Masons the class of New Zealand rallying
The Masterton husband and wife pairing of Richard and Sara Mason have created New Zealand Rallying history by winning todays Trusthouse Racetech Rally of Wairarapa. The victory on home roads, secured the 2014 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, a record fifth National rally title for Richard.
The Mason’s produced a masterclass of driving on their home event, winning all nine stages on their way to the rally win, championship victory and the history books of New Zealand rallying.
The Masons in their familiar bright yellow BNT Subaru Impreza, dominated the 163 kilometre event over flowing gravel roads, with a winning margin of two minutes and fourty four seconds over second placed Ben Hunt of Nelson. A fast start on the opening 33 kilometre stage, 49.6 seconds faster than rival Hunt was a crucial blow against the competition.
Richard crossed the finish in Masterton ecstatic with the result, “To wrap up the title at home after such a dominant year really is the icing on the cake” stated Mason. “It was the dying wish of our long term supporter and sponsor Greg Horne who passed earlier this year, that we would take a fifth championship, and we’ve done it for him.”
Nelsons Ben Hunt again proved his front running pace with a strong drive to second unchallenged behind Mason. Third place went to Tauranga Mitsubishi Lancer Evo driver David Holder and Ben Hawkins, their third consecutive podium result in the National championship. A consistent trouble free run lifts Holder to third also in the championship after four rounds. Te Arohas Graeme Featherstone finished fourth after another fast consistent drive, and Rangioras Matt Summerfield secured fifth after a challenging day with technical issues.
The class battles went to Hawkesbay Max Bayley in 2WD, following another impressive drive, Open 2WD to Cambridge Toyota 86 driver Brent Taylor, and BNT Historics were dominated by Kaiapoi’s Marcus Van Klink in the spectacular Group B Mazda RX7.
It was a tough event for several crews with Lance Williams who was second in the championship heading into this event having an offroad excursion in special stage one. Dunedin’s Emma Gilmour rolled out of the event on special stage two in her Suzuki Swift, while Brian Green retired with a broken gear selector leaving his Evo X stuck in second gear.
The 2014 Brian Green Property New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, now breaks for two months before resuming at round five, the all new Gold Rush Rally of Coromandel.
The 2014 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ is contested over 6 rounds across the nation – Rally of Whangarei, 11-13 April; Rally of Otago, 10-11 May; Canterbury Rally, 01-02 June; Rally Wairarapa, 28 June; Rally Coromandel, 23 August; Daybreaker Rally (Manawatu), 27 September.
2014 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ – Points after round 4 of 6
1. Richard Mason (Masterton – Subaru Impreza) 144
2. Ben Hunt (Nelson – Subaru Impreza) 58
3. David Holder (Tauranga – Mitsubishi Lancer) 54
4. Matt Summerfield (Rangiora – Subaru Impreza) 49
5. Lance Williams (Te Aroha – Subaru Impreza) 46
6. Graeme Featherstone (Te Aroha – Mitsubishi) 30
7. Phil Campbell (Tauranga – Mitsubishi) 20
8=. Matt Jansen (Christchurch – Subaru Impreza) 18
8=. Richard Baddock (Christchurch – Subaru) 18
10= Chris West (Timaru – Mitsubishi Lancer) 17
10= Andrew Hawkeswood (Auckland – Mazda 2) 17