The Masterton husband and wife pairing of Richard and Sara Mason have taken their second round victory in a row after another impressive performance at the Drivesouth Rally of Otago, round two of the 2014 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ.
The Masons in their BNT Subaru dominated the event and looked to again be on for a clean sweep of stage wins, but were forced to stop and change a puncture in the 40 kilometre Terrace Range stage, losing three minutes. That stage also claimed Emma Gilmour’s Suzuki Swift, which retired with fuel pump failure after sitting in second place with four stages to run.
Sitting in second place overnight, Chris West suffered a high-speed accident on the day’s opening stage when he was blinded by sun strike. Emergency procedures saw the stage stopped with both West and co-driver Chris Cobham heading to hospital, although both were checked out and released with only minor injuries.
The retirement of West and then Gilmour promoted David Holder to second place while after a day long battle, Matt Jansen emerged in third ahead of Andrew Hawkeswood. Lance Williams rounded out the top five placings. Nelson Subaru driver Ben Hunt scored his first points of the season by securing leg two honours for fastest over the days stages.
Class action saw Max Bayley take out Category 2 (FIA 2wd) in his Ford Fiesta, while Brent Taylor headed home Hamish Anderson in Category 3 (Open 2wd).
Category 4 (Historic) saw Marcus van Klink lose ten minutes when he slipped off the road in the Terrace Range stage, leaving Ron Davey to take the leg two victory, although van Klink’s Mazda RX-7 still held on for the round victory. Third overnight, Andy Martin was also a victim of the Terrace Range stage, breaking an axle in his Mazda RX-3.
Mason’s win sees him extend his championship lead to 45 points over Matt Summerfield, with Williams, Holder, and Jansen rounding out the top five. Max Bayley leads category two, Hamish Anderson category three and van Klink class four. Category 5a currently sits with Daniel Walker and 5b is the domain of Jeff Torkington’s Toyota MR2.
The NZRC now heads to Rally Canterbury on June 1.
The Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ would not be possible without the support of Brian Green Property Group, VINZ, BNT, Gull, TV3, Volt TV, Euan Cameron Photography, NZ Autocar, Rally New Zealand, Moa Brewing Company, Motorsport NZ & the organising clubs.