Published on April 30th, 2013 | by mrgrumpyninja0
D1NZ Grand Final confirmed for Taupo
The date is now locked in for the Codys D1NZ National drifting title to be decided, Ricoh Motorsport Park in Taupo will be the destination for competitors on the 22nd & 23rd of June as the title fight again comes down to the final round in much the same way as last year did.
Dan Woolhouse leads Mike Whiddett by 29 points and Andrew Redward by 36 ( yes, that’s rounded…half points are worthless) so there is a very real chance of all 3 walking away champ, while Curt Whittaker and Nico Reid will chase a podium spot should any of the top 3 have mechanical issues. Gaz Whiter sits in 6th and with the horror season he has had, don’t completely discount him from producing something special and spoiling the podium race for one or more of the top contenders.
Before talking scenarios , I thought with some help from judges assistant Chloe Sellers that it might be interesting to take a look at season qualifying averages to see who had been the most consistent, and also who had produced the big single run scores. Perhaps not surprisingly, the number 1 qualifier on average for the season also happens to be the current leader Daniel ‘Fanga Dan’ Woolhouse, while Nico Reid owns the single highest qualifying score with a 90 at Hampton Downs. Mad Mike and Gaz Whiter are both impacted by a single round with low by their standard scores. Troy Forsthye has got better each round, while Zak Pole appears to be right on the verge of a maiden podium event appearance.
|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Average score|
|Shane Van Gisbergen||37||0||71||0||83.5||38.3|
So as we head to Taupo, how will the event likely play out? Well I assume many will decide to stay away, as it will potentially be cold and wet, and there in lies the beauty in this event. Rain is likely going to be a factor, and those with decent memories will recall that it isn’t uncommon to see dry qualifying until the last few cars, followed by torrential rain, and a battles taking place in quickly changing conditions. For that reason alone I would get to Taupo as I would almost guarantee that the top 3 will not look the same post event, and the chance of carnage is very very high being the last event of the season, with perhaps one or two paybacks in store.
A few scenarios then.
It’s not realistic to assume that Fanga Dan would get no score as I think he’d somehow get the car through the section and we have seen scores given for very limited drift runs this season. Given we don’t have 32 cars, hes going to get a minimum of 24.5 points at the event. If the car was to break pre- qualifying then I can’t see a car not being made available too him. It’s more realistic in that scenario to assume he would get to at least top 16, and get 54.5 points, taking him beyond the range of Curt or Nico in terms of final podium placings.
Fanga Dan’s lead effectively means for that he has to go out in the top 8 or earlier to see him unseated from P1 by Redward ,while Whiddett could potentially still win if Fanga finished 4th. Whiddett and Redward really both need a win and to qualify ahead of the Castrol Commodore to have a real shot at it and then hope that Woolhouse goes into a tough bracket and gets beaten.
Whoever finishes higher out of Redward and Whiddett will finish in the higher season end position.This changes if Whiddett gets 4 more points in qualifying than Redward in which case he could still finish ahead if they were only 1 place apart.
Curt Whittaker can get onto the podium by winning the event and #1 qualifying , likewise Nico Reid can also threaten, both will need to win, and have at least one current top 3 driver go out in the round of 32 for that to happen.
Daynom Templeman is very good at Taupo, and a bit of a rain specialist. He could ruin some hopes if he delivers what the FD Asia car is capable of.
SVG will destroy all if its wet and win the event
Cole Armstrong is another who could play spoiler, as he has nothing to lose having missed a round.
Who’s your money on? and where will you be in June? ( I’ll be in Canada, but that’s a different story )