Cox on pace at Rally Otago
- 12th April 2011, 2:41pm
The brother and sister pairing of Sloan and Tarryn Cox have shown good pace at the opening round of the New Zealand Rally Championship, Rally Otago.
In the opening three stages run under the cover of darkness on Friday night, 19-year-old Cox made a strong start, although brake fade towards the end of the opening stage cost him time and he sat seventh at the overnight break, less than 20 seconds from the top five.
“The night stages were cool, but I was glad when they were over,” the reigning Junior champion commented.
With leg one results continuing from the previous evening, Cox made an early push with two fourth fastest times in the first two stages allowing the Rotorua driver to jump into sixth.
A further string of strong stage times left Cox in a strong position heading into the decisive 47 kilometre Berwick forest test. Cox set a strong pace early although he caught another competitor with eight kilometres to go and was unable to get the Taslo Engineering Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X past. Despite the hold-up, Cox was sixth fastest. The final stage, held on tarmac, saw Cox take the stage win for the second year in a row to round out the day in a solid sixth position.
Day two saw the Cox pair near to the pace they had set on the opening day as they once again held down sixth position heading into the penultimate stage. Unfortunately a rock on the inside of a corner would be the demise of the pair, the contact smashing a wheel rim and breaking a suspension arm and ending their charge.
“We just tucked in a bit tight and hit the rock,” said Cox. “It’s a shame because we were going so well, but at least the speed is encouraging.”
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