New Zealand’s WRC rally weekend includes the Kiwi-2 competition class.
One of the three categories run at the fifth of six rounds in the 2007 Vantage Aluminium Joinery New Zealand Rally Championship, the Kiwi-2 cars run to a slightly different timetable.
A one-day single-leg contest the class head the Smartwood by Alpwood Possum Bourne Memorial Rally ’07.  Covering six stages and 130km of gravel the field will be led by multiple champion Dave Strong (Honda Civic).  The Auckland driver has been rewarded by consistency over defending champion Aaron Cook using his previous Honda Jazz.  Second in the series and the only one to match Strong’s result consistency is Andrew Keighley (Honda CRX) in another of Strong’s previous cars.
However third placed Reg Cook (Nissan Pulsar) is one competitor with a front-running history at Rally New Zealand events:
“My first one was the Heatway in 1972 and I’ve probably done about eight since with the last one in 1986.  We broke a lead to the battery otherwise we’d probably have been first Kiwi that time.  In 1985 we broke a gearbox while leading as first Kiwi.”
Returning to competition in 2005, Cook says these days competing is enough for him:
“Anything after the start line is a bonus.  It’s just something I do as my sport.  I’m only there to finish the day without being stupid.  I’m third and its just go out, compete and get experience for my team.  I’ve won six stages this year with two stage records.  I’m not going to chase the Honda’s.  I think in certain circumstances I can go as quick as the Honda’s (leading the series), but I’m building a (Nissan) Micra so am putting more effort in to that,” he said.
“It’s got nothing to do with what anyone thinks – you do it for the buzz.  Enjoying your life - doing the right thing; is a lot more important than anyone else’s perception.  I tend to be a competitor, but quite a recluse really – more of a doer.  Tomorrow is more important than yesterday.”
Separated from their fellow championship contenders, the Kiwi-2 cars will still get to enjoy the same roads covered by the World Rally Championship field.
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