New Mainland Rally Championship leader as MacDonald wins Lawrence Rally

Caleb MacDonald/Kerran Graeve (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) have won the Mainland Rally Championship fifth round at the Lawrence Rally on Saturday. The pairing won all five stages finishing over a minute ahead of second placed David Quantock/Grant Marra (Skoda Fabia AP4). Third home was Dylan Thomson/Richard Fairhall (Ford Fiesta ST150 2.3) ahead of Jonty Brenssell/Terri Taylor (Toyota Starlet) and Tim McIver/Scott Cousins (Ford Escort Mk2). Thomson now has the overall lead in the six-round championship with one event remaining.

The Mainland Rally Championship competitors were part of the 45-strong entries competing for overall honours which saw MacDonald and Graeve finish second overall to Andrew Graves/Hayden Graves (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo3).

RDL Performance, Brita Safety, Palmside NZ and Winmax Brakes have put up cash prizes for each Class winner at the end of the Mainland Rally Championship season. $500, $250 and $100 for first, second and third respectively for each class as well as trophies for all classes and overall, for both driver and co- driver.

Again, Mike Matheson/Gordon Legge (Toyota Vitz) finished ahead of Class A (2WD 0-1300cc) leader Pat Norris/Geoff Parr (Toyota Yaris). A narrow four-point difference heading to the finale may be too close to call.

Jonty Brenssell won Class B (2WD 1301-1600cc) ahead of a strong showing by Thomas Paul (Honda Civic) who finished sixth overall. Kerry Sloan (Toyota Starlet) managed to increase his class lead to seven-points over David Birkett (Toyota Levin) with Dean Schoder (Toyota Trueno) in third.

Caleb MacDonald’s win sees him take over the lead in Class D (4WD) with a golden opportunity to secure the class title. Josh Marston is 10-points adrift but has missed he last two rounds. Dave Ollis is third a further 18-points behind Marston.

Hayden Shakespeare (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3) has secured the Class E (Pre 1996 Classic 4WD) title with an unassailable 26-point lead over Mike Barltrop (Subaru Impreza) who didn’t enter the Lawrence Rally.

It’s close in the Historic Class F with Tim McIver (Ford Escort Mk2) first home reducing Ally Mackay’s (Ford Escort Mk1) lead to just 10-points with Stephen Gill (Ford Escort Mk2 FJ20) in third.

Tom Milliken’s (Subaru H6) has secured the Class H (Subaru H6) title also with an unassailable 28-point lead over James Macdonald (Subaru H6).

The final and deciding Westland Rally round takes place in three weeks’ time on Saturday 25 November 2023.

Overall Points 2023 Mainland Rally Championship after 5/6 rounds (Top 15)
1/ Dylan Thomson 95
2/ Caleb MacDonald 84
3/ Josh Marston 76
4/ Ally Mackay 70
5/ Robbie Stokes 62
6/ Tim McIver 59
7/ Jonty Brenssell 54
8/ Kerry Sloan 51
9/ Deane Buist 50
10/ Marcus van Klink 48
11/ Hayden Shakespeare 46
11/ James Macdonald 46
13/ Tom Milliken 45
14/ Mike Baltrop 44
15/ David Birkett 41

Results Lawrence Rally (Pos, Driver/co-driver, Car, Class)
1/ Caleb MacDonald/Kerran Graeve, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6, D
2/ David Quantock/Grant Marra, Skoda Fabia AP4, D
3/ Dylan Thomson/Richard Fairhall, Ford Fiesta ST150 2.3, C
4/ Jonty Brenssell/Terri Taylor, Toyota Starlet, B
5/ Tim McIver/Scott Cousins, Ford Escort Mk2, F
6/ Thomas Paul/Bridget Airey, Honda Civic, B
7/ Ally Mackay/Mikko Johnston, Ford Escort Mk1, F
8/ Stephen Gill/Grant Molloy, Ford Escort Mk2 FJ20, F
9/ Kerry Sloan/Henry Raymond, Toyota Starlet, B
10/ David Birkett/Jack Birkett, Toyota Levin, B
11/ Hayden Shakespeare/Chris Sunman, Mitsubishi Lancer, E
12/ Craig Cormack/Mike Wilson, Toyota Corolla, B
13/ Tom Milliken/Chris Cunningham, Subaru Impreza H6, H6
14/ Dean Schroder/Della Schroder, Toyota Trueno, B
15/ Alan Garrick/Hamish Garrick, Toyota Trueno, B
16/ Mike Matheson/Gordon Legge, Toyota Vitz, A
17/ Pat Norris/Geoff Parr, Toyota Yaris, A
dnf Adrian Jones/Jane Luckin, Toyota Corolla FXGT, B