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Former New Zealand Rally Champions Richard and Sara Mason are delighted to have another chance to match themselves and their BNT Subaru against the world's best Production Class [PWRC] drivers, when the World Rally Championship [WRC] returns to New Zealand in five weeks' time - May 6 - 9.
 
This is the second time the Rally NZ organisers have awarded the Masterton Flyers this coveted opportunity to represent New Zealand as a Wildcard or Guest Entry in the PWRC. In 2006 they brought their 2001 model Subaru home in 2nd place, in what was widely reported as one of the drives of the rally - particularly in a 5 year old car against state-of-the-art and more powerful machinery.
 
Since then the Masons have run in the PWRC for two international teams in two different countries, and on each occasion have recorded podium finishes.
 
In WRC Rally NZ 2007 they drove for the Syms Rally Team (Japan) and finished 3rd, and last year in WRC Rally Australia they represented the Barwa Rally Team from Qatar, finishing 2nd as well as being the highest placed Subaru, and were recognised for that with an award from Subaru Japan.
 
So in the 23 year history of the Production World Rally Championship, the Masons remain the only Kiwis to score a podium finish - and they have done that on all three outings.
 
"We are rapt Rally New Zealand have picked us to try to uphold Kiwi Honour against the world's best," said Richard, "and to get special dispensation from the FIA to carry number 40 [to mark this being the 40th running of Rally New Zealand] makes it all just that extra bit special."
 
"We have learnt so much from getting in amongst these top teams through our past opportunities, and it really seems to bring out the best in us as our previous successes show. So we are confident that, once again, we can give them all a good run for their money."
 
The cost of a PWRC round entry is around $NZ 7,000 (3,650 Euros) and, with other benefits, makes this prize worth over $NZ 8,000.
 
"To know that some of the not inconsiderable cost of competing in a WRC round is covered by this award is huge for us, and we are very honoured that RallyNZ see us as being worthy of their investment in achieving the result that we all want - not only for ourselves, but for the Event, the Sport and the thousands of fans who line the stages and visit the Service Parks and cheer us on."
 
"Rest assured, now armed with our brand new bright yellow BNT Subaru, we will be giving it our absolute all to achieve the one podium position that is currently missing from our CV."
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