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Glenn Inkster has experienced some of the highest highs and the lowest lows all in the space of one day at the iconic Ashley Forest Rallysprint, setting times placing him at the top of the leader board until clutch failure ended his run.

Last year the team ran in the rally class which meant that they had to run with the turbo restrictor in. Although entered in the open class which allowed the removal of the restrictor, the team opted to keep in the 34mm restrictor that was required during their New Zealand Rally Championship campaign for the duration of the qualifying day.

A misfire slowed progress and Inkster set third fastest time on the opening run and again on the second run. The crew changed a faulty crank angle sensor for the third run and Inkster jumped from a 1:04.11 to a 1:01.70 to end the day as the pace setter.

Overnight the crew set to work removing the turbo restrictor and tuning for higher octane fuel and the last qualification run saw Inkster go so close to breaking the magic minute barrier, piloting the TransNet Evo to a 1:00.26 straight out of the box.

The elimination runs then proceeded with the fastest 32 qualifiers being chopped in half. Inkster qualified comfortably as the fastest and became the first man to go under the magic minute barrier for the weekend with a 59.66 sec pass and then backed it up with a stunning 58.81 sec pass, all done on the same set of used tyres that were bolted on the car for Saturday morning.

A vibration from the drive train during that run was diagnosed as a faulty clutch and the crew with the help of Chris Little (Choice) from Ralliart NZ set to work replacing it. However the damage done meant that the gearbox would not come off the engine and accessing the clutch to replace it was impossible within the given time period.

New tyres were fitted and despite the clutch slipping Inkster went faster again with a 58.57 to be fastest qualifier into the top four run off. Unfortunately on the next run, the clutch deteriorated so badly the car lost drive and recorded a 1.13.89, meaning fourth place was the best result Team TransNet Extreme could achieve on the day, handing victory to Steve Murphy in the hybrid Mitsubishi Cordia V8.

“Well done to Steve, he did a great job and deserves his win. Unfortunately we had the pace but we couldn’t get to the end. It just means we have to come back next year and have a serious crack at not only the win but the course record as well,” Inkster said.

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