbox Toup Four and while there appeared not to be a lot in it, Fink was unanimously voted as the winner by the judges.
“I’ve never been a big V8 fan but it is growing on me!” Fink said ahead of the final.
On his way to the TTI Gearbox Top Four, Prosenik had won all three battles in his pool aboard his Nissan S13, beating Anthony Bilic (S13), Josh Boettcher (S15) and Matt Russell (Toyota 86) before taking out Aaron Dewar (S13) in the Top Eight.
“That is good (to take third) but that is a real shame (about Campaign), no one ever likes to win like that,” Prosenick said.
“We have a real turnkey operation, it goes hard and we have a great support crew, it is great to have that backing. For the guys to put on an event like this too is great, we are really happy to be a part of it. We will drink some beers from that third place trophy tonight!”
Japan’s Nob Taniguchi (S15) also performed in the Top Eight following a perfect three from three in the pools, but was knocked out by Campaign (S13) after the Adelaidean beat Jake Jones (BMW M3), New Zealand’s Carl Thompson (S15) and drew with Camo Mote (S15).
“Nakamura is way too good – he is so fast, I couldn’t keep up! Hands down to him, he drove so well, I was just happy to have a battle with him, it was awesome,” Campaign said of his TTI Gearbox Top Four lose against the event winner.
“In (the run against Prosenick) I took the inner clip on the second clip and the front wheel went over the apex and smashed the wheel, I think I broke the front wheel and I so I was out. I am still happy with fourth, thanks to everyone for getting me here, it is unfortunate but that is how things go in drift!” he added.
While the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge 2018 presented by Track Warrior might be over for another year, you can still purchase event merchandise from www.wtacshop.com and also the recently released One Perfect Lap book from www.oneperfectlap.com