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In the realm of high-speed curves and tire-screeching drifts, Daniel Woolhouse, aka 'Fanga Dan,' has etched his name as a four-time D1NZ champion and a professional drifting virtuoso. However, the story of his journey into the world of automotive finesse begins far earlier, surrounded by the hum of engines and the allure of iconic Japanese vehicles at his father's car yard in Hastings.
Enveloped in a realm of Nissan Skylines, Cefiros, Toyota Supras, and Mazda RX7s, Dan's upbringing laid the foundation for his automotive passion. Those formative years spent washing and prepping vehicles for sale sparked his fascination with these Japanese legends, epitomizing the spirit of drift culture.
Moving to Whangarei at the age of 10, Dan's passion for rear-wheel-drive vehicles ignited a teenage era filled with car ownership, repair, and trade. As the new millennium dawned, the world of drifting metamorphosed from a subculture into a bona fide motorsport. Drawing inspiration from Japan's thriving scene, Dan and a group of like-minded individuals teamed up to establish New Zealand's inaugural drift team, Driftcorp.
Over the years, Dan has competed not just in New Zealand but also overseas, in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and the USA. Stepping out of his championship-winning Nissan S15 in 2010, he embraced a fresh challenge piloting a rebuilt LS2 V8-powered Holden VZ Commodore. This marked the initiation of his triumphant journey to becoming the 2013 New Zealand Drift Champion, all under the banner of his naming sponsor, Castrol Edge.
Yet, Dan's career is defined not merely by his mastery behind the wheel but also by his meticulous attention to equipment and precision. In 2017, he embarked on a groundbreaking endeavor, collaborating with CTB Performance, Ford New Zealand, and Mustang RTR (USA) to introduce the Southern Hemisphere's first Ford Mustang RTR to competitive drifting.
The 2018 D1NZ Season showcased Dan in the driver's seat of two cutting-edge Ford Mustangs. One, a 550hp Supercharged V8 Activaction Car, set the track ablaze with hotlaps and promotional blitzes. The other, a 900hp Roush-Yates V8-powered Ford Mustang RTR Spec-5D, was the epitome of USA prowess, formerly campaigned by Formula DRIFT Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr.
Although his inaugural venture into the Left-Hand Drive arena came with challenges, Dan's indomitable spirit secured two Top-5 finishes, including a remarkable 3rd place at Round 2 of the D1NZ Series held at ASB Baypark Stadium. Fueled by grit, he held his ground against the top-5 Championship contenders, finishing 7th overall in the 2018 Series.
Beyond the track, Dan's meticulous dedication is exemplified by his pristine Northland workshop. It's here that precision is honed, where equipment aligns with his discerning eye, a testament to his relentless pursuit of excellence in the art of drifting.