2009 Rookie and Junior New Zealand Rally Champion, Matt Jansen, suffered another character building time at last weekend's Rally New Zealand, when his MITECH WELDERS Subaru blew the gearbox midway through the opening stage.
"Two rallies and not even one stage time to our name," said Matt. "I just couldn't believe it, but at least this time we could replace the gearbox and start again on the Sunday.
"But 3 Legs and Zero points, and the new Points Scoring System [which is weighted heavily in favour of finishing rather than being the fastest] means that any chance of a decent placing in the championship this year is gone, so the main objective on Sunday was to get as much seat time as possible."
Matt and Co-driver Jason Farmer completed all six stages 7th in the GoldStar category, and by at last recording some times, were amazed at how much the pace of the other competitors has increased since last year.
"We thought we had done reasonably well in the opening tests, but when we compared our times we realised just how much faster everyone else is going this season..
"With the road conditions being so damp we made some experimental cuts [removing small pieces of the tread] in our DMACK tyres to help improve our grip levels, but through Whaanga Coast we found the road was in fact drier overall and we soon realised we had gone too far with the amount of cutting we had done.
"But this is now what our season is all about - trying different settings and options to see just what works best for us and the car - and to get us back onto the pace of our key opposition.
"We no longer have any pressure about risking losing championship points, so the rest of the year will be spent getting as much 'live' testing as possible to set us up for next season," concluded Matt.
The PMTMotorsport Team have taken the MITECH WELDERS Subaru back to Christchurch for further developmental work as the next round of the New Zealand Rally Championship is only two weeks' away - the Trusthouse Racetech Rally Wairarapa - which is based in Masterton over the weekend of May 27 - 29.

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