Van Klink on the pace at Otago
Kaiapoi’s Marcus van Klink has taken his second consecutive round win in this year’s Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ at the Otago Classic Rally over the weekend.
Heading into the event, van Klink was considered by many as a front running contender for the prestigious Otago Classic title that he won previously in 2012, as well as hot favourite for the NZRC Historic class.
The opening day saw van Klink have a consistent and uneventful run as he battled for the podium spots in the Otago Classic event, rounding out the day in third place and top NZRC competitor by close to seven minutes.
The second day saw van Klink move into second place for the classic rally on the day’s opening stage and a new stage record through the Waipori Gorge stage by almost 18 seconds saw van Klink and co-driver Dave Neill in a comfortable position heading into the Terrace Range stage through the fearsome Berwick Forest.
Unfortunately for van Klink, a combination of an error in recce and a change in light saw the Chesters Mazda RX-7 slip backwards off the road, thankfully becoming stuck on a drain pipe rather than slipping close to 100 metres down a bank.
With the help of the fellow RX-7 of Bert Murray, van Klink was able to regain the road having lost ten minutes. Although he was able to maintain a lead in the NZRC class until the end, any chance of a top result in the Otago Classic was gone and he dropped to sixth.
“I really have to thank Bert and Stu for helping us out, there was no way we were getting out without their help,” said van Klink. “It was frustrating, otherwise we had really good pace but at the end of the day it could have been a whole heap worse.”
The Klink Rallysport team now turn their attention to their home event, Rally Canterbury, on June 1.