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Rotorua’s Sloan Cox is aiming to build on the strong start he made to the Rally Xtreme series when round two gets underway at Rally Hawkes Bay this weekend.

Cox and co-driver Sarah Coatsworth started their Rally Xtreme campaign with a close fought second place, only three seconds behind the rally winner, Dylan Turner and start the Hawkes Bay event as one of the favourites to take victory.

Since that event, the team also paired up to contest the International Rally of Whangarei, holding down a solid podium spot amongst the New Zealand Rally Championship runners until becoming stuck on the side of the road in the final stage.

But with good speed, the Cox Motorsport team have only required minor changes and repairs to a faulty differential pump in the two weeks between events to ensure that the Taslo Engineering Mitsubishi Evo 10 is on the pace for the mixed-surface Hawkes Bay event.

Although only two years have passed since Cox last contested the Hawkes Bay event, only the two passes of the Triple Bridges stage out of nine will be familiar to the 21-year old. Adding to the challenge is not having the option of reconnaissance to check and modify the pace notes.

“I’m really looking forward to Hawkes Bay, we’ve had some really good speed so far this year and hopefully we can build on that,” says Cox. “Although most of the stages are new to us, Sarah and I have been working really well together so we should be up to the challenge.”

Rally Hawkes Bay runs on Sunday, covering nine special stages including one on tarmac and a limestone super special stage, to cover 130km of competitive distance.

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