Summerfield’s win Mainland Rally Championship round; Buist inherits overall lead
Matt Summerfield and co-driver Nicole Summerfield have won the fourth round of the 2022 Mainland Rally Championship (MRC) at Rally South Canterbury on Saturday. A solid and consistent performance saw the pairing come out on top while a high attrition rate amongst their rivals now puts Deane Buist (Ford Fiesta) in the overall lead on the MRC points board.
“It’s been a good day,” commented Matt Summerfield. “We finally got one of those days where we didn’t get any dramas, so it’s been pretty rewarding.”
The round, which took place over nine Special Stages between Waimate and the Timaru International Raceway in Levels, also doubled as the third round of the 2022 Brian Green Property Group NZ Rally Championship (NZRC) which was won by Hayden Paddon/Jared Hudson (Hyundai i20N AP4) ahead of Ben Hunt/Tony Rawstorn (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) with the Summerfield’s (Mitsubishi Mirage AP4) in third overall.
Second home in the MRC was Mike Tall/Brent Maddren (Mitsubishi Mirage) ahead of Marcus van Klink/Dave Neill (Mazda RX8) with Deane Buist/Karl Celeste (Ford Fiesta) fourth and James Macdonald/Josh Edwards (Subaru Impreza H6) in fifth.
“The day has been a great day,” said Tall. “And with a new navigator as my normal one has Covid. Very lucky to get Brent (Maddren) on board and things have gone well. The car has been faultless; we’ve done nothing to it all day.”
Heading into the MRC round Josh Marston (Holden Barina AP4) held a one-point lead over Ray Casey (Subaru Impreza) with Buist eight points further back in third. First of the overall contenders to strike trouble was Robbie Stokes (Ford Fiesta AP4) who won the second round at Rally Otago in April. A mechanical retirement in just the second stage saw his round hopes dashed.
Marston and co-driver Andrew Graves, who won the opening and third rounds, were the next to strike trouble puncturing twice in the Waimate Forest Stage 4 having already been battling a recurring throttle problem. They joined a number of other NZRC drivers who also limped out of SS4 with punctures.
Next to retire was Ray Casey/Jimmy Martin who went off the road in SS5 (Backline Road), denting his championship hopes.
Buist was to finish fourth overall in the MRC competition and now holds a seven-point lead over two-wheel-drive rival Marcus van Klink with Marston dropping down to third ahead of Casey, Summerfield and Tall.
Autotech Services, RDL Performance and Brita Safety have put up cash prizes for each Class winner at the end of the Mainland Rally Championship season. $500, $250 and $100 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively for each class as well as trophies for all classes and overall, for both driver and co- driver. Vehicles are divided up into seven different classes according to engine size, year of manufacturer and two or four-wheel drive.
Continuing to lead Class A (2WD 0-1300cc) is Jay Ritchie (Toyota Starlet) from Pat Norris (Toyota Vitz) while William Hawes (Toyota Corolla) has a four-point lead over Kerry Sloan (Toyota Starlet) who was first home in Class B (2WD 1301-1600cc).
Marcus van Klink (Mazda RX8) won the round for Class C (2WD 1601cc and over) which is still led by Deane Buist (Ford Fiesta).
Josh Marston and Ray Casey are now tied on 42-points each in Class D (4WD 1601cc and over). They are marginally ahead of Sean Haggarty (Subaru Impreza), John Giltrap (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) and Matt Summerfield.
Eric Clark was first home in Class E (Pre 1996 Classic 4WD) which is led by Nigel Ede (Subaru Legacy). Winner of the Historic Class F&G round was Regan Ross. Overall leader of the class is still Tim McIver (Ford Escort) from Ally MacKay (Ford Escort Mk1) and David Owen (Ford Escort).
Amy Keighly (Subaru H6) is tied for the lead in Class H6 with Nick Marston (Subaru H6) with Tom Mililiken (Subaru H6) in third. Having won the class at Rally Canterbury two weeks ago, James Macdonald (Subaru H6) came home first in Class and moves up to fourth having missed the first two rounds.
While a number of drivers and teams will continue to compete in the NZRC, including Rally NZ at the end of September, the first of the final Mainland Rally Championship three rounds takes place in Nelson in mid-October as part of Targa South Island 2022.
Overall Points after 4/7 rounds (Top 15)
1/ Deane Buist 71
2/ Marcus van Klink 64
3/ Josh Marston 62
4/ Ray Casey 61
5/ Matt Summerfield 58
6/ Michael Tall 54
7/ Regan Ross 53
8/ John Giltrap 51
9/ Ray Wilson 46
10/ Tim McIver 45
11/ Sean Haggarty 43
12/ Jeff Judd 42
13/ Nick Marston 41
14/ James Macdonald 35
15/ Robbie Stokes 34
Pos Driver Co-Driver Make Model Class
1/ Matt Summerfield Nicole Summerfield Mitsubishi Mirage AP4 D
2/ Michael Tall Brett Maddren Mitsubishi Mirage D
3/ Marcus van Klink/Dave Neill Mazda RX8 C
4/ Deane Buist/Karl Celeste Ford Fiesta C
5/ James Macdonald/Josh Edwards Subaru Impreza H6 H6
6/ Sean Haggarty/Bella Haggarty Subaru Impreza WRX D
7/ Ray Wilson/Ian McKee Subaru Impreza D
8/ Nick Marston/Peter Calvert Subaru Impreza H6 H6
9/ Paul Cross/Mikko Johnston Subaru Impreza H6 H6
10/ John Giltrap/Sarah Faulkner Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 D
11/ Regan Ross/Katrina Renshaw Ford Escort F
12/ Jeff Judd/Alex Parkin Subaru Impreza H6 H6
13/ Tim McIver/Brent Wilson Ford Escort F
14/ Dave Ollis/Gemma Thomas Subaru WRX Sti D
15/ Brian Green/Fleur Pedersen Mitsubishi Mirage AP4 D
16/ Amy Keighley/Nikita Gibson Subaru Magnum H6 H6
17/ Ally Mackay/Brody Cattermole Ford Escort F
18/ Kerry Sloan/Tim McDonald Toyota Starlet B
19/ Eric Clark/Catriona Flynn Subaru WRX E
20/ David Owen/Mitzielene Machida Ford Escort RS F
21/ Tom Milliken/Chris Cunningham Subaru Impreza H6 H6
22/ Raimon Wilkinson/Ryan Wilkinson Toyota Trueno B
23/ William Hawes/Jason Dwyer Toyota Corolla B
24/ Mike Barltrop/Vahur Ots Subaru WRX E
25/ Tim James/John Mulrennan Mazda RX3 F
26/ Jay Ritchie/Steven Clarke Toyota Starlet A
27/ Pat Norris/Kevin Locke Toyota Vitz A
28/ Nigel Ede/Mark Grimmer Subaru Legacy E
29/ Andrew Sim/Brayden Sim BMW 316i C
dnf Robbie Stokes/Amy Stokes Ford Fiesta AP4 D
dnf Josh Marston/Andrew Graves Holden Barina AP4 D
dnf Ray Casey/Jimmy Martin Subaru Impreza D
dnf David Birkett/Jack Birkett Toyota Levin B
dnf Jared Parker/Hamish Sands Toyota Corolla B