Hall hits the front after Rally Wairarapa
- 22nd July 2009, 9:35am
Nelson's Kieran Hall and Peter Hart in the Southfuels-sponsored Subaru have produced yet another outstanding and rewarding result at the penultimate round of this year's New Zealand Rally Championship, Rally Wairarapa, last weekend July 18 & 19.
Their impressive drive secured a second consecutive podium finish in the GoldStar Championship, whilst a third Round Win in the Rookie Championship now sees Hall take the lead in that series.
Hall and Hart fought hard to hunt down the leaders and get back in front in the Rookie title chase and they are now up to fourth overall in the National Championship with the final round to be run in Nelson on September 19 & 20.
Hall opted to use the Wairarapa Rally to get his first experience of the hard compound WRC Control Tyre that he will have to use at WRC Rally Australia for the Pirelli Star Driver Final Shootout in September. This tyre choice in the prevailing conditions certainly did appear to have him a little off his usual pace in the tight technical, slippery stages that he usually enjoys, but it still needed to be tried.
An unsettling incident in the first stage resulted in some major panel damage and Hall was left questioning his â€œin-car confidenceâ€ whilst also ruing his tyre choice in the slippery muddy conditions.
However, with some team strategy and a switch back to the trusted and familiar Dunlop tyres, he knuckled down for the rest of the day's stages to restore his confidence, draw closer to his rivals and hunt down the rookie leader. Although the car was looking a little worse for wear, its performance and handling was not affected, with Hall finishing Day One in seventh place overall.
Day Two saw the Southfuels Subaru start some 25 seconds in arrears for overall Rookie honours for this round and a fierce battle was about to heat up with the overnight leader Kingsley Thompson.
Hallâ€™s positive 'Never Give Up' attitude, along with his in-car confidence was restored and the best Dunlop tyres fitted, they were digging deep and fighting hard.
The battle swung this way and that until the second to last stage when Hall finally bridged the gap and led by a very slender two seconds, and his sterling effort on the last stage saw him stretch his lead by a further seven seconds to claim the Rookie win and finish the rally on the podium third in the GroupN 4WD class and fourth overall for the rally.
The team will now re-group and focus on the task in hand, the pursuit of the Pirelli Star Driver Shootout that takes place in Australia in early September. Hall earned the right to attend this Asia-Pacific Region Shootout by qualifying as the second placed New Zealander under the age of 27 at the FIA Asia Pacific Rally of Whangarei earlier last month.
Team Hall Motorsport have commenced a fundraising effort to enable Kieran and Peter to attend this event. Check out the website www.hallmotorsport.co.nz for details.
The team would like to thank their loyal group of sponsors for their continued support:
Southfuels * Northfuels * Dunlop * Discover New Zealand Motorhomes * Signs & Stripes * FAV Mobile Solutions * Winger Subaru Hamilton * DCH * Scottspeed Performance Engines * Beaurepaires * Tasman Crop Protection * Kustom Fabrication * The Collision Centre Richmond * Dynamic Raceparts *
And very special thanks to Richard & Sara Mason and the BNT Mason Motorsport Team.
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