A date with drifting

They fix them, fiddle with them, live them.

Huge chunks of drifters’ incomes go on mags, blowoff valves, spoilers, rotary engines, and sound systems. But they’re not cars, they’re a lifestyle for some men.

And in a “if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em” statement, the women have muscled in on the act. They too love the high octane, screaming engines and tortured tyres.

Jodie Verhulst.

Like Tauranga’s Jodie Verhulst. She just loves the thrill of throwing a car sideways through a corner at 200km.

She’s one of New Zealand’s top female drifters and is competing in the Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship, as round two of the championship heats up at ASB Baypark, on January 8-9.

Jodie got behind the wheel of her boyfriend’s car six year’s ago. “He trusted me enough to drive his pride and joy around the track,” says Jodie.

Jodie loves the thrill of throwing a car sideways through a corner at 200km. “I grew up with a ‘petrol head’ brother and a mechanic father, so there wasn’t a lot of chance of being anything different,” says the 27-year-old.

She’s got a need for speed, so does boyfriend and drifter Drew Donovan.

“Drifting started for me when Drew bought a car and started drifting. I was instantly hooked.”

Jodie and Drew compete together in the D1NZ Pro class.

“Drew is an amazing mentor with my driving, I am very lucky to have such a supportive partner, not a lot of females get that,” says Jodie.

“We have now started driving overseas in Australia also so that has been great that we are able to do this together.”

“We are yet to come up against each other in a competition event and have a feeling when the time comes it is going to be an aggressive battle.”

But Jodie bites her tongue when she admits Drew’s the more competitive one.

“Drew has got a lot more aggressiveness to his driving and is willing to put his car on the line to get to the top. I really admire that about him and strive to get that aggression in my own driving. I am a little bit more mechanically sympathetic to my car.”

In January, Jodie and Drew will rub shoulders – or panel and paint – with more than 60 of the world’s best drifters competing over the two-day Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship.

Round 2 of the championship at ASB Baypark coincides with the championships only night event, with competitors competing at the tight and technical circuit in the evening.

Lining up to do battle on the ‘concrete canyon’ Baypark circuit includes Tauranga drivers Cole Armstrong, Adam Davies, Dave Steedman and Calvin Clark.

Jodie will line-up for the event in her Milwaukee sponsored turbo-charged Toyota Supra, a car she works on and prepares herself.

“I do work on my own car with my dedicated team and would not be what you call a “typically” female. I take a lot of pride in my car and have been 100 per cent involved in the build every step of the way. I think more females should give it a go.”

In a sport that she believes is still dominated by males, Jodie says females in motorsport are becoming more common.

“Society has changed a lot from the days that female participation was frowned on, it is now encourage and the support received is amazing.”

Women need not get put off by the shed being the man’s domain, says Jodie. “Motorsport is one of the few sports we are not limited by our strength and can compete head to head with the guys.”

The Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship is at ASB Baypark Stadium on January 8-9.

Fans will be treated to new cars, new drivers, a Demon Energy Freestyle FMX Show, car Show n Shine, a kid’s zone, trade stands, free pit-walk and door to door battle action.

Gates open 10.30am Friday and 11am Saturday. Gate tickets cost from $15 on Friday and $25 on Saturday, or buy discounted tickets at d1nz.com

The Weekend Sun has two double passes to give away to two lucky readers who can tell us what Jodie Verhulst’s partner’s name is?

Enter online at www.sunlive.co.nz under the competition section. Entries must be received before Wednesday, January 7.

Ms Drift - Demon Energy D1NZ Drifting - Tauranga 2016

With all the epic drift clips being released at the moment we thought we would make our own - although this one isn’t so serious... so strap yourself in for some laughs!Merry Christmas everyone, just 16 more days until these hoons rock their hometown in Tauranga!

Posted by D1NZ on Tuesday, December 22, 2015


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