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The BNT Mason Motorsport Team of Richard and Sara Mason's run of success at their 'Home' round of the New Zealand Rally Championship [NZRC] came to an abrupt halt with a high-speed accident when leading on Day Two of the Trust House Racetech Rally Wairarapa - last weekend July 18 & 19.
"We were within a kilometre of the end of stage 10 and really flying [the BNT Subaru's telemetry showing they were doing 165kph at the time] when our right rear wheel split in half as we entered a fast left hand corner," said Richard.
"The car never responded as the broken wheel dug in and we slid sideways down the road. The grooves down the road went for about 50 metres as we scrubbed off all that speed and I began to think 'Hey, we might just get away with this.'
"But unfortunately as we were about to come to a stop, both rims dug in just a little bit too much more and the car literally toppled over onto it's roof, which left us upside down on the side of the road."
Once out Sara and Richard were able to push the car back onto it's side, but no amount of effort by the two of them could get it back onto it's wheels.
"By then Dad [Randall], Tom [Mason] and Greg Horne [BNT] arrived [having seen it all unfold and run the kilometre in from the Stop Control] and between us we at last managed to rock the car enough to get it back onto it's wheels," said Sara.
Ironically, the 'Recovery Process' has probably done more damage than the accident itself, and in fact is so minor that the Team will still be back out testing again as planned, by the middle of this week.
"It really is amazing, and speaks volumes for the structural strength of the car, that we never even asked each other if we were all right, and the only thing that stopped us for the day was that it took so much time to right the car," said Sara.
"It's all rather unfortunate and we are now in a situation where even if we win at Nelson we can no longer win the Championship.
"So we will just have to make the best of the situation and focus on the next task at hand - and we hope to have more on that in the very near future."
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