Earthquake Terror to then D1NZ Round 4

Hey all,

Been awhile since an update but this one is well worth the wait!!

As you know I’ve been in New Zealand competing in the D1NZ drift series. I missed Round 3 due to financial issues and just couldn’t afford to make it. I had now put everything I had left into making Round 4 happen.

Round 4 of the D1NZ series was held at Taupo Raceway and I’ve always been a huge fan of this track since seeing it on youtube. However the D1NZ officials decided to mix it up a bit this year and redo the layout of the track. Not only was it going to be backwards but in a whole new section. Everyone loved the idea and its fair to say it worked well.

First off ill fill everyone in on the lead up to the event as it wasn’t at all how it should have gone. I’ve been saving up my holidays so i could get over to NZ a week earlier to make sure my car was going to be competition ready. I organised with Paul Tomlin and Spec Performance to have the car ready for the V 4 Rota South Nationals.

I flew into Christchurch on the 19th of FEB @ 1am in the morning. Paul picked me up and we had a couple hours sleep till we were up at the big Stadium where the V 4 Rota Nationals where being held.

The Spec performance stand was a fairly decent display considering the time frame they had to get it ready.

Spec Performance Drag car

Phillip’s 2JZ Cefiro

Paul’s Crazy Sr20 S13

My Rather bland looking Sonvia 😛

Paul was busy getting my new front guards fixed as im now borrowing a pair of different from rims 🙂

The Spec Performance stand was getting a lot of attention and this show was so much different to any other show Ive been to in Australia. We really need to step our game up!!
Here are a few more pics from Saturday’s show at the stadium. The cars in NZ are leaps and bounds ahead of anything in South Australia. Well the ones that come out to play anyway 😉

 Cole Armstrong’s VR34 after he did his phat skid in the car park 🙂

 Spec’s Cabinet with the crazy Borg Warner turbo which was bigger then my head

Mad Stag rolling on Equips! I loved it 

 Roof chopped S13/ R34 front abortion with a 2JZ. Was not a huge fan to tell you the truth. But so much work has been put in to this its crazy!!
 Slim’s mad Rx7 with i believe a 800hp 20B. Nuts!
 Heard a lot of stories behind this Evo drag car and to say it was awesome was a complete understatement. 1200hp Evo motor and yes i did see it go down the quarter 😛


 The famous HKS evo time attack car. A lot of people walked past this like it wasn’t anything special. I was damn excited to see it in the flesh. Wish they could have brought it to WTA in August this year as it would be insane to see it live.

 3 Rotas…. 3 turbos…. why not??

 R.I.P.S mental Rb26/30 drag car.

 FJ20. I will always have a soft spot for these motors. Why did I ever sell my DR30 🙁

 This S15 looked awesome. The kit along with the wheel and colour choice worked well i thought. Not bad for a daily hey?

Crazy RB26 engine bay.

 RX8 Drag car! Oath

 Memories hahaha

This Batty caught my eye not only because of the graphics but the donk. Was so keen to see this perform but apparently the owner is new to drifting and hasn’t even taken it out yet 🙁
Here is a video from Cole in his VR34 doing his crazy burnout haha

The V 4 Rota Nats went onto the Sunday. Lucky for us though it went to Ruapuna Raceway yeah yeah!!! It was mainly a Drag event but we had Drift shows on in the down time which was where we got to have fun. Well some of us…

They asked us drifters if we would like to have a run down the quarter mile and sure enough I jumped as the chance as we don’t have a drag strip back home. I warmed up the Sonvia with its newly acquired 440rwkw and all I had were some 235/40/18 Neutons on the back, Running 45psi HAHA…. I ended up running an 11.8 quarter with a 133MPH pass. It was awesome, if I had some grip I could have run into the 10’s with eaze… So Spec went back to the shop to get some slicks for my car. While they went back I went out for a Drift show. The car was feeling unreal and i couldn’t wait to slide it. But as my luck would have it the selector hub for 3rd and 4th gear blew on my first slide. My day was now over but i still enjoyed getting burnt and watching the Drags. It’s unreal how much you enjoy something you haven’t been able to watch in so long! SA please bring back drag racing!!! PLEASE

It was now Monday the 21st of FEB and the car was back at Spec Performance. I was now onto the task of fixing the gearbox. I pulled the box out in the morning and had it apart by lunch time. As we inspected the gear set in the box it was soon declared to risky to get the part that broke and slap it back together. So I was now on the hunt for a standard RB gear set. Sure enough I found one down the road. Paul and I went down picked it up and got it stripped down in no time. It had a broken selector fork but Paul had a spare one thankfully. I had to send the gear set down to a gearbox shop to get the gears pressed off. They took it and said it will be ready first thing in the morning. So now we had nothing else to do I got stuck into making the car was alright everywhere else… Checked all the nuts and bolts underneath the car.

Tuesday 22nd FEB (The day of the earthquake)
As i was free loading at Jon’s house *Owner of spec* we all rolled into spec first thing in the morning as if it was a normal day. I was waiting on my gearbox so i continued on working on my car. Just making sure it was all sweet, oils, water, suspension and everything was in tact. Everything seemed to be fine as it has hardly been used for a whole year haha… 12pm came around and Paul and I went to get the gearbox. Once we got it back to the shop we were on a mission to get the gear set onto my main shaft and casing so we could get the car going by the afternoon. As we were working on the gearbox it hit! Paul and I were at the back of the workshop and it was like nothing you could ever explain or describe. Imagine everything around you moving so much you didn’t know what way was best to run, even running felt like you weren’t going anywhere. It was like running up a set of stairs and then dropping down stairs as the ground moves so much. Walls pushing you away and cars smashing into you as you are trying to run past them to get out of the workshop. Things flying around, parts, tools, wheels and everything falling over. Just total craziness!!

Once we all got out the shop and realised what just happened we were all in total shock. Buildings down the road falling down and people all around us from other shops screaming and yelling out to anyone they could to help. Everyone from Spec had to go find there families and friends so I stayed at the shop in total shock of what was going on…I stayed at the shop as looters could have come to steal anything but I honestly thought that was crazy. Why would someone do that just after what’s happened, sure enough when I wasn’t watching someone has come into the shop and snapped the key off in one of the cabinets where all the turbos are kept. It’s sad to think people are this low but I guess it’s just the way of life now days.

After everyone from spec found out there families and friends were safe they all came back and we shut up the shop and started to get out of Christchurch. It was so crazy seeing the aftermath and I just couldn’t believe what i was seeing, knowing so many people are trapped and there is nothing you can do to help just mad it worse. People banked up at servos trying to get fuel for hours and hours. Shops with mass amounts of people trying to buy what ever was left and car line ups for a far as you could see. People running around like mad trying to find out if their family and friends were alright! It felt so surreal and not even i could get onto my family back home to tell them i was safe…

So we all got in cars and drove them back to Jon’s house. Driving through the aftermath was just in real and something ill never experience again in my life… The last thing on my mind was to take pictures but just before the end of the trip home to Jon’s I got a few snaps of the craziness.

Lucky Burger found this scooter in the shop and he would take off ahead of us to find a path out of the town as the traffic was just going no where.

As you can see this truck just sunk into the road. The quake moves so much of the earth underground that it just makes holes like this. It’s just unreal

This black sludge was everywhere as it’s the silt that comes up from the ground when the earthquake happens. This compound was coming from everywhere! Under just about everyone’s buildings you would see huge amounts of this stuff just being pumped out from the earth.  
 The side of the side i was on was a lot lower then the other. Its so crazy seeing how much the earth can move and how much it damages everything.

It so hard to describe what exactly happened and i just wish it never happens again!
Once we got back to Jon’s house we had to work out what we had left and what to do next. We got Jon’s other scooter and went to try help others but it was useless. We weren’t allowed to help anywhere so we went back to Jon’s and waited for something to happen. With no power, no water and 1 candle it made the next 24 hours hard. I then decided for Jon to drop me off at the air port and ill find a way out of here… I left everything behind and just wanted to get out.
Wednesday 23rd
Jon dropped me at the airport. All the flights where booked out till Sunday and some flights were opening up when extra planes were coming in but it was hopeless. I then thought ill get a hire car and drive up to the North Island. The first 4 hire companies had cars to hire but they had no fuel in them. Seeing as it was taking people 6 hours of lining up to get fuel I couldn’t go down that path. I was stuck and waiting for something to come up and it wasn’t looking good, until…. a lady overheard me at the counter and asked if i wanted to hitch a ride with them up to Picton. Picton was just before the ferry so i jumped at the opportunity and off we went!
Along the way i took some crazy shots of just how awesome the scenery is in NZ.

Once i got to the Ferry it was then a 3 hour trip to Wellington. Once I got on the Ferry it was a huge relief that I was able to get out but I felt so sorry for everyone still in Christchurch. Once I got into Wellington at 2am in the morning Hugo picked me up. Hugo is also competing in the D1NZ series and was in Wellington working on his car during the week. Lucky for me he said it was cool to travel up with him to Taupo raceway to the round.

Thursday 24th FEB.
Woke up at Hugo’s beach house with this view

We were now on the 7 hour drive up to Taupo Raceway but first we needed to get Hugo’s insane 86. His car was being worked on at SHRED Motor sport in Wellington and i was lucky enough to meet them all. The work they have done and the cars they have built is just crazy! For a shop you never really hear about they do some awesome work.

once we picked the car up and loaded all the tools, tyres and equipment on we were on our way. 7 hours till Taupo and the way we were checking all the sites out it was going to take us even longer haha… Here are a few shot from our journey.

Looking from the top of Wellington 🙂

 Gotta love NZ

 So we found this random as side road and ended up here! This place was so awesome… so many hidden things in NZ which just makes the place so insane! I think I’m going to make the move 😉

 Hugo marking his land!!

3o point turn madness to get out haha

 And this is when Hugo’s tow car got up to 100Km/H haha

 So the trans oil temp light came on. That’s normal right haha

 We stopped to check out some more scenery. Love it!!

Random Tank…

So we made the long haul to Taupo and it was late when we got in after all the stopping we did haha. All I heard on the way up was Hugo talking about ‘burgerfuel’ I had never heard of the joint and i was sure as hell keen on getting into some so sure enough i got into it once we arrived. The expression on my face says it all!

I was just so happy to have finally made it after the crazy journey I have had! Thanks so much to everyone for getting me to Taupo from the random ladies letting me hitch a ride to Hugo for letting me cramp his style on the way up 🙂

Friday 25th FEB (D1NZ day 1 PRACTICE)
So first up a MASSIVE thanks to Jacob for lending me his S13 so i could still drift at Taupo for Round 4 of the D1NZ series. Ian Sheppard and Ian his mate for towing the car over and being my pit crew for the weekend. Jacob’s car is a basic S13 with a Rb25 motor. Very much the same as my car but with only half the horsepower haha. Was still more then enough to kick some butt and have a blast!
So this was Jacob’s car before i jumped into it 🙂
Before i even got to meet Jacob i was in the car and out on track to test it out for the first time. Ian Cromey Sheppard  was nice enough to organise to get the car to the track ready to race for me. It was amazing to see how far everyone in the D1NZ family went to get me a car to drive after everything i had been through i thought it was going to be the last thing i was doing. So once again thanks so much to everyone for making it happen.
Onto the story about me driving this S13 anyway, The first lap in the car seemed to feel extremely good and as soon as i kicked it out sideways i was on FIRE….. Literally….

It took about 20 seconds for me to realise the car was on fire. Once it went past my head and started burning my neck I knew what was going on and I wanted out ASAP!! In the above pic you can see the fire around my helmet and this was doing around 100KM/H. When i stopped I jumped out of the car and lucky enough the Photographers, fire crews and drivers all got their extinguishers and put the fire ball out. It was easy but after an axe to the boot and a few ripped off parts here and there it was soon out. Thanks to everyone for getting the fire out as it was so close to being a small rubble of nothing.

I did the old Stop drop and roll haha… nah i kind of tripped over my own feet LOL

Photographer Simon Anderson being the first to the scene.
So i was freaking out badly as i hadn’t even met Jacob yet and I’ve burnt the whole arse end of his car. Jacob rocked up and the first words he said “oh is that all” soon after he was posing in the pic making a joke about it all. I was relieved but still also felt so bad about what had happened. Turned out the fire was going to happen it was just a matter of time and as Jacob said he is happy it happened here at the track with fire marshals instead of on the street where he could have lost the lot.

Before i knew it everyone was getting their hands dirt to get the car fixed 🙂
 It wasn’t too bad a damage but it was enough to take a few hours to fix it all up. The Shred boys got onto re wiring it all up. The Bennett Motor sport crew got onto getting the tank out and putting all new lines in and making sure it was safe to rock again

The support from everyone was awesome!!
Peer pressure from Gaz to get back out there haha
So before I knew it the crew had it all back together and ready for the very last session of the day. With a quick check over from the officials I was sweet to test it out. It was a scary feeling but also very awesome to slide a car again. I got my one lap in and everything seemed sweet as. So i didn’t push my luck, i just came straight back into the pits and sat the car in the shed for a good rest for the main day which will be tomorrow.
Thanks SO much to the Jacob, Bennett Motor sport crew, SHRED Motor sport, Cromey and E-man, Gee much and everyone who helped get the car back together and running
I was so pumped to get to the track and give it all I had. Jacob was just as keen as I was to rip up the track. With only 1 lap’s practice I had to go all out straight away to prepare for qualifying. So in the practice session in the morning I push myself to the limit to see where and how quick I could go in every spot of the track. This equalled a lot of offs but Taupo had no walls or anything too close to hit. Once I had found my limits the practice session was over.
I was now straight into qualifying and I was so nervous and excited haha… Was like my first ever competition again. The first 2 runs I spun and i was now on my last straw. The S13 I was using had standard steering lock and mad it extremely hard to adjust to in only a few laps. I knew I had to give it my all and this is my 3rd qualifying lap which scored me 8th position
I was cheering haha

 I even got myself a new Kiwi Fan! 🙂

It was now into the battles and wow i couldn’t wait! The down time was killing me as i hadn’t been in a  battle for almost a whole year. It’s been so long that i was wondering if i still had it in me. I was up against Sellers in his brother’s car as his retired due to mechanical failure. This was going to be one awesome battle as we had the lowest power cars on the day and similar setups.


 The first run was too close to call so a re run was called.. This made things ever more excited and i was so pumped now. This was my lead run against Sellers and as you can see on was pushing it hard. Gave it all I had

As i had the advantage from the first run i decided i would go easy on the second….. haha yeah right!!! its always all out for me and that’s what i did. I was so close to Sellers i was Cm’s away from giving him a nice tyre mark on his passenger door. And as we were coming around the last corner and i was on his door i ran out of lock and spun. Normally I’m use to having huge amount of lock and it just caught me out. I still had a ball and it was awesome to see Sellers go on.

Overall i had an awesome weekend and i was so grateful to even be driving. 

I also managed to catch up with a long time youtube fan while i was there. Darryl the champ also made this vid below! Sorry i couldn’t have my car there mate. Maybe next time 🙂

Oh and i couldnt leave without taking pics of the crazy Lake Taupo! Yep… Lake!!
 Even seen a plane fly in 🙂

 We were now on out journey back to Auckland. Once again thanks to Jacob for lending me his car. Cromey and E-man for pitting and towing everything up to the track. The whole D1NZ community for looking after me and hooking everything up! Was so awesome… Thanks all and bring on Round 5 🙂
Chow for now 
Squid 😉

 Oh wait!!! there is a little more 😛
Its been a dream since i was a kid and it would have come true if i beat sellers but drifting with Gaz in the karts was good enough for now haha…. Till round 5 Gaz!!! 🙂 Cant wait!!

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