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Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Gelsomino have had a tough introduction to rallying in New Zealand’s South Island. Rally South Canterbury, round 4 of the New Zealand Rally Championship, served up a difficult rally with tricky road conditions for the pair who were competing in the South Island for the first time. The rally started early on Saturday morning and the challenging roads were dusted with ice on the morning loop. The roads were very difficult to read with so many crests and Reeves commented that it was difficult to judge the grip and get in a groove. On stage 4 and 5 the pair struggled with some car issues but re-built their speed back up the leader board. After a mid-event service, Reeves and Gelsomino headed back out to the stages with their eyes set on a podium place in their Force Motorsport Mazda2 AP4. They quickly climbed back up the leader board to sit in second place, 0.9 of a second in front of team owner, Andrew Hawkeswood. Going into the last stage of the rally at Levels Race Track, the pair were excited for a great battle but it was short lived. A warning light on the dash put the car into limp mode, causing them to drop just over a minute and a half and finish the event in eighth place. “What a tough rally,” Reeves said. “It was a very difficult end to the rally but we have to look at the positives. When things were going well our times were great so that gives us confidence.”
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