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25th September 2007

Photographer: Euan Cameron

By Chris Grant
Following their second consecutive Production World Rally Championship [PWRC] Podium Finish, at Rally New Zealand at the start of the month, double New Zealand Rally Champion Richard Mason, Co-Driver Sara Randall and their bright yellow BNT Subaru (EVOETA) are in top form heading into this weekend's final round of the Vantage Aluminium Joinery New Zealand Rally Championship [NZRC] - the 0800 Boxman Rally of Nelson.

"We said after Otago [the opening round in April] that we were on a specific programme to both learn how to drive and develop the new car as the season progressed, and that Rally NZ was the target time to be 'up to speed'," said Richard.

Two PWRC stage wins, and 12 more times in the Top Five show just how 'up to speed' NZ Rallying's top team were during the three day, 18 stage WRC event.

"Regardless of the [time-consuming] puncture and gearbox problem, we are actually very pleased with our overall performance at Rally NZ," commented NZ's fastest female rally competitor. "It's always wicked to be the first Kiwis home and now we cant wait to get back out onto the best forestry roads in the country - especially as we had to miss Nelson last year due to our China contract."

"We really love Nelson, the roads are fabulous and the weather is almost always fantastic. We won our first NZRC title there [in 2005] in front of Sara's hometown crowd and last year we did it with mine in Masterton. So hopefully it will be Nelson's turn again this year," said the new owner of Tom's Auto Services (2007) Ltd.

However, there is the slight issue that the costly Rally NZ problems scuppered any chance Richard had of joining fellow double national champions Brian Stokes and Geof Argyle on 12 NZRC Round Wins, and more importantly sees the Masterton Flyers start this final round in third place - 24 points shy of the current series leader Sam Murray.

Its never over until its over and weve well and truly learned that with rallying. Just look at the PWRC at Rally NZ. You simply dont know whats round the next corner. If Sam has a trouble free run then so be it. If he comes unstuck well be right there waiting.

For further information about the 2007 0800 BOXMAN Rally of Nelson - 29-30 September 2007

For Rally Results & Information

For further information about the 2007 Vantage Aluminium Joinery New Zealand Rally Championship


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