Nico Reid breaks drought with D1NZ win
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Popular Reid takes “deserved” maiden drift victory in Tauranga
Otara's Nico Reid has broken through to claim a maiden victory in the Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship, crowned in the twilight at Tauranga's ASB Baypark Stadium.
“It's about time. It feels great to stand on that top step of the podium. It's been a long time coming, and my team deserved it,” said Reid.
The former Pro-Am champion and his Evergreen Nissan Silvia S15 took the top step of the podium after a tight final battle with former circuit racer Daynom Templeman in his Toyota-powered NAC insurance BMW 3 series. With both drivers displaying high angle and tight proximity, Reid was judged the winner after a minor mistake from Templeman during their first run.
Reid versus Templeman in the dark. Photo / Simon Chapman
On a night where numerous heavy hitters in the championship were knocked out in the early stages, Reid now shapes up as a significant title threat for the overall series win.
“We're always pushing for the championship, whether it happens or not in this sport, you can't say what's happening,” Reid added.
In an evening dotted with incidents, both series leader 'Fanga Dan' Woolhouse (Century Batteries Holden Commodore) and reigning Baypark champ Cole Armstrong (V Energy Nissan Skyline V35) were taken out of contention following on-track incidents — Woolhouse hitting one of the event's unforgiving concrete walls during his chase run against Tom Marshall, while Armstrong spun while leading Australian Michael Prosenik; resulting in the pair colliding.
Despite the contact, Prosenik was able to record one of his best results, ending the event in fourth behind Marshall. Many praised his run against C's Garage's Adam Hedges, as the pair executed two flawless runs together in their mismatched cars — forcing judges to issue a 'one more time' challenge. After that too proved inconclusive, the pair went into a 'sudden death' battle, Prosenik eventually winning the memorable fight.
American Ryan Tuerck taking to the Tauranga course solo near the end of the day. Photo / Simon Chapman
For round two of the championship, the series introduced their car for wildcard international entries — the Toyotaz Galore Toyota 86, driven at this event by popular American Formula Drift driver Ryan Tuerck. While Tuerck would eventually be knocked out during the top 32 battles due to straight-lining during his lead run against Aden Omnet, he showed his class and pedigree with a near-perfect chase performance some minutes later.
The D1NZ National Drifting Championship will now travel to Taupo's newly-named Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park for round three of the 2015–’16 series, where Japanese drift legend Daigo Saito will take over the reins of the Toyotaz Galore 86.