Summerfield puts more points on the board
Rangiora’s Matt Summerfield has struggled to a solid fifth place finish at round four of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, the Trusthouse Racetech Rally Wairarapa.
Summerfield and co-driving sister Nicole headed to the Masterton based event looking to recover from a disastrous Rally Canterbury where the pair suffered engine failure.
The pair were also able to conduct their pre-event preparations alongside Richard and Sara Mason, who were able to give the pair invaluable advice and help put them in the right frame of mind leading into reconnaissance and the rally itself.
Unfortunately from the very first stage, a return of some of the symptoms that led to the engine failure in Canterbury returned and Summerfield immediately turned the anti-lag off to ensure the car would make it through the event. Despite this, the 22-year old set a pair of top ten stage times to sit eighth heading into the opening service.
While Summerfield took a cautious approach through next group of stages, the treacherous conditions saw the tactic work in his favour as he moved up to a strong fifth position by the end of the fifth stage, a position he would hold to the end of the event.
“It was a tough event for us, unfortunately we couldn’t push the car right from the start but plenty of other people had trouble and while it’s not the way we wanted to do it, fifth place still gives us a good haul of points and keeps us in the hunt for a championship podium,” said Summerfield. “I also have to thank the Masons for taking us under their wing this weekend, it was a huge privilege and very beneficial for us.”
The Matt Summerfield Rallisport team now look forward to the VINZ Goldrush Rally, round five of the NZRC, to be held in the Coromandel on August 23.
Matt Summerfield Rallisport would like to acknowledge their sponsors, without whom their 2014 campaign would not be possible: Castrol Edge, Autotech Services, NAC Insurance, North Canterbury Energy Centre, The Gearbox Company, Chatterton Builders, Gull Fuels, Liquorland, Ashby Engineering, I C Frith Insurance Brokers and No Limit Construction.