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As a result of an almost perfect run through the first four rounds of this year’s Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship – driven by VINZ [NZRC], five times New Zealand Rally Champions Richard and Sara Mason find themselves in a unique situation at this weekend’s inaugural VINZ Gold Rush Rally of Coromandel.

Under the rules for the series, each competitor has to drop their lowest points score from one of the first 5 of the 6 round championship.

The Masons have won all four rounds held so far – in fact they are only 4 points short of the maximum total possible, after finishing second on Leg 2 at both Whangarei and Otago – so whatever result they achieve this weekend, can’t be any better than what they have already, so this will be their ‘dropped round’.

However the Masterton Flyers are anything but lacking in motivation, particularly after a two month break since they wrapped up the NZRC in record time at their home rally at Wairarapa at the end of June, as they are determined to pursue an unprecedented clean sweep of all six rounds.

“Our primary goal this year was to win our fifth [NZRC] title,” said Richard, “and to have achieved that at the earliest possible opportunity – and at home – was awesome.

“So with that under our belt, we are determined to keep this golden run of form going for as long as possible, especially as Sara is now tied with Bob Haldane for the most NZRC round wins by a Co-driver.

“It’s also great fun to go somewhere new and from what we are hearing about the nature of the roads to be used, the Coromandel has some seriously unforgiving territory lying in wait for us all this weekend.

“Apparently there is a real mixture, from fast wide forestry tracks to a ‘mini-Motu’ [very tight and twisty] on the Tapu-Coroglen stage, while the tarmac Super Stage in Whitianga is sure to be a heap of fun and a real crowd pleaser to wrap up the rally on Saturday afternoon.”

The VINZ Gold Rush Rally of Coromandel commences with a Rally Show, driver autograph session and Ceremonial Start on Blacksmiths Lane in Whitianga on Friday evening from 4.00pm. Saturday’s competitive action gets underway with the first special stage at 7.07am with a total of 135 kilometres of competition to be covered before the victory celebrations will be held from 4.00pm back in Whitianga, following the completion of the afternoon tarmac superspecial stage on Joan Gaskell Drive in Whitianga.

Photo Credit – Kate and Geoff Ridder.


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