Summerfield looks at what may have been

Matt Summerfield  Rally Otago_Copyright Jason Byrne-1

Photo: Jason Byrne – alittlebitsideways.co.nz

Rangiora’s Matt Summerfield has been left looking at what might have been at the second round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the Drivesouth Otago Rally.

Sitting second in the NZRC standings after the opening round, Summerfield was left frustrated when a broken head stud in the engine lead to a blown head gasket on the opening special stage.

The team made the decision to withdraw from the opening day and with the generous offer of a workshop from Alastair Gilmour, set about removing the engine a replacing the head gaskets.

With the Castrol Edge Subaru back up and running for day two, Summerfield and co-driving sister Nicole set out to score bonus points for the second day and also the power stage.

After easing into the opening stage with sixth fastest, Summerfield was in the top four on each of the days remaining six stages, culminating in a maiden NZRC stage win on the final stage of the event, the iconic Kuri Bush, which also offered bonus points as the power stage.

The charge paid off and Summerfield was second fastest across the day behind internet Gymkhana sensation Ken Block, taking maximum NZRC points for the leg.

“It’s awesome to take so much away from Sunday, especially my first NZRC stage win, it really leaves us looking at what may have been after the day one failure,” said Summerfield. “I really have to thank the crew, most teams would have given up and gone home, but they dug deep and also thanks to Alastair Gilmour for letting us use his workshop.”

The Matt Summerfield team sit third in the NZRC heading to their home round, Rally Canterbury, on May 30-31. It is an event Summerfield has won in the past prior to it holding NZRC status.

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.

       

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The New Zealand Rally Championship is this country’s premier nationwide rally championship. It attracts New Zealand’s best drivers to compete in numerous categories for the prestigious MotorSport New Zealand-sanctioned rally championship titles. In 2019, there are six NZRC rounds, each with a unique character reflecting the diverse regions – from Northland to Otago.