The most successful D1NZ National Drifting Championship competitor ever, Gaz Whiter, is set to make his series return after an extended hiatus from the series.
The four-time champion enters the 2018 season with a new look and a fully refreshed LS3 V8-powered Nissan Silvia S14 facelift. After dominating the competitive drifting scene for half a decade, Whiter left the sport briefly to build a house for he and his family.
His return to the championship follows an injection of support from sponsors FENIX Radiators and Smartcookie8 who come on board as his primary sponsors.
Dargaville raised Whiter said the chance to come back to the series came after his sponsors put their support behind him. With some backing behind him, that meant a big change up in the car to get it ready for the 2018 season.
“It was just one phone call and we were back into it,” Whiter said.
“There’s been a lot changed since the car’s last event. Tony, my dad, has been at it and got it up to spec because it was far from a competitive car in our eyes. Now it’s got a new differential and a lot more power with a supercharger—it’s going well.”
Whiter will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the New Zealand’s best Drift Kings. For the entirety of his career the drifter has always driven Nissans, either a Cefiro or Siliva.
Having been away from the series, Whiter saw the need to make changes to his car. Brought on by the level of competition stepping up year-on-year, the car is now at the stage where he feels it’s comfortably competitive.
“It feels tighter and just has more grip. You can dial more grip into it the more power you have.
“The cars are so fast now so you’ve got to keep up, they’re insane now. 1000 hp is normal, but we’ve made ours about 640Hp. That’s good enough. It has a lot of torque and that’s what you want.”
While Whiter hasn’t contested a full season of D1NZ for several years, he’s made the occasional appearance at various events. Even with his car in an admittedly uncompetitive state, Whiter took back-to-back wins in Mad Mike’s Summer Bash at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.
With form on his side and the desire to be competitive, Whiter said he’s optimistic about his chances despite the fierce competition.
“I’m quietly competitive. I wanna win, so that’s just how I drive. I aim to put on a show and try and do my best. I’m probably my hardest critic. I’ll make a mistake and Tony or my spotter won’t even see it. I fight with myself to make myself a better driver.
“The driving is so good now, but that will be good too because it’s a tougher competition. That just makes you better. You’ve got ‘Fanga’ Dan and his new weapon. Darren Kelly and Daynom Templeman, all of those guys.
“Anyone can win and anyone can have their day. That’s why drifting is so fun.”