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The BNT Mason Motorsport Team of Richard and Sara Mason have continued their perfect record of Production World Rally Championship [PWRC] podium finishes by finishing second at WRC Rally Australia last weekend - September 3-6 - and still remain the only New Zealanders to have ever scored a Top Three PWRC finish - and they have now done it three times.
 
In 2006 they were a Guest Entry at Rally New Zealand and finished 2nd.
 
In 2007 they drove for the Syms Rally Team from Japan and finished 3rd and now they have come home 2nd for Nasser Al-Attiyah's Barwa Rally Team from Qatar.
 
"We are really pleased to have been able to reward Nasser's Team with their 4th podium finish of the season and 2nd PWRC, the first Subaru [11th overall] and 3rd in Group N, which has resulted in us receiving trophies from STI [Subaru Tecnica International] over and above the ones we got on the Finish Ramp from the Rally Australia organisers," said a very satisfied Richard.
 
"The stages here were wickedly fast, but we more than held our own and the BNT Subaru did us proud as we set more Top Ten Stage Times than any other Group N team."
 
The consistency of their performance can be measured by the top placings they posted – 8 Stage Wins, 12 x 2nds and 3 x 3rds out of the 33 tests that made up this 10th round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
 
BNT Mason Motorsport was privileged to talk with George Donaldson, the General Manager of Group N Motorsport for STI, a fully owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries - the makers of Subaru vehicles.
 
The following are just some of his comments:
 
"I am absolutely delighted to congratulate Richard and Sara on yet another fantastic result for Subaru in the PWRC and how memorable it was to see them challenging some of the world's top drivers so hard for stage victories.
 
“Their performance this weekend confirms that Richard has earned his status on the wider international stage as an absolutely top player and on top of that it is brilliant to welcome this ebullient character to the PWRC series whenever the opportunity arises.
 
“It only makes us realise even more, how much he can contribute to the Subaru Family should he be able to gain the required support to compete in the series.
 
“And when you consider Richard was driving the older 2007 model Subaru, and we know the 2008 car is considerably quicker, to us that underlines Richard's remarkable ability and performance to an even greater degree.
 
“In the meantime we look forward to seeing Richard in NZ in 2010 and it remains only to again say what a superb job he and Sara did this weekend,” concluded the former boss of the Toyota, Mitsubishi and Subaru works teams.
 
"To receive such praise from the highest levels of STI makes all the effort by our BNT Mason Motorsport Team so rewarding and we can go home very proud of and satisfied with our result.”
 
“We also must take this opportunity to thank our major Backers for this latest adventure, as without the support of Greg Horne at BNT and Murray Coote at MCA Suspension and Dwight Scott at ScottSpeed Performance Engines none of this would have been possible at all.”
 
The final outing for the BNT Mason Motorsport Team in 2009 is just 10 days away in Nelson for the final round of this year’s New Zealand Rally Championship, so it’s again a busy time getting the BNT Subaru back into it’s container and shipped back across the Tasman.
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