Dominant performance from van Klink at South Canterbury
Christchurch’s Marcus van Klink has produced a near faultless drive to record a solid class victory and top ten overall result at the South Canterbury Rally, the fourth round of the New Zealand Rally Championship, held over the weekend.
As a new event on the calendar, the Timaru-based rally represented a new challenge on some of the fastest roads in the calendar. Despite the early frosty and icy conditions, van Klink was immediately the fastest of the two-wheel drive cars and disgraced many of his four-wheel drive rivals to 11th fastest stage time.
About the only blot on the copy book for van Klink across the day was a rather public spin at a junction in stage three, but the Buteline Mazda RX-8 was still leading the chasing pack in the Gull Rally Challenge outright as well as the two-wheel drive class when the teams made the first service.
As the day warmed up, the pace continued and by stage seven van Klink and co-driver Dave Neill had worked their way into the top ten outright amongst one of the most competitive fields seen at an NZRC event in recent years.
With a top ten result looking secure, van Klink let his hair down on the final stage around Levels Raceway near Timaru, putting on a display that entertained the crowd. For van Klink, it was the perfect way to finish off one of his strongest days behind the wheel of the triple-rotor powered RX-8.
“I’m pretty chuffed really, it couldn’t have really gone any better all day and to not only win the two-wheel drive class, but the overall Gull Challenge is pretty awesome,” said van Klink, who was awarded a drum of Gull fuel for his result. “It was a new event and we really, really enjoyed it, the fast roads were awesome!”
The Klink Rallysport team now assess their options as to their next event.