Richard Mason - facts & figures.
Who is Richard Mason? His bio of course can tell a story, but it's hard to convey the real Richard Mason via print. It's hard to describe the absolute hunger he has for victory, the total drive he has to be the best and the committment to making sure he attains the goals he sets for himself.
But, we can let you know how he's worked his way to the top, and here is the start of the story....
Richard Mason has had an interest and involvement with Motorsport from a young age. His parents Tom and Alison raced in rallies in the 80's when Richard was a child.
Richard's first competitive interest in Motorsport started with racing in local Car Club events before moving into Go-Kart's, where he had a season of racing Karts while he completed building his first Rally car, a Mark 1 Ford Escort.
Richard showed considerable talent from early on - immediately achieving good results. From the Ford Escort, he moved up to a new class by competing in a Toyota Celica GT4 which was his introduction to a 4-wheel drive, turbo car. He spent a year competing in this car with continued success.
This invaluable experience made Richard realise that to advance his rally career he needed a more competitive car - a full group A spec. car and so he bought a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 3, which had won the New Zealand North Island Scholarship in 1999. This was a great leap and Richard rose to the
His talent really came to the fore in the 2001 season when he won the Propecia New Zealand North Island Rally Scholarship. On the way to doing this he was able to secure two outright victories. He really turned heads at the Parker- Enzed Rally of Rotorua when he started in 20th position and ended the first day in 6th place, a leg which included the notorious Motu stages, near Opotiki.
However, the highlight for the 2001 season would have to be the fantastic result at Propecia Rally New Zealand that was labeled the Drive of the Rally. The team was able to get the most out of "the aged" Evo3 (The 1991 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3 Richard and Hamish drove was the oldest car in the top 40 that finished, and quite possibly the oldest car in the rally) and ended as 4th New Zealander's home and a great 22nd overall, especially considering all 14 International Works Teams entries finished the Rally.
The 2002 rally season surpassed all expectations by seeing a win in the Parker-Enzed Junior National Championship and an impressive 2nd overall in the Parker- Enzed National Championship at the teams first full National Championship campaign. After the first round of the Parker-Enzed New Zealand Rally Championship in Otago, the media commented "Herbert Wins, But Mason Stars."
This was acheived in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 5 that Richard had built up himself - a really versatile competitor!
Three top six finishes in New Zealand Rally Championship Rounds are required to be awarded a Motorsport New Zealand 'B' Seed and as Richard had only ever competed in four New Zealand Rally Championship rallies, he has achieved this goal faster than any other driver in the New Zealand Rally history. Only two events later, Richard was able to secure an 'A' seed.
The season ended with a high note with Richard winning the Wairarapa Sports Personality of the Year.
Please check back soon when we'll have part two of the story
Next... The Team
What's Being Said?
"Mason is unquestionably the most complete driver in current NZ rallying and one of the greatest ever"
"Richard Mason has well and truly arrived at the Pinnacle of NZ rallysport. We may be seeing the early stages of a career of NZ's best-yet rally driver"
"Richard Mason, the hottest young talent in Kiwi rallying" David Thomson
“The pace is just awesome. Compared to last year it is just another world" Chris West after his second placing to Richard & Sara in Rally Wairarapa June 2005
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