Tim McIver wins Mainland Rally Championship round in Nelson
Tim McIver (Ford Escort) has won the fifth round of the 2022 Mainland Rally Championship (MRC) beating home James MacDonald (Subaru H6) and the current MRC points leader, Dean Buist (Toyota Trueno).
The Nelson One-Day Tarmac Rally was part of the two-day Targa South Island event that took place in the Tasman district over the weekend and has resulted in a shakeup of the MRC leaderboard with a number of key rivals not competing in the round.
“It was a really good day,” commented McIvor.
“The first stages were incredibly fast, not suited to our car and what we are used to, so pretty happy with how they went. The afternoon stages were tighter to our liking so really thrilled to come away with the win.”
While more at home on the gravel, McIvor has competed in several Targa tarmac events in a purpose-built 2.5 litre Millington-powered Ford Escort with a sequential gearbox.
“Yes, it’s quite a different car to our gravel Escort, like a BDA (engine) on steroids. It has heaps of grip so performed really well on some superb roads.”
Deane Buist’s third place sees him continue to lead the series with two rounds remaining while McIvor has moved into second overall, 19-points behind and nine points ahead of Marcus van Klink.
It was Buist’s title rival Marcus van Klink (Mazda RX8) that was quickest through Special Stage 1 ahead of McIvor, Buist, Sean Haggarty (Subaru WRX Sti) and MacDonald.
McIvor fought back in the longer Special Stage 2 to win and take the lead which he held to the end, from Brian Green (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) and Buist.
Unfortunately for van Klink, an engine misfire dropped him down the order and although he fought back to win two more stages, he eventually retired from the event after SS5.
While McIvor was able to establish a buffer back to Green over the rest of the day, the fight was between Green, Buist and MacDonald for the remaining podium places with less than 20 seconds covering the three drivers.
Unfortunately for Green, a slightly slower final Special Stage 7 dropped him down to fourth ahead of Haggarty, Nick Marston (Subaru H6), Dave Ollis (Subaru WRX Sti), and Andrew Sim (BMW 316i).
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.
Leader of Class A (2WD 0-1300cc), Jay Ritchie was absent from the round which allowed Pat Norris (Toyota Vitz) to close the gap between them to just six points.
Kerry Sloan (Toyota Starlet) retired out of the round on the first stage with mechanical trouble allowing William Hawes (Toyota Corolla) to maximise his Class B (2WD 1301-1600cc) points advantage to 18-points. Jared Parker (Toyota Levin) was first home in the Class and has moved into third overall.
Buist has doubled his lead to 16-points over van Klink in Class C (2WD 1601cc and over) with Peter Bowden (Ford Escort), who finished 12th overall, now third in class.
Sean Haggarty (Subaru WRX STi) was one of the major movers and has taken over the lead in Class D (4WD 1601cc and over), while Dave Ollis has moved into second and Brian Green into third.
Eric Clark (Subaru STi) was first home in Class E (Pre 1996 Classic 4WD) and has moved into second in class, while Nigel Ede (Subaru Legacy) now holds a 26-point lead.
Leader of the Historic Class F&G, Tim McIver (Ford Escort) has extended his class lead to 27-points over Ally MacKay with David Owen (Ford Escort) in third having retired from the rally in SS5 with mechanical trouble.
The battle in Class H6 still remains tight with just 14 points separating the top three.
James MacDonald took Class honours and is now in third overall while Nick Marston continues to lead by just five points to Tom Milliken (Subaru H6).
Drivers and teams now prepare for the sixth round of the Mainland Rally Series, the Rally Lawrence on November 5, 2022.
Overall Points after 5/7 rounds (Top 15)
1/ Deane Buist 94
2/ Tim McIver 75
3/ Marcus van Klink 66
4/ Josh Marston 62
5/ Ray Casey 61
6/ Sean Haggarty 61
7/ James Macdonald 61
8/ Matt Summerfield 58
9/ Michael Tall 58
10/ Nick Marston 58
11/ Regan Ross 53
12/ John Giltrap 51
13/ Dave Ollis 50
14/ Brian Green 48
15/ Ray Wilson 46
Nelson One-Day Tarmac Rally Mainland Rally Championship Round 5 Results (Position, Driver/Driver2, Car, Class)
1/ Tim McIver/Brent Wilson Ford Escort BDA F
2/ James MacDonald/Daniel Johnson Subaru H6 H
3/ Deane Buist/James Cowles Toyota Corolla Trueno C
4/ Brian Green /Fleur Pedersen Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 D
5/ Sean Haggarty/Bella Haggarty Subaru WRX Sti D
6/ Nick Marston/Pete Calvert Subaru Impreza H6 H
7/ Dave Ollis/Gemma Thomas Subaru WRX Sti D
8/ Andrew Sim/Brayden Sim BMW 316i C
9/ Peter Bowden/Roy Large Ford Escort C
10/ Eric Clark/Tracy Spark Subaru WRX Sti E
11/ Jeremy Wayne/Marc Keen Vauxhall Chevette C
12/ Jared Parker/Kyle Shears Toyota Levin B
13/ William Hawes/Jason Dwyer Toyota Corolla B
14/ Tom Milliken/Chris Cunningham Subaru Impreza H6 H
15/ Pat Norris/Kevin Cooke Toyota Vitz A
16/ Nigel Ede/Mark Grimmer Subaru Legacy E
dnf David Owen/Mitzielene Machida Ford Escort RS G
dnf Kerry Sloan/Tim McDonald Toyota Starlet B
dnf Marcus van Klink/Matt Richards Mazda RX8 C