TEMPLEMAN IS THIRD D1NZ WINNER IN AS MANY ROUNDS
High profile former off-road and circuit racing star Daynom Templeman (NAC Mazda RX7) has underlined the competitive nature of this season's Cody's D1NZ National Drifting Championship by beating three-time defending champion Gaz Whiter (Tectaloy Nissan S14) to the top spot on the podium at the third round in Taupo on Saturday.
After the first two rounds of the 2011/12 series Auckland international Templeman was languishing in 13th place in the series points standings. But that didn't stop him outpointing fellow Aucklander Andrew Redward (Nankang Nissan S14) and Dargaville driver Whiter in qualifying on Saturday morning before sweeping all before him in the battles in the afternoon.
"He was on fire, alright, "said D1NZ organiser Brendon White." Nobody got near Daynom on Saturday."
In cool, crisp weather in front of a boisterous crowd of just over 1000 keen drift fans, Templeman downed Wellington's Carlos Walters (Nissan Skyline R33) in the Top 16, Round 2 winner Curt Whittaker from Auckland (Whittaker Motorsport 2JZ Nissan Skyline R34) in the Top 8, and popular Waiuku driver Jason Sellers (Redline Batteries 2JZ Nissan Laurel) in the Top 4.
That put him on course to meet defending series champion Whiter but when the pair battled for the win and with it the $5000 worth of cash and product from round winner's sponsor Alcotane the result was the same, Templeman claiming his fourth scalp of the day and with it his first D1NZ National Drifting Championship series round win.
In stark contrast Whiter had to go 'One More Time' to win his Top 16 battle with determined Taranaki driver Mark Burling (Nissan S15), then he had to battle - and beat - good friend and fellow DriftCorp team member 'Fanga' Dan Woolhouse (Castrol Edge Holden Commodore V8) to get to the Top 4 where he came up against eventual third place-getter, Matamata driver Jock Bennett, back in the series for the weekend after concluding a deal to share the Bennett Motorsport-prepared SR20-engined Toyota AE85 with its owner, top ProAm prospect William Foster.
By beating Bennett, Whiter earned the right to go up against Templeman, but having already beaten championship points leader Cole Armstrong (V Energy Drink Nissan Skyline R34) in their Top 16 encounter and Hawke's Bay driver Mac Kwok (Milwaukee Tools V8 Nissan Silvia S13) in the Top 8, Bennett had done more than enough to join Jason Sellers (who beat 'Mad' Mike Whiddett in their Top 8 battle) in the top four.
Surprises were also the order of the day in the ProAm competition on Friday, Rnd 2 winner and series points leader Shane Poulton from Auckland (AOSC Nissan S15) topping the qualifying sheets but the round won by Pukekohe's Cameron Vernon (Gull Nissan Skyline R32) from Vincent Hopkins (Auckland, Nissan Skyline R32).
Vernon, who finished second to Poulton at the second round of this season's series at Pukekohe a month ago, did a Templeman-like job in his battles, beating Joe Kyle (Nissan Laurel) in the Top 16, Ryan Johnson (Nissan S13) in the Top 8, second best qualifier and the country's top female drifter, Mount Maunganui's Jodie Verhulst (Toyota Supra), in the Top 4 and Hopkins in the final.
Hopkins in turn had to beat Darren Kelly (DKM Fabrication Nissan R32), Trevor Cairns (Nissan Laurel) and Shane Poulton (the latter battle going 'One More Time' before a winner could be determined) before meeting Vernon.
Taupo Motorsport Park also hosted the second round of this season's inaugural Time Attack (single lap) series on Friday and Saturday.
Pukekohe's Hans Ruiterman (E&H Motors Nissan S14) once again dominated the Pro class, setting a best lap time of 1.13.697. Best of the Pro-Am competitors, meanwhile, was Auckland's Leon Scott (Redline/Jet Pilot Mitsubishi Evo 8) with a time of 1.15.413.
The Cody's D1NZ National Drifting Championship now takes a break before resuming at Mt Smart in Auckland on February 10 & 11 2012.
The D1NZ podium (from left) runner-up Gaz Whiter, round winner Daynom Templeman, and third placed Jock Bennett. Templeman (action shot) was the top qualifier and was unbeaten in his battles at Taupo. Matamata's Jock Bennett (action shot) ended up third in a car he shared with top ProAm category prospect William Foster. Photo credit: Fast Company/Devolution Photography
2011/12 CODY'S D1NZ NATIONAL DRIFTING CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Rnd 3 Taupo Motorsport Park Taupo Fri-Sat Dec 16-17 2011
1. Daynom Templeman (Auckland, NAC Mazda RX7)
2. Gaz Whiter (Dargaville, Tectaloy Nissan S14)
3. Jock Bennett (Matamata, Bennett Motorsport SR20 Toyota AE85)
4. Jason Sellers (Waiuku, Redline 2JZ Nissan Laurel)
1. Cam Vernon (Pukekohe, Gull Nissan Skyline R32)
2. Vincent Hopkins (Auckland, Nissan Skyline R32)
3. Shane Poulton (Auckland, AOSC Nissan S15)
1. Hans Ruiterman 1:13.697
2. Leon Scott 1:15.413
3. Scott Kreyl 1:16.241
4. Daniel Currie 1:17.268
5. Stephen Brown-Thomas 1:17.461
6. James Parker 1:17.995
7. Kat Benson 1:22.860 1:24.970
8. Kerri Mareeba 1:25.238
Series Points after Rnd 3 of 6
1. Cole Armstrong (Tauranga) 235 points
2. Mike Whiddett (Auckland) 234
3. Gaz Whiter (Dargaville) 229
4. Curt Whittaker (Auckland) 226
5. Daniel Woolhouse (Whangarei) 218
6. Darren Benjamin (Taranaki) 210
7. Daynom Templeman (Auckland) 199.5
8. Andrew Redward (Auckland) 183
9. Mark Burling (Taranaki) 166
10. Sky Zhao (Auckland) 165.5
Rnd 1: Oct 28-29 2011 Manfeild Feilding
Rnd 2: Nov 25-26 2011 Pukekohe Park Raceway
Rnd 3: Dec 16-17 2011 Taupo Motorsport Park Taupo
Rnd 4: Feb 10-11 2012 Mt Smart Stadium Night Round, Auckland
Rnd 5 March 09-10 2012 Whangarei Street Course, Whangarei
Rnd 6: April 06-07 Grand Final, Hampton Downs, northern Waikato