Dave Steedman has claimed his maiden Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship round win, after scoring a tight final-battle win at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon.
The win doubles as the first for Steedman's Team DSR squad, and comes as the crew are still recovering from extensive time spent mending war wounds on the team's sister car that were obtained at the opening round of the season at the opening round in Dunedin.
“We’ve worked on the cars constantly since round one,” said Steedman.
“My car needed a lot of upgrades, and we’ve been pushing all the way through — no holiday for us. The crew have been working tirelessly.
“It’s so awesome to get this type of result from all the hard work we’ve put in. It has been a real hustle for us to pull everything together. But we had two cars working well this weekend, and it’s awesome I can reward the crew and the team for all the hard work and effort.”
Steedman started the weekend on the right foot after qualifying ninth in yesterday's closing session. He then defeated Shane Allen, Ben Wilkinson, Australian Matt Hill, and series leader Cole Armstrong to make it into the final battle where he faced off against ATJ Drift's Tom Marshall.
With neither Steedman nor Marshall having ever won a D1NZ event before, the final battle came with extra pressure. However neither driver put a foot wrong in the closing dice, with judges awarding Steedman and his Nissan Silvia S14 with a narrow victory.
“You’re just out there doing what you do. Whatever happens, happens. I was stoked with that final battle against Tom, where it was off the hook and it could’ve gone either way. It must’ve been really close, and I’m rapt to take the win,” said Steedman.
“With the car feeling so solid today, anything’s possible. It’s really down to me to keep getting these podiums. It wasn’t the greatest start at round one, but we’re up here now and let’s keep the momentum going.”
Former series champion Darren Kelly rounded out the podium placings — subsequently claiming his second consecutive podium finish with his newly built Nissan R35 GT-R.
The next round of the 2016–’17 season will take place at ASB Baypark Stadium in Tauranga on February 24–25.