Smith races to his first state championship

NOWRA Hill’s Daniel Smith looks set for a massive career behind the wheel, if this year’s results are anything to go by.

The 21-year-old is in the midst of the best season on the track, highlighted by him recently taking out the production touring cars outright state championship – the youngest ever driver to do so.

“This is up there as one of my biggest achievements, as it is the first championship I have won competing in cars,” Smith said.

“Prior to this my top results were second in the excels championship and third in the pulsars.”

This breakthrough win was set up by Smith’s consistency through all five rounds of competition.

“Round one was held at Wakefield Park Raceway - we showed up with a car that looked like a road car and we were not expecting to have heaps of pace but we qualified on pole and came first in all three races,” he said.

“We backed it up at round two, held at Sydney Motorsport Park on the brabham layout.

“We had a car with a livery - this was a great round and the first time I had driven the integra at SMP was in qualifying and we qualified on pole and won two of the three races.

“The third round was held at Sydney Motorsport Park on the Gardener Circuit (GP) but I was also racing in the pulsar series on the Sunday at Wakefield Park.

“The enduro was last thing in the afternoon in Sydney for the integra and I was racing the pulsar at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park all day.

“So I called in the help of co-driver Tim Brook to start the race in Sydney while I finished up in Goulburn racing in the pulsar.

“I jumped into a helicopter and flew to Sydney landed and jumped into the integra with six minutes before the pit window closed - we pulled it off and I was able to compete in all events.

“Unfortunately the safety car came out at the wrong time allowing a rival to end up a lap ahead.

“We finished second but still earned valuable points towards the overall championship. 

“We returned to Wakefield Park for round four - an endurance round, where we needed good results to take the pressure off the last round.

“Race one was a close race - I was passed for second in the last corner last lap.

“I drove the one hour enduro on my own this time and finished in first place.

“The final round of the championship was held at SMP on the Gardner Circuit and to win the championship, I had to win a race – which I achieved.”

Smith, who has only been involved in the sport for seven years, is also currently competing in the Australian Pulsar Championship – where he sits in third place with one round to go.

“The final round of this competition at Wakefield Park, where I will race two one hour endurance races worth double points,” he said. 

Before that though, Smith will race around the biggest track in Australia, Mount Panaroma.

“My next event is Challenge Bathurst where I will be driving Teggy around the mountain for the first time,” he said.

“This is a non-competitive event where I can go and have a run without the pressures of competition.

“Driving at Bathurst for the first time will be an awesome experience.”

Smith also has ambitions to race in a national category in the future.

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