Melbourne turned on its usual weather antics & we had all 4 seasons in the one day with Practice on Saturday starting out dry & what looked to being a warm day ahead. Then showers half way through practice making it icy cold but luckily drying out for the Qualifying late on Saturday afternoon. We thought Nick’s qualifying was going to be a top 10 run but ended up in 13th for the battles on Sunday.
With no Track time practice for the new Harrop Supercharger set up it was always going to be an unknown until Nick hit the track. First lap out………car goes into limp mode & didn’t even get to skid the tyres. Luckily the team found the small electrical issue & we had the car back on track blazing the Achilles Tyres. After a few laps Nick looked like he had the car tamed & when he came in after the first practice he was all smiles, the Harrop Supercharger set up worked & worked great. The amount of torque was amazing & delivered instant power when Nick needed it most. A bonus was the combined sound of the Blower & the XForce Performance exhaust, the crowd loved it.
Melbourne really turned on the charm on Sunday with great weather & great crowds showing up to see who would be the crowned the 2014 Australian Drift Champion.
Top 32 Battle: Kelly Wong.
Nick led the first lap & did a text book run but unfortunately for Kelly she went wide after entry & went off track giving Nick the advantage. On the chase lap Nick could have just hung back but Nick being Nick charged hard & gave the crowd what they wanted to see, door on door action. Nick takes the Win.
Top 16: Hayden Buckham.
This was always going to be a great battle of 2 really good drivers but also a battle of the VE Commodore Utes. Hayden being the higher qualifier led first & Nick put on a fantastic chase sticking to Hayden from entry to exit. On the switch around, Nick pulled a gap on Hayden & didn’t get the same proximity as Nick did. Nick takes the Win.
Top 8: Rob Whyte.
If Nick was to have a chance at winning the 2014 Championship he had to win this battle. Rob lead first & knowing Nick was in the hunt for some points he gave it a fast aggressive Entry with Nick on his tail but Rob overshot the entry & went all 4 wheels off track. Nick kept to his line & passed Rob under full drift. Nick’s Lead lap wasn’t going to be an easy one as Rob had to apply the pressure trying to force a mistake from Nick but of course that wasn’t going to happen. Rob even gave Nick a little door rub on the last corner but it didn’t faze the DriftKid. Nick Takes the Win.
Top 4 Michael Prosenik & the championship deciding battle:
This was it, what all the hard work was for. This battle determined who the 2014 Champion was going to be. Nick had enough points in the series that he only had to finish this weekend’s battles in either 1st or 2nd to win the championship.
Michael lead & the first run was called a drag race as the cars were not close at the pace cones so the run was cancelled & they did it again. Both guys wanting the points gave it their all & Nick hooked onto the side of Michael’s car getting great proximity & on the last hairpin corner Michael seemed to slow up & Nick made contact & went off line. This was going to be a tough call for the judges as Michael technically didn’t lose Drift but he did slow mid corner & Nick had nowhere to go. He had 2 choices, pull out of the Drift & straighten or stay in it & hopefully push Michael across the finish line. The call was made that it was Nicks error & the win awarded to Michael to continue onto the Finals.
Battle for 3rd & 4th Levi Clarke:
Again this was not only for the spot for the final round but also would determine who finished in front in the championship standings. Nick lead first & put on a great run with Levi getting some good proximity. Then on the switch Nick stuck to Levi’s door throughout the course with fantastic proximity which handed Nick the win for 3rd Place for the day.
This meant that Nick was only 6 points short in taking out the 2014 Championship & gave him the Runner up “2nd place” for 2014 Australian National Series.
Photos courtesy of their respective owners.