Serious Fun at the Daybreaker Rally

Press Release - 3 July 2012

As the entries roll in for the Daybreaker Rally, the predicted showdown on the mighty Manawatu roads looks set to ignite. Especially as the top contenders in two different series have all entered as they chase the points needed for overall glory.

In the Total Lubricants Rally Xtreme Challenge the top 4 places are represented by four different classes, covering both 2WD and 4WD cars, making for an exciting mix. While Graham Featherstone (Lance Evo 7) will be looking to defend his 6 point lead over Craig Stevens (Escort Mk II), there is a large chasing pack who will be looking to change that.

Only a few points away from these leaders are Clinton Cunningham (Lancer Evo 4), Paul de Rose (Mitsi Mirage) and Quentin Palmer (Lancer Evo 5), but there are some big names lurking who will be tough to defend against. Meaning all out attack may well be their best defence.

Craig Stevens at Rally Hawkes Bay.
Photo Credit - Jody Seabright

Following his win at Rally Hawkes Bay, Stewart Taylor will be one of the top seeds at the Daybreaker Rally, where another win here will see him shooting up the rankings. Meanwhile Alex Kelsey has built a new car after his destructive off-road excursion at Otago, making him a genuine threat again, after he missed the Hawkes Bay round. For Geof Argyle he will be hoping to regain the reliability he is renowned for after mechanical issues have dogged his season so far.

In the Geartech Central Region Rally Series, again it is the top seeds of Taylor, Kelsey, and Argyle who are chasing the leading pack for overall series honours. However the points for the Central Region Series are awarded on class placings with bonus points for overall results.

This sees Tony McConachy (Hyabusa Starlet) leading the overall points, but only by 3. In one of the tightest battles of the field it is Paul de Rose in his Mirage who is tied for second with defending series champion Paul Black in his Corolla, as these two 1600cc pilots have traded results over the first two rounds. But they are only 1 point in front of Jason Timmins, who will be a top contender in Class C.

As well as the top places there are many battles to be fought within the classes through both series, making for hard fought competition and spectacular driving at this critical juncture of the season.

So while the competitors fight hard over the 122km of special stages it looks like the Manawatu town of Apiti will be the place to be. Total Lubricants have entered into the fun and relaxed atmosphere of the rally and are putting up prizes for the service crews who dress up themselves and their vehicles the best.

“After the hilarity and fun Andrew Speir’s team had, and provided, at Hawkes Bay Rally, we figure we should make an official fun competition out of it. The more xtreme the better !! Remember its Apiti, and its winter!” says the Total Lubricants spokesman.

Rally Chairman John Clunie is delighted. “We are working hard to build this rally back to the iconic event it once was. With over 50 competitors confirmed already this is a step in the right direction.” Clunie continues, “Friendly and fun events have been the hallmark of regional rallying in the past, so it is great to see that this element is being promoted again.”

With less than 2 weeks to go until the rubber hits the Manawatu gravel the 2012 Daybreaker is looking set to be a fantastic event for the whole family.

  Competitors need to act fast if they are to secure their entry.  All of the official forms and information is available at

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