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Nelson driver Dominick Unterberger has shown his fellow Fiesta drivers the way by taking victory at the final round of the New Zealand Fiesta Sporting Trophy Series, Rally Nelson, however he couldn’t stop Whangarei’s Ben Jagger from wrapping up the championship.

With Jagger needing only to finish the opening day to claim his first national title, he took a conservative approach from the start, leaving Ben Hunt and Daniel Harris to battle for the top spot throughout day one that eventually went in Hunt’s favour. Unterberger held down third over the opening day, a battle with Jagger ending on stage three ending when Jagger punctured.

The second day saw the newly crowned champion Jagger release the shackles and he was equal fastest with Harris over the opening test. Hunt joined in on the act, 13 seconds faster than Jagger. A puncture for Harris didn’t provide much damage on the time sheets but when he suffered another on the following stage, he was forced to retire.

The drama followed a stage later when a broken stub axle and subsequent loss of wheel, forced Hunt’s retirement, leaving Jagger to cruise to a second leg victory.

Unterberger struggled to keep pace with the leading trio but his ability to keep out of trouble and avoid the punctures Nelson is so famous for, left him almost two and a half minutes clear of Jagger for the weekend, the perfect way for him to round out a difficult debut season. Unterberger was also the first two-wheel drive car across the ramp, the fourth time this season a Fiesta has taken this honour.

A surprise for all was the late change for Patrick Malley, trading in his Fiesta for an Evo 9 which he drove to a very creditable third overall, crediting his time in a Fiesta.

“The time in the Fiesta has been an integral part of the speed and success we have achieved in the Evo this weekend," Malley said.

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