With the trip down to Christchurch a success and the Thursday practice day done and dusted, Saturday came around and we were straight into competition.
Both cars were feeling really good all morning. Although the Ruapuna course is a long drawn out one with zero sections that braking is needed, the corners seem to suit the SR's and throughout the whole section the engines are right up in the sweet spot.
The S14 was feeling good and demolishing the tyres over the 5 corner section. As soon as you initiate and flick in, the section consists of 5 long sweeping corners requiring almost full time full throttle till the end. The end result, about 3 laps per set of tyres for the S14.
The final two corners of the course are a bit tricky without big power, they consist of two left hand corners with a small straight section. You treat the corners as a single corner with a double apex, meaning you have to stretch your drift along the straight without shallowing your angle. We found the S13 to really struggle to travel the distance maintaining full angle just due to the lack in power. It could still make the stretch comfortably, and even with sacrificing a slight bit of angle on the final corner we managed to qualify 4th for Pro-AM.
Straight into battles.
We made it through the top 16, top 8 and into the semi finals the following day.
With the S14 going strong all day in practice also, it was time to park up and get some rest for the next day.
Sunday morning bought both Pro and Pro-AM top 4 competition.
The S14 was going well, despite a small dirt drop in qualifying, and in turn gaining around 10th place.
For Pro-AM we were up against Joel Patterson in his AE86. This guy is awesome.. and not just because he shares the same name. With a 9-AGE setup in the bonnet of his AE86, which puts out around 350kw, the car is fast and Joel drives it great. It is always a fun time when coming up against Joel, and this round was no exception with the battle going to a one-more-time rerun. After Joel dropped two wheels off in his 2nd chase we advanced through to the final against Troy Jenkins.
This is where things got interesting. During the final scrub session, the S13 managed to snap both axles simultaneously. With only 5 minutes to change two axles, it was always going to be a stretch. Luckily drifting is a game of sportsmanship, and Troy being the kind folk he is offered up his 5 minutes, giving us 10 minutes in total. During the rushing about and axles flying left and right, something went wrong however, and the wrong length was added to one side. Which when heading to the line for the final battle decided to pop a C.V. meaning that was the end of the day for us. A huge thank you to everyone that helped get the axles back in in time, and to Troy for being such a good sport.
Pro top 32 got underway, and we were up against Dave Steedman in his RB powered S14.
After another a great lead run, yet another dirt drop in the chase ruined the chance of advancing to the top 16.
Looking forward to the final round at Pukekohe next month this is how the Pro-AM points stack up. Sitting in second place just 5 points behind Troy. It all comes down the last round.
Again, a huge thank you goes out to everyone that helped along the way in Christchurch and to all our sponsors for helping us get there. Nankang Tyres, Parts Shop MAX, Origin Lab, Speed Tech Motorsport, Earnest Quality Wear, Fenix Radiators, The Wrap Shop, CL Auto.
And one last thank you to Richard Opie and Ambition Works for making the trip down to Christchurch and supplying the photos!