Reid and crew pull together for an against-the-odds D1NZ round win
Evergreen Nissan Silvia Pilot Nico Reid has won round four of the 2015–’16 D1NZ National Drifting Championship, held at Waikato's Hampton Downs. But his route to victory was a torrid one.
“It's a good feeling to win three times. I don't think there's anything better I've been through anyway,” the South Aucklander told Driven, after being confirmed the winner.
After setting a new qualifying record at the short Hampton Downs course, Reid and his team faced two major setbacks as the day unfolded, with his car enduring back-to-back rear hub failures — first on the right-rear, then on the left-rear. Both instances resulted in wheels coming off the S15 Silvia.
The moment Reid's right-rear assembly failed. Photo / Matthew Hansen
The second failure took place during Reid's top-16 battle with Achilles Radials driver Bruce Tannock. Ironically, Tannock would be knocked out — despite Reid's incident — after spinning moments before his rival's dramas took place.
“It's just one of those things that we've overlooked. We've been trying to stay on top of that car all season so that we'd have no problems, and I guess that was just one of the things that we never changed,” explained Reid.
“It was quite an out-of-it feeling, like a wheel stand. [It was] just lucky enough that Bruce [Tannock] spun. That's just how the game goes.”
Despite the two bouts of damage and subsequent repair jobs from his team, Reid was able to battle on into the top eight — successfully beating Team DSR's Dave Steedman to make it into the final with NAC Insurance driver Daynom Templeman and his BMW E46 M3.
In a day that had been filled with one-more-time repeat runs for battles too difficult for the panel of experts to judge, Reid and Templeman's opening pair of runs were no different — prompting a one-more-time call from the judges.
However, Reid was able to squeeze and edge over Templeman during the subsequent pair of runs, as Templeman appeared to miss the apex to turn one during his lead performance.
Photo / Matthew Hansen
It was the second time the pairing versed each other in a final, after competing for honours at round two in Tauranga. But despite the pair of rear failures, Reid was determined to press on for yet another win.
“No matter what if the car got back out there I was going to drive the balls off it to try and get back to the top.”
Templeman's second-place finish has vaulted the driver into the championship lead, with just two events remaining on the calendar.
Drew 'Doni D' Donovan completed the podium, having beaten Dave Steedman in the playoff for third place. The Milwaukee Tools driver had progressed into the top four after beating 'Fanga Dan' Woolhouse, the pair battling much cleaner than they had several weeks ago at round three of the series, where the two made heavy contact.
Fanga Dan was once again not the only championship favourite to miss out on a top result, with reigning series winner Darren Kelly and Rattla Motorsport's Curt Whittaker both also unable to make the top four.
The series now heads south to Christchurch on March 26–27 for their penultimate round of the season. They will then travel back north to their fastest venue, Pukekohe Raceway, on April 23–24.