THIRD GOLDSTAR ALMOST WITHIN REACH FOR BNT MASON MOTORSPORT AT NZRC RALLY HAWKES BAY
By Chris Grant
21st August, 2011In yet another measured, heady drive in their bright yellow BNT Subaru, double New Zealand Rally Champion Richard Mason finds himself just 4 points away from becoming a triple Champion and GoldStar winner after Day One of Rally Hawkes Bay - the final round of this year's Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship [NZRC].
With wife Sara having already won her second Co-driver GoldStar as soon as this round started, the BNT Mason Motorsport Team's total focus in the lead up to this weekend has been on finishing today and in as high a position as possible to maintain their advantage over their nearest opposition.
And that the Masterton Flyers certainly did almost perfectly, as they won the opening stage, and then recorded Top Three times for the remaining 5 flat-out high-speed tests that made up the weather shortened leg.
"We cant remember when we last had so many instances of hitting 200kph during a day's rallying," said Richard.
"It really was flat out stuff in there on several occasions and great to get through the leg safely, increase our championship lead and now know exactly what we have to do tomorrow, remembering that Sunday's stages are more technical and should suit us better.
"As we said prior to the start, another good haul of points [each day offers a maximum of 32 points with a further 64 for the overall rally] today would help ease the pressure for the second day, so any risk-taking by getting drawn into a battle for the [rally] lead could have proved VERY costly in our pursuit of our ultimate goal - which has to be winning the GoldStar championship.
"So our plan was to get safely through today and then see how things looked tonight, then decide whether it's more of the same for Sunday or let's 'give it a rip' for the rally win to see if we can take out a fifth victory here."
By finishing second Richard has increased his lead to an almost unassailable 92 points, which means now that as long as the BNT Subaru finishes the rally, the GoldStar title will be his to add to his 2005 and 2006 triumphs, and he and Sara will make New Zealand Rally history as the first married couple to be New Zealand GoldStar Rally Champions.
A further seven stages on Sunday take crews north from Napier from 7am, through several forestry roads, near Te Pohue, Esk and Mohaka, before the official finish in Napierís Clive Square around 430pm.
Next.... Photo Album
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21st August, 2011: THIRD GOLDSTAR ALMOST WITHIN REACH FOR BNT MASON MOTORSPORT AT NZRC RALLY HAWKES BAY - More
20th August, 2011: ONE DAY AT A TIME AS BNT MASON MOTORSPORT GOES FOR GOLD AT RALLY HAWKES BAY - More
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