Dream start for Summerfield
Rangiora’s Matt Summerfield has made a dream start to his campaign in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, banking a solid third place finish in Rally Whangarei. The off-season saw Summerfield move to a new Subaru and with no chance to test the car, headed to Whangarei looking for a solid finish.
The opening day saw Summerfield and co-driving sister Nicole steadily increase their pace to sit fifth at the lunch break, a position they would hold until the end of the day. It was the stage times however that really did the talking in the afternoon, including a top three time on stage seven.
The shorter day two saw Summerfield attack the day with a lot more confidence and despite touching a bank, opened the day with the third fastest time, moving him to within striking distance of Phil Campbell. With three stages remaining, the gap still sat at 14 seconds, but a spectacular time on the day’s longest stage saw the deficit become a lead.
In the end, Summerfield would hold on to third place by just 2.4 seconds and with the retirement of David Holder late in the day, the battle for fourth became the battle for third. With American driver Ken Block ineligible for championship points, the Summerfield pairing leave the opening round sitting in second place.
“The result was more than we could have ever dreamed of in a new car to us, it is just the best start to the championship we could imagine,” said Summerfield. “A lot of people have helped us get here, thanks to Andrew Hawkeswood for the use of his workshop and Brad Ayling has given us a car we just don’t need to worry about, it works awesomely.”
Matt Summerfield Rallisport would like to acknowledge their sponsors, without whom their 2014 campaign would not be possible: Castrol Edge, Autotech Services, North Canterbury Energy Centre, The Gearbox Company, Chatterton Builders, Liquorland, I C Frith Insurance Brokers and No Limit Construction.