Gaz Whiter had big plans for 2020.
Building a new, LS3 supercharged S15 Drift car ready for the Red Bull Drift Shifters Competition in Europe, the Kiwi and his crew had a very busy start to the year.
The S15 Nissan Silvia was prepared just in time for a run at iconic New Zealand event, Leadfoot Festival, in February. Things went really well there and left Gaz itching to drive the new steed again.
The universe had other plans however, with the severity of COVID-19 increasing very soon after the car had been put into a crate to be shipped to Europe.
Bad timimg one could say.
As a previous winner of DriftShifters Liverpool in his old S14, Gaz and his crew are still excited to bring something even bigger, brighter and better to the series when public events can eventually resume once again.
Currently in Lockdown in New Zealand, we caught up with Gaz to find out how things are going for him in the meantime…
Hey Gaz, tell us where are you based at the moment? What’s the COVID-19 situation like where you are?
We are based in Whangarei, the northern part of the north island in NZ. Usually we have access to some of the best beaches in the world, and I love my fishing so normally if I am not hanging out with my son or doing car stuff, that’s the other place you will find me. Due to the current government level 4 lockdown here, we are instructed to stay home for no less than 4 weeks. Our government acted really quickly here in NZ as we have a good chance to exhaust the virus here being a ‘small’ island nation. The government also provide all workers affected by not being able to work with a ‘wage’ for staying home. It’s definitely a bit of groundhog day, but we are taking this seriously and doing our part.
What events did you plan on competing in this year? How ready is your car for the season?
We had very recently finished our new S15 build and had only taken it to one event before we put it in a container boating its way over to Europe for the Redbull Drift Shifters, something I was really looking forward to. We had only put it in a container a week or so before the severity of the virus became apparent. Along with most other things, Driftshifters is now postponed and we are unsure of what the plan will be for that, it’s pretty much a waiting game for now.
We had also planned on completing the S14 which we stripped a bit to get the S15 ready, (race cars are expensive) and compete in some NZ events in that.
What engine and chassis are you on running?
We run a LS3 based supercharged engine for the S15 chassis.
Our S14 is currently in bits but we had recently rebuilt the engine for that one, and just need to put it back together, we stole the the ‘spaghetti’ manifold from it to put in the S15, right now would be the ideal time to complete this car, but as we can’t purchase parts, or see anyone outside our bubble to work on the car with (with my dad and head mechanic Tony living 45 minutes away) its literally collecting dust.
Which Link ECU does it run?
We run a G4 + Xtreme tuned by Glen Suckling it makes 600 kw ATW for the S15
What do you want to say to the fans over this enforced break?
Stay safe, stay home, and enjoy the time with your family/bubble. As bad as this is, it has definitely had positive effects for me by getting to spend so much time with my son. My partner still works (from home) so I have been spending everyday with him and that time is something I would not normally have had the chance to do. Also been catching up on things around the house, the yardwork always seems to have something which needs to be done to it.
Well, it seems there is more to life than just Drifting; even for legends like Gaz. We look forward to seeing him back on track soon, though!