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Whangarei (NZ) driver, Kirsty Nelson, claimed an excellent result at the weekends Rally of New Zealand where she came home as the sixth placed Kiwi after three days of gruelling competition amongst the world's best rally drivers.

Placing 31st overall in the World Rally Championship standings, Nelson also took the honour of being the first lady home in front of fellow NZRC driver Emma Gilmour in 33rd and Japan's Kozue Oi who finished 43rd.

Her previous best placing amongst the NZ Rally Championship contenders was when she finished eighth in Round Three at the Rally of Wairarapa in June.

Seventeen year old Nelson, along with co-driver, Michelle Brunt, had a relatively smooth rally with only minor problems which included an extensive search by her father Peter to source an elusive replacement part for the Subaru WRX's steering rack.

"It was great to be in the international rally. They were extremely well organised and everything ran very smoothly. Our rally was the same and we got a great result," said Nelson.

Kirsty Nelson now hangs up her gloves and helmet for the remainder of the season while she concentrates on school and exams, before starting university next year. Consequently she will miss the last round of the NZ Rally Championship at the Rally of Nelson later this month and will have competed in just four out of six rounds this season.

After spending this year at
Cromwell College
in Otago, she will head back to the family farm in Waiotira for the summer where she and father Peter will conduct some serious testing in the Subaru WRX in preparation for a complete and competitive 2008 NZRC season.

"We're going to put the car away until Kirsty comes home for the summer. Then we will do some hard out testing on the car and seriously look at what we can do with the car and what set ups we can use for the upcoming season," Peter Nelson said.

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