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A devastated Richie Dalton will miss the first three rounds of the New Zealand Rally Championship after major wiring problems were discovered in his brand-new Ford Fiesta Proto.

Richie Dalton's Fiesta is set to miss at least another two NZRC rounds.The Australian-based Irishman was to have contested the Otago Rally last weekend, however, the late arrival of the car from Poland (where the build started) meant the Fiesta wasn’t ready in time for its scheduled debut.

Since then, things have got even worse, and the car won’t be seen on the stages for some time yet.

“The contractor we got to wire the car has left us in a complete mess. We had nothing working on the steering wheel, no diff settings, no lights, among other things,” Dalton told RallySport Magazine.

“So we got in an expert to go through it and do a systems check and try fix the problems.
What he found was astonishing,

“All the wiring was too small to carry the proper voltage to the PDMs, and the pins were also too small to carry the power.

“For example, the lights were 40 amps, but the wire and plug was good for only 17 amps. So the lights would go on, then turn off. The PDM would power it up again, but it would go off again.

“We had the same issues with the paddle shift, compressor, diff controller, and so on.
The plug in the back of the alternator was already melted.

“If we did manage to enter the rally in Jenolan as a test last weekend, there's no doubt it would have burned to the ground,” Dalton added.

“Dashsport in Sydney did an incredible job building the car, and I can’t thank them enough, but the wiring contractor we used was not associated with the team in any way.”

On advice, the Shamrock Motorsport team have been advised to remove all the wiring looms from the car and start again from scratch.

The car will be re-wired, starting over Easter, meaning the team will miss the first three rounds of the NZRC, with Dalton now unsure whether it’s even worth sending the car to New Zealand for just three championship rounds

“It's devastating news and very hard to swallow,” he said.

“I've lost a lot of money, but more painful is I've lost out on competing in this year’s championship.”

- Peter Whitten

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