7th Win for Mason at Rally Wairarapa

Press Release - 29 April 2012

Day 2 of the Trusthouse Racetech Rally Wairarapa continued on from where the first day left off. Tricky conditions under rubber, passing showers through the day, and the continued dominance of the event by the Mason family. This year seeing them take an incredible 7th win at their home event.

The 33 second lead Richard and Sara Mason held overnight was steadily increased over the 8 stages and 110km that made up day two. As the teams took to the Tararua area roads that loop around Eketahuna it was Mason who took another 4 stage wins and 4 second placings to grow their lead and finish an impressive 1 minute and 3 seconds ahead of the rest.

The fight to be best of the rest was made a little easier by the withdrawal of Dean Sumner, who was only contesting the first day. Making the most of the opportunity was Sloan Cox as he made the early running and jumped to 2nd place on Stage 9. However two punctures on consecutive roads halted his progress and he dropped away after losing one and a half minutes by the first service.

Richard Mason firing to another win at Rally Wairarapa 2012.
Photo Credit - Jody Seabright

Chris West and Emma Gilmour immediately came to the fore, with Gilmour making a bid to take second off West and bagging a brace of stage wins in the process. That prompted West to return the favour on Stage 13 and the gap between these two remained at 21 seconds.

However West’s run of bad luck at Wairarapa continued when he lost all power from the engine in Stage 14, but Gilmour wasn’t able to back off any as young Alex Kelsey was never more than 20 seconds away and chasing hard to knock her out of that second place.

Gilmour wasn’t in any mood to give in and set a new record on Stage 16, Daggs Road, to ensure she remained on the second podium step. A fine drive by Kelsey ensuring the third placing, as he stayed well ahead of Cox.

In the Class placings, the biggest battle of the day was in Class E, between Marty Smith and Cameron Young. With Young closing in from the start of the day, he managed to overtake Smith on Stage 13. However Smith fought back and a final all or nothing run in the last stage saw Smith take the class win by only 3 seconds.

Class C was a well deserved win to Phil Campbell in his Ford Fiesta, while Class B saw David Holder take the honours.

In the Malcolm Stewart Classic Rally, the silverware was Marcus van Klink’s to lose. With an overnight lead of 5 minutes all he had to do was stay on the road. Despite this simple requirement he had a good go at failure, and managed to but the Group B RX7 off the road twice, before he had the finish line in sight and redemption from last year’s Did Not Finish.

Behind van Klink, Jeff Judd also only needed to cruise, in order to take 2nd. A 2 minute difference to Ron Davey looked a sure thing, that is until Judd had mechanical problems in the penultimate stage, and he was out.

In the meantime Davey and Miles McElwain had been locked in a battle of their own, as they swapped fastest times and places over a series of stages. However a disaster of a run in Stage 14 for McElwain saw him drop back and Davey was able to maintain his second place as the gap jumped from 3 seconds out to 43 seconds by the end of the day, leaving McElwain to settle for third.

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