'Fanga' Dan enjoying driving his new Ford Mustang in D1NZ New Zealand Drifting Championship


A switch from Holden to Ford has challenged Daniel Woolhouse, who has switched his focus in the D1NZ New Zealand Drifting Championship.

Woolhouse, known as ''Fanga Dan'' to fans and rivals alike, is driving a new Ford Mustang and finds himself sitting in third place on the competition ladder after three rounds.

However, he said the title was not the focus this year.

"I haven't been focused on winning the title, just getting used to the car and having a bit of fun with it," Woolhouse said.

"This season is all a learning process. We're making sure we qualify at each round and we've gone away from each event so far with a lot of learnings.

"We didn't want to put too much pressure on us with the new car and we had a lot of ups and downs initially. It's my first time competing in a left-hand drive, too. I want to get driving opportunities in America.

"The big thing has been about seat time and getting used to the car. Now I'm at a point where I feel more comfortable driving left-hand drive than I did driving the last 12 years with right-hand drive."

Woolhouse was knocked out in the top eight of the latest round in Timaru as weather and unfamiliarity with the track put pressure on the majority of the racers. Only a handful had raced on the track before.

He fell to Darren Kelly in the quarter-final stage in a messy battle.

The pair both went wide on entry to turn one and suffered a dirt drop. Woolhouse went shallow through the switch while Kelly aced his line.

Woolhouse maintained a good gap but made small errors from thereon. Woolhouse eventually ended with three dirt drops. However, the first fault was attributed to Kelly.

Kelly ultimately took out the tie.

Woolhouse said the weekend was an enjoyable experience.

"I'd never competed at Timaru in all my years drifting. Everyone was learning the track, which was quite technical and exciting," he said.

"We had some bad weather which hampered qualifying. I only qualified 11th but I ended up in the top eight which was great.

"The conditions were quite sketchy to qualify in. To have gone through what we did having missed two practice sessions and end where we did was fantastic."

The penultimate round of the championship is at Manfeild on April 20.

PressDaniel Woolhouse