South Auckland's finest tops D1NZ podium again
Reid takes second D1NZ career win after action-packed round three
Nico Reid and his Evergreen Nissan Silvia S15 have won round three of the 2015–’16 Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting championship at Taupo's Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, narrowly beating Cole Armstrong after an exciting final showdown between the two drivers. Bruce Tannock completed the podium, after downing Dave Steedman in the playoff for third.
With several of the category's wave of hot favourites once again all falling by the wayside earlier than expected, Reid once again made it through to the top four, then ultimately to the top step of the podium — his sights now set on a maiden D1NZ title.
“We should be pretty up there now in the championship now, so hopefully we can get a few more podiums from here on in,” Reid told Driven.
Friends off the track Cole Armstrong and Nico Reid battled hard for the win. Photo / Matthew Hansen
Among those to be knocked out early was 'Fanga Dan' Woolhouse. His exit from the event was the most controversial, as he and Milwaukee Tools driver Drew Donovan made heavy contact during the Holden driver's chase run. Donovan was visually angry after the incident, though he was eventually judged to have won the battle.
While the fight in the final between Reid and Armstrong wasn't as ferocious, it was still one of the most aggressive and entertaining battles of the day, with elements of drama thrown in before the wheels of either competitor had even begun to turn in anger.
Technical issues with Armstrong's V Energy V35 Nissan Skyline looked like they would potentially sideline the driver before the final, subsequently handing the win to Reid due to no contest.
However, Armstrong was able to call for a five-minute mechanical break in proceedings to try and repair the mystery gremlin. Once the five minutes were up, Reid called for a further five minutes for his rival — doubling the amount of time for Armstrong's crew to try and sort out the issue.
“I'm sure that Cole would've done the same thing for me,” said Reid.
“I've had a long friendship through drifting with him, so we had to.”
Bruce Tannock, on his way to a third-place finish. Photo / Matthew Hansen
Armstrong's lead run looked relatively even, though Reid had closed down his rival's initial margin by the end of the course.
His chase run however was a very different story. Closer than they had been beforehand, Armstrong aimed to shut down Reid through the second and third transitions. But he eventually came too close, colliding with the side of Reid's Silvia as the pair came through the left-hander leading to the final hairpin. The contact resulted in Armstrong coming out of the throttle and stepping back, which subsequently gave Reid margin, and the round win.
Adding to the occasion was a small fire which broke out in the rear of Reid's car as he completed his lead run, though Reid was unaware of the drama at the time.
“[The fire ] was a surprise. Cole pulled up beside me and told me that the car was on fire, so I didn't actually know,” he added.
Japanese drift star Daigo Saito produced an ominous performance in qualifying to make it into the top 16, but could not convert the form into a result after he and the 'wildcard' Toyotaz Galore GT86 previously peddled by Ryan Tuerck were knocked out by Reid while vying for a slot in the top eight.
The series will now head back North to Hampton Downs Motorsport Park for round four of the season on February 27–28.