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Ayson impressive on Pirelli Rally debut

Derek Ayson in full flight in the Pirelli International Rally. Photo: Chicane Media / James Ward

South Island Escort driver, Derek Ayson, has finished an impressive seventh in the Pirelli International Rally in the UK.

Held in the infamous (and tricky) Keilder Forest, Ayson drove a Wales Motorsport Escort owned by Meirion Evans – a driver who has previously contested the Otago and Silver Fern rallies.

“A huge thanks to Meirion and Ann Evans for their generosity and warm welcome for us to come and stay with them in Wales,” Ayson said.

“The opportunity to drive one of the best prepared Historic BDG Escorts in the infamous Kielder Forest in the UK was a dream come true! The Escort was superb to drive and performed faultlessly all day.

“The second pass through SS2 and SS3 was very rough after the R5 and 4WDs had run it twice, so I had to take a slightly different line in places, plus torrential rain made visibility very average at times.

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“I must take my hat off to my co-driver Dale Furniss. How he was able to call the notes precisely with zero vision has me beat! A truly professional job all day Dale and we had a few laughs along the way too! 😉

“We were stoked to come away with 7th overall Historic amongst a field of seriously fast drivers!

“A great experience and something totally different to what I’m used to! Makes me really appreciate the roads in NZ!”

More NZ rally news:

Feature car: The world’s first (and only?) Rovenger

Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media.

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