After the team at SCR racing spent the offseason rebuilding their car to be more reliable and user-friendly they headed back over the ditch to New Zealand for the Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship Series 2015 – 2016 season. For those who don’t know, D1NZ is a production car drifting series in New Zealand which began back in early 2003, and has since become an event recognised around the world.
The race started a few days before the championship, with a Thursday morning flight from Melbourne to Wellington followed by a 2.5-hour drive north to Fielding where the Manfeild Autocourse was located. The team arrived in Fielding late that afternoon and got some much-needed rest for their upcoming days.
The next morning they started prepping the car for some intense competition. The team had 2 hours of practice that was spent trying to adapt the car to the new track and layout. SCR Drift Team struggled most of the morning with too much grip in the rear of the car. They decided to run a much higher tyre pressures (over 20psi more than normal) and played with spring rates and dampening to compensate for the high grip surface of the new track. Once the rear grip was sorted, driver Michael Prosenik could concentrate on running the right racing line while keeping pace, but with new front steering components, Michael struggled not to throw too much angle in the first clipping point and wash off speed. The team explains, “Qualifying was decent”, with a few small corrections they ended up in 15th place.
The next day the team awoke to heavy rain that continued right through to the team’s practice where the car was handling great. The team was on pace (and the ones to beat) as the team’s car over-gripped. The team explained, “No one was even close to us!”.
After the morning practice session, SCR had a 4-hour break before the start of the battles, that’s when the weather changed, and the sun came out drying the cold track. D1NZ race control agreed to give every driver a three lap warm up just before the battles to adapt to the changed weather conditions that were warm, sunny and dry.
On the team’s second warm-up lap, the serpentine belt snapped, and team driver, Michael Prosenik, managed to limp the car into the pit entry where the team worked flat out to have it changed in time. D1NZ is live streamed around the world and needed to stick to a schedule. As a result, the team didn’t have time to change the rear tyres.
The first lap of the battle was strong. SCR Drift Team were leading first with a good clean run, but on the chase lap, the tires were too worn out. When they initiated into the first corner behind the lead car, the team’s car didn’t have enough grip in the tyres. With a 160+ kph entry, SCR team driver, Michael Prosenik, ran wide with one wheel off track and was heavily deducted. SCR Drift Team lost the first battle in the top 32 and were out of the competition.
Even though the team didn’t get the result they were hoping for, they are extremely happy with how the car performed knowing that the six-month offseason wasn’t wasted rebuilding a car. With some more seat time and a few little tweaks, they have no doubt that SCR Drift Team will make their way to the top spot!
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