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Darren Kelly takes D1NZ title lead stronger with Hampton Downs win

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

FDarren Kelly’s Nissan R35 continued dominance in the past weekend's event dubbed "The Chase" at Waikato’s Hampton Downs Club Circuit.

It was a nail-biting door to door round as the showdown went to an Australia vs NZ final, with Matthew Hill in the 4Mance S15 facing off against Kelly for the top step, Hill taking second in the round and now sitting second in the Galore Parts Groups Pro Championship with 188 points - 56 points behind Kelly.

The final saw triple contact between Hill and Kelly with the final nudge spinning Kelly’s Nissan R35, the spin deemed at fault from Hill by the judges handing the round win to the Nissan-backed driver. "It hasn’t been an easy weekend with lots of issues and I owe a lot to my team that’s helped to get us through, along with Cole's team and the Rattla Motorsport Team for use of the workshop late into the night, without them and the sponsors I wouldn’t be on the podium or able to battle Matty for the final spots."

For Hill it was no easy feat with new-comer to the pro Championship Jordy Cole making it hard for Hill to grab the battle for 1st and 2nd.

Hill made mention of the amazing journey he has undergone so far in 3 seasons of D1NZ and went on to thank his loyal sponsors 4mance Automotive, CCD and the Sideways Experience Drift school for their ongoing support and faith in him as a driver. "I really do credit my 4mance team who travel with me from Sydney Australia to each and every round for their hard work and constant support in NZ, as well as my fellow competitors TJ Motorsport for looking after the car whilst competing in D1." Matt can’t wait to get back to NZ again soon before heading over to Japan to instruct in the upcoming SidewaysX drift school, from there continuing to represent 4mance Automotive in FD Japan later this year.

Daynom "Slim" Templeman whom took third and a leap frog to fourth in the Championship also had a strong performance after an overnight engine rebuild on his NZ Motor Oils 2JZ E46 BMW, first facing an OMT with Tauranga driver Adam Davies in the Mimico 180SX. After defeating Davies Templeman faced Darren Kelly which again went OMT, before an exciting battle for third and fourth against hard charging Jordy Cole.

The Turbosmart Pro-Sport Championship saw new top spot podium-getters with the VIP Car Care S13 of Jordyn Joyce taking honours against another new entering driver in the series, Taranaki's Aaron Hyatt in the Caktus Nissan S13.

An enthusiastic Joyce said "it feels good to finally have the car on track, after few minor issues at Wellington for Round 2 I've finally been able to just drive the car and I'm really looking forward to Pukekohe." Hyatt also said, "it’s an unreal feeling and has been awesome experience here at D1NZ."

Tokoroa CDT driver Taylor James worked tirelessly repairing his car after an engine failure the week prior to the event and went on to beat championship leader Michael Thorley in the Enzed C33.4.

The Championship now heads to the world’s fastest Drifting Corner, referred to as the Home of Drifting in NZ - Pukekohe Park Raceway where drivers reach speeds of 200KPH before initiating the drift side by side.

The series will then finish at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon on April 26th - 27th -

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