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A fantastic first half of the New Zealand Rally Championship has seen Christchurch Casino Rally Team driver Matt Jansen in the envious position of not having to chase anyone to achieve his goal of becoming the 2009 NZRC rookie champion heading into the penultimate round, the Rally Wairarapa.

Jansen holds a 57 point lead over Sloan Cox in the junior championship so could wrap up that championship on the Masterton based event. As well as that, Jansen is 37 points ahead of Kieran Hall in the chase for top rookie.

“We are really stoked with the way we have been going this year. Apart from a few set up problems, we have had a reasonably good season so far,” Jansen said.

Not everything is in the Christchurch Casino Rally Team’s favour however. They have had limited testing time to set the car up and, having never been to the event before, are relying on TV footage to try and judge the nature of the roads.

The Rally Wairarapa kicks off from the small settlement of Pongaroa on Saturday, July 18 and takes in seven special stages around the area, returning to Pongaroa twice throughout the day for servicing.

The following day, the teams will leave the Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park in Masterton and contest eight stages north of the township, stopping twice for servicing in Eketahuna. Having covered a further 117 kilometres of special stages, the teams will return to Solway Park for the finish.

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