Four-time premier class victor Gaz Whiter returns to the national drifting scene this weekend at Pukekohe Park for the season finale of the 2020 D1NZ championship.
The Northland drifting ace was set to contest in the Red Bull Drift Shifters competition in Europe this year in his newly built LS3 supercharged Nissan Silva S15 monster.
Whiter had prepared the car in time for the popular Leadfoot Festival in February before the severity of the global pandemic saw his Europe plans shelved.
A blessing in disguise perhaps, Whiter’s stalled international plans has allowed the Kiwi to recentre his focus on the local drifting scene and this weekend will see him make his first return to the D1NZ competition after a brief two-year hiatus.
“[I am] looking forward to driving again after getting the car back from Europe with Drift Shifters getting postponed,” said Whiter.
“We never got a chance to test the new car properly so will be good to get some laps in.
“[I am] not expecting too much with the competition, just keen to get back to Pukekohe after so many years.”
Whiter’s presence won’t be the only headline this weekend with provisional Pro Championship leader Taylor James coming into the round with a slender points lead over a hungry Liam Burke.
Fresh off taming The Gauntlet in the series’ inaugural event staged inside ASB Showgrounds in Auckland, another upset result by Burke could throw the title race wide open.
A similar portrait is being painted a stone’s throw away in the Pro-Sport championship which wraps up its season this weekend as well.
Waiuku-based drifter Russell Vare has a sizable 50-point buffer to toy with over title protagonist Shaun Potroz and will only need a reasonable result to claim the championship.
It has been an incredible season for Vare which kicked off with an unlikely victory at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo where technical setbacks meant he was forced to jump into a borrowed Nissan Silva S15.
The final round concludes a frantic 2019/20 campaign which was dogged by a nationwide lockdown at the halfway mark.
Qualifying gets underway on Friday, July 31 with the finals of each class slated to be held on Saturday afternoon.
Main Image: Gaz Whiter