Words: Jamie Nelson Photos: Tony Crossed
As we are hitting those sunny months, round two of Drift South was hit with an absolute scorcher of a day (December 2) at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch. Track temperatures were verging on 35-degrees celsius, yet 22 ProDrift drivers and 12 in the development series braving the heat to treat the crowds to a big-hitter field of weaponry — 95 per cent of which were of the Nissan variety, with a couple of Toyota Mark IIs scattered in for good measure.
Southern drift originals hailing from UNIT23 came out of the woodworks for an appearance, with Glen Pupich in his freshly repainted A31 Cefiro and Glen Collins in his C33 — plus the super fresh and clean Myfleet orange S15 of Callum Ransley. Josh “Snoop” McMillian brought the recently straightened green machine up from the Temuka massive, only to have it last all of 0.31 seconds once getting on the track —finding himself involved in three separate altercations leaving his car looking like a recently raced stock car.
During pit crews scrambled to spray down radiators to battle heat soak on their machinery as much as they could between runs. A couple of mechanical issues crept into the day with Glen Pupich’s gearbox saying no more, Corey Farrant’s SR main bearing cradle deciding to become a two-piece item, and Shannon Redmond’s SR20 rocker knocking its way to heaven’s door.
The development series proved to have a few standout drivers for the weekend, with Alex Morton in his very clean ‘Chachacha’ S14 and Alex Smith in his oh-so-low Toyota Mark II taxi. Both drivers went out to prove run after run that they should definitely be caging their cars and jump up to compete in the ProDrift class next round — ultimately Alex Smith would go on to take out first, with Alex Morton in second, followed by Dominic Edwards in third .
Cody Hayden-Holmes was ProDrift top qualifier throwing down some very aggressive runs in the RB30DET R32, followed very closely by Sheldon Kneale, with Dan Currie in third. Usual top-five finisher Dan Robinson had a spin in his top 16 battles against Jacob Cuthbert, which is a rarity for Dan, leaving the 1JZ to feel the wrath of this frustration bouncing it of the rev limiter for most the recovery run.
Neil Lyon took out the best chase of the day award in the purple people-eater R34, laying out killer chase runs against the competition much to the pleasure of the onlooking crowd. Neil’s skill level and vehicle preparation improves with every round and it’s great to see him and team mate Anna Kempt progressing, even with the RBs running on the red temp lines for most the day.
Josh McMillian and Cody Hayden-Holmes were in a battle of the four-doors, vying to claim third. A fairly even first run saw Josh take a one-point advantage but the writing was on the wall with a 10-0 advantage in the second going to Josh after Cody blew his chances with a big mistake, seeing him fall back into fourth.
The crowd that were brave enough to stay the duration of day — most resorting to hiding under the grandstand to avoid the heat of the sun — were treated to a decisive battle between teammates Dan “tikka masala” Currie and Brogan “Bogan” Mooney in the You Break We Fix S15s. There was no love shown between the pair, though, with an extremely aggressive battle taking way before the decision was made by a self-inflicted (and very rare) mistake from Dan, running shallow through the right-to-left transition into corner two. The mistake left Brogan to sail home in first.
Drift South picks up again in the new year (January 27) for round three at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch — jump onto the Facebook event for further details.