Lets start of by saying that the weekend was extremely cold, when I got back to the hotel each night I would spend a good hour or more sitting in front of the heater thawing my feet out, they were that cold!
On the first day I met up with my mates from Driftpix NZ (a blog me and a couple of mates run) I was also shooting for my personal page Overdrive Photography and Turbo-Spec.com. I wasn’t able to acquire a media pass for this event which is rather annoying because the spectators area is very restrictive to shoot from and I ended up getting very repetitive angles, so I do apologise for that. The day started with open practice for both the Pro and Pro-Am drivers where Fanga Dan managed to damage his engine on his first run leaving him with no practice that day, there was dirt drops, spins and off tracks aplenty from the other drivers as they got to grips with the track.
The day then moved into Pro-Am qualifying with each driver getting 3 runs to post a qualifying score, quite a few of the drivers would push too hard and spin or go off track and automatically get a 0, which is the last thing a driver wants when they are trying to qualify for the top 16, one driver that was having a lot of trouble was Adam Davies who drives a 13BT 180SX with an S14 front end, he was still getting used to having more lock and was pushing the car too hard and spinning.
Other drivers such as Vincent Langhorn, Jodie Verhulst, Rene Richmond and Gareth Grove were driving really well and posted some of the top qualifying scores of the day.
We then moved into the Pro-Am top 16 where drivers would battle it out to get into the top 4 on the Sunday, they wouldnt have it easy though as the heavens opened up just before the top 16 got under way making the track very wet and slick which provided a huge challenge for drivers as they didn’t have much grip at all, and were sliding all over the place and having to alter their lines. Darren Kelly, Vincent Langhorn, Gareth Grove and Jodie Verhulst managing to make it through to the top 4.
Then to round out the day there was an expression session, with most drivers choosing to go out on track and take some fans for a ride, or in Mad Mike’s case, do some more testing and try and finish off the tune since the dyno down at PPRE had been shut down while they were tuning the car because of the ungodly noise the MADBUL makes. Others deciding to call it a day and head off to the pubs for some “beersies”, while I was running up and down pit lane snapping off photographs and dodging the rain, I also decided to challenge myself by shooting into the sun which is no easy task.
I will finish of this post with one final image of MADBUL being tucked away to bed for the night and I will be back in the next couple of days with a post about day 2.