Summerfield survives for strong showing
Rangiora’s Matt Summerfield has come away from the final round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, the GoPro Daybreaker Rally, having produced a mature drive that resulted in fourth place.
Heading to the final round, Summerfield and co-driving sister Nicole were part of a six way battle for the podium spots in the championship, giving the pair extra motivation for the 200km Manawatu-based event.
As one of the few teams writing their own pace notes, the Summerfields knew their best opportunity to attack would be the later stages of the event, which were used in the corresponding event last year, but set a strong pace to hold down fifth place in the early stages.
Concern grew after stage four when the Subaru began overheating and using large amounts of water, but the team were able to return to service still in a close fifth place, having briefly moved into fourth.
After earning some valuable bonus points on the power stage with fourth fastest time that also move them into fourth for the event, the pair’s predicted late event pace appeared and despite having to manage the overheating, were able to secure their fourth place with a string on top stage times.
The result also netted Matt fourth in the drivers championship while Nicole’s efforts for the season saw her rewarded with third in the co-drivers championship.
“It was certainly a tough event but in the end I’m really stoked to have a strong finish and some of the stage times for roads we had past notes for was particularly encouraging,” said Summerfield. “To get fourth this year is a pretty cool reward and for Nicole to get third is just awesome.”
The team now look to prepare the car for the Waimate 50 on labour weekend.
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.