Daniel Woolhouse, better known as Fanga Dan, continued his good run in the ASEAN drift scene after winning Round 1 of the Goodyear International Drift Series (IDS) held in Putrajaya over the weekend. The Kiwi, fresh from third place in his maiden Formula Drift Asia competition in Singapore, defeated Ivan Lau of Team Bridgestone in the final. Completing the podium is Ser Ming Hui (a.k.a. Ah Fai) from Team Exotic Tuner.
The sun gave its best roasting effort at the newly resurfaced open ground behind the Palace of Justice in Precinct 3 (I’m having fever as a result!), and the action was good, but the turnout could have been better – perhaps it’s the distance of Putrajaya, or everyone still in bed after England vs USA! The lineup included the best Malaysian drifters, regular FD Asia drifters and local scene regulars wanting to have a go at the big boys.
UPDATE: Gallery added. Click here to view.
Full report after the jump.
Sanctioned by Formula Drift Pro Am, Goodyear IDS is a three-round Malaysian series that’s organised according to Formula Drift standards. By standards we mean the track layout, rules, judging (Formula Drift USA judge Andy Yen was here to oversee) and safety levels – cars that did not meet the strict technical inspection were turned away. The next rounds will be in July and September, and we hear that Melaka will be one of the host cities.
Like in FD Asia events, all drifters do two solo qualifying runs with the best score taken into account. Judges look at speed, line, angle, and overall impression. Basically a good run is one that gets the clipping points and the right line, lives on the edge of the walls and brings lots of drama in the form of noise and tyre smoke.
In the battle to enter the top-16 tandem (side-by-side) battles, we saw quite a few drifters (mostly privateers) who did not get the concept, doing their own thing their own way. The sole Z33 Fairlady in the field underlined why the Z car isn’t popular as a drift machine here – it looked fat and unwieldy, going head on into the tyre barrier twice!
They didn’t qualify of course, but some from the big teams missed out as well. Azrina Jane and Ariff Johanis of Goodyear Malaysia missed the cut; the latter’s Nissan S13 suffered from a twisted propeller shaft which saw him sit out qualifying. Very unexpected and very unlucky. Team Boostzone lost Wong Kee Thong and Rocker Low while Toyo’s Lim Zee King also had an early shower.
The top-16 list was expected, with all the big names and a few privateers who scraped through. Besides the eventual podium finishers, through were Tengku Djan, Tan Tat Wei, Hanizam (a.k.a. Loyai) and Michael Gan from Goodyear Malaysia, Mervyn Nakamura (Federal), Indonesian Rhenadi Arinton, Ng Choon Lai (Boostzone), Fazreen Ismail (FX Open) and Hashiguti Anderson. Singapore’s Ivan Lim from Goodyear Binter also qualified despite non-stop spinning in practice.
The first round of tandem battles saw the Tandem Assassin knocked out. Djan, who was not in his usual black/orange S15 headed car, lost out to Rhenadi when his red 180SX suffered mechanical problems. Mervyn Nakamura beat Singaporean Ivan Lim to set up a top-8 battle with Tan Tat Wei. TTW’s teammate Ivan Lau lost his AE86’s rear bumper but went through. Goodyear’s Loyai did well against Choon Lai, but a big correction while following the Boostzone man cost him the tie. Teammate Michael Gan was trashed by a super aggressive Ah Fai, who pressured the mild mannered A31 driver into the wall.
Top 8. Fanga Dan, who had it easy so far, was up against Brazilian Hashiguti Anderson, who was impressive in the earlier rounds. He spun while leading, handing the tie to the Kiwi. Meanwhile, Ah Fai continued his fierce march, drifting sole Indonesian Rhenadi and his heavy smoking 180SX into submission.
On the other side of the draw, young hotshot Mervyn Nakamura dueled with veteran Tat Wei. TTW, in his super loud rotary powered AE86, showed the Federal driver a clean pair of heels but overtook Mervyn when he was following, forcing the judges to call a One More Time. The OMT only served to make it clear that the older man is the better drifter with some superb door-to-door drifting.
That earned him a semis tie with teammate Ivan Lau. This battle of the AE86 was drama filled, with both little cars looking so easy to manipulate, switching directions with reflex speed. This highly entertaining sparring session ended when TTW spun, allowing the 4AGE with NOS Levin of Ivan to proceed to the final.
There he met Fanga Dan; the Kiwi going through after a good fight with Ah Fai in the other semis. It was a clean battle, and it was close, but Dan was a wee bit closer to Ah Fai when he was chasing. In the third/fourth placing duel, Ah Fai prevailed after TTW put the whole side of his car into the concrete wall. Fortunately, the man was unhurt.
The final was like David vs Goliath – Ivan’s meek looking Levin up against the huge RB powered Holden Commodore of Fanga Dan. But there was no giant killing ending to this story. Dan’s job was made easier after the Malaysian overtook him in the middle of the first and biggest corner, a downhill off-camber bend. He then followed Ivan closely move for move to seal the victory. From the looks of it, we’re bound to see more of Fanga Dan drifting in our region!
The Goodyear International Drift Series is not only part of a great effort from the tyremaker to grow the sport in our region (Thailand will have own IDS too), but by working closely with Formula Drift, the series could possibly bring up the standards of our talented local scene, in aspects such as safety for instance. We will be following IDS as well as Formula Drift Asia events closely, so keep your eyes peeled!