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Repco D1NZ ready for action in Taupo

One of the world’s leading drifting championships will begin this weekend at Taupo Motorsport Park as D1NZ kicks off on its 20th anniversary.

First originated in 2003 D1NZ has emerged as the leading drifting title in the southern hemisphere to hold one over the Australian competition. Repco proudly joins as naming rights partner for the 2023/2024 season, which will comprise of five rounds starting this weekend at Taupo.

Repco D1NZ has in the past been a launching pad for some of New Zealand’s racing talent to advance into motoring legend status. The likes of ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett and Darren Kelly have gone on to forge a career in the US where drifting exploded the same time D1NZ was formed.

Whiddett has continued to produce wild, fire spitting Mazdas and Kelly, who won a Pro Sport title before securing dual Pro crowns has emerged as a contender in America contesting Formula D in a spectacular V12 Aston Martin.

Kelly is the prime example of development within Repco D1NZ by succeeding in both levels of the category. Popularity in D1NZ increased a decade ago allowing for the Pro-Sport tier to be introduced as an introductory class as the professionalism and competition increased in Pro.

Another popular move occurring a decade ago was the Baypark Stadium event, which closes out this season and utilises the multi-sports arena. Similar to a rally super special stage, the Baypark event allows the crowd to get close to the action and experience the tight art of drifting in an electric atmosphere.

Popular driver ‘Fanga Dan’ Woolhouse is a three-time D1NZ champion in three different models no less, but he secured last year’s crown driving a spectacular Ford Mustang and will return to defend the title.

Gaz Whiter is the most successful competitor having won five D1NZ championships, though the likes of Kelly, Woolhouse, Whiddett, Cole Armstrong and Curt Whittaker displayed the strength of top-class drifting in New Zealand.

Ingenious beasts have been built for the series through the years including V8-powered Toyota 86s, turbocharged Supras and ear-splitting rotors, with variety being a highlight across D1NZ’s history.

Taupo kicks off the season this weekend before four rounds follow in the new year starting on February 23-25 at the specialised STP Kohatu Drift Park, then Hampton Downs on March 15-18, Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon on April 12-14 and Baypark Stadium rounds out the campaign on May 10-11.

Taupo action will be live on Sky Sport from 2pm until 5pm this Saturday (+2 hours in Australia on Kayo), while action prior will be covered live on the D1NZ Facebook page.