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Scott Pedder and Dale Moscatt’s plans to finish strongly at the Rally Whangarei on New Zealand’s North Island as a prelude to their upcoming WRC2 campaign has ended prematurely with a blown engine.

Pedder had been sitting comfortably in third behind the factory Skoda pairing of Gurav Gill and Fabian Kreim when just two kilometres into the Tapuhi stage the engine on his Renault Clio suddenly began to run noisily then ground to a painful halt.
“Rally cars don’t tend to go far with a hole the size of a fist through the bottom of the engine,” exclaimed Pedder on his return to the service park. “It looks like the rod has punched a hole through the block and taken the oil and water lines out with it.”
Pedder said there had been no sign in the lead up to the failure. “The first I knew it began to run loud, I thought maybe we’d broken the exhaust,” he said. “Then the windscreen was covered in oil and we knew it was the end of the rally.”
“It’s such a shame because the car is so unbelievable to drive, and up to that point we were going really well.”
Pedder and Moscatt were sitting comfortably in third, with a four and a half minute gap to Japanese driver Makoto Kawahara’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII in fourth. “The gravel this morning on the first stage was incredible thick, so to be within half a second a kilometre of the Skoda’s was actually quite surprising.”
“On the second I probably made the wrong choice on the tyre compound and it went off midway through the stage, then on the next the engine blew, and that’s it,” added Pedder
The Australian duo now look ahead to the Rally de Portugal, the opening Round of their 2016 WRC2 campaign in a fortnight’s time where they’ll be running a Skoda Fabia R5 identical to those campaigned in New Zealand by Gill and Kreim.

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