The state of competitive drifting in New Zealand, and indeed the world, is undergoing change as the gap grows between what made the sport so popular in the first place, its accessibility, and the competitive corporate world of competition. What was once a very blurred line is now growing into a very defined one. With the current top crop setting the pace of vehicle development at an astonishing rate, and those looking to get into the sport thinking they need a $150,000 vehicle to do so, it was a breath of fresh air to sit down with freshly-crowned D1NZ Pro-Am champion Vincent Langhorn, and find out that standing atop the Pro-Am podium is not all about keeping up with the Joneses.
The very laid-back and humble Vincent has competed for three seasons now, and after taking a second at Taupo in the 2012–2013 season, this time he saw two firsts, along with a string of high qualifying positions, to win the championship by four points. He was up against some stiff competition, and for the most part was doing it off his own back and out of his own wallet, building and maintaining his car in his parents’ shed.
We sat down with him to see what, if anything, will change heading into his rookie Pro championship season.
Nick and Peter from North Shore Toyota have organized two events for everyone in the automotive scene to take part in. The team’s previous events have always been a major hit and have received massive turnouts — these two will be no different.
Nick will be hosting the AltezzaClub track day down at Ricoh Taupo Motorsport Park, September 5. The club have allowed 35 cars to take part on the day, this ensures everybody gets the max amount of time possible out on the race track.
“Our annual track day is a yearly, non-competitive (although at the end of the day it tends to get that way) outing for beginners and seasoned racers to get out on the track and have some fun in a no-pressure environment. Anybody with any car can join, it isn’t strictly Altezzas on the day,” Nick tells us. With only 15 spaces left to be filled, get in quick. With members attending from all over the country, the track day is the highlight of the Altezza Annual Megameet. Last year was the club’s biggest turnout — the club went jetboating, quad biking and stretched the legs on their much-loved Altezzas.
New Zealand Performance Car Magazine was started back in 1996 during the infancy of the local import performance car scene. 18 years on, 214 monthly issues published and countless specials and yearbooks along the way and we are still going strong. Issue 214 marks a new era in the look and feel of NZPC, and what better way to break-in the new look than with a look-back at the evolution of cover. The cars, the shows, the girls and the design approach have seen such a massive transformation over that period. The new issue drops on in-stores on Monday 25 , so keep an eye out in-stores!
Eight years after the Race to the Sky last took place at Cardrona, the team behind Highlands Motorsport Park has brought the event back. The gravel road starts at 1060 metres, and climbs through 126 turns over 13.5km to reach the finish at 1980 metres, in a course which takes the best of about nine minutes to complete. Race to the Sky will be the longest gravel hill climb in the world, giving it huge international appeal — Pikes Peak in Colorado, USA, is longer, with more turns, but it is sealed.
The build of his Nissan S13 has been a five-year graft for Taranaki-based Kurt Gifkins, but the project is now very near the end. Starting from a bare shell, Kurt left no bolt unturned. The engine is a fully-built 1JZ-GE VVTI with a ground and polished crank, race bearings, an HKS cambelt, a Master Power 555 turbo, a custom stainless manifold, front-facing plenum, 44mm TiAL wastegate, 50mm TiAL blow-off valve, 90mm throttle body, 660cc injectors and a Link G4. There is a big-power fuel system in the boot, and wiring for the ECU is the only thing left before the first fire-up.