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When the New Zealand Rally Championship comes to Nelson for its final round this weekend, Christchurch Casino Rally Team driver Matt Jansen will have plenty to fight for, being in strong contention to wrap up both the Rookie and Junior classes in the New Zealand Rally Championship.

Together with co-driver Jason Farmer, Jansen was comfortably in the lead of both championships heading into the previous round of the championship in the Wairarapa but a tough weekend that ended stuck off the road saw them drop behind Keiran Hall in the rookie title chase.

“The last round was a bit of a struggle from the start with handling problems on the first day and a wrongly written pace note on the second day putting an end to the rally,” Says Farmer.

In the two-month break since the event, the whole Christchurch Casino Rally Team has been hard at work to help them not only catch Hall for the rookie title but defend their 30 point lead over Sloan Cox in the Junior title hunt.

Apart from the opening round in Hawkes Bay, the team have struggled to get the car’s suspension set up right. In an aim to sort this, the Christchurch Casino Subaru has received the latest design suspension from Proflex, the first Subaru to receive this upgrade in the southern hemisphere. This poses a challenge with regards to set up as there is no data to compare with, however testing has allowed the team to come up with a set up that should work.

“We have spent a couple of days testing with both the New Zealand and Australian distributors of Proflex and we have finally figured out how to make the suspension work the way we want. It couldn’t have come at a better time as there is a lot riding on the results at the next rally,” said Jansen.

The Rally Nelson will run on September 19 and 20, changing back to a two-day format that hasn’t been run since 2006. Over the two days the teams will cover nearly 275 competitive kilometres split into 12 special stages that range from forestry to public roads.

“Nelson is one of those events that really isn’t over until it’s over - there is always the risk of a puncture in the forestry stages and more often than not there is a sting in the tail.” Jansen added.

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