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Team Taslo have made steps in the right direction at round two of the New Zealand Rally Championship, a complete contrast to the disastrous opening round six weeks earlier.

The team spent further time with Geof Argyle testing their Taslo Engineering Evo X pre-event, with results that saw the team happy with progress. This showed through with Sloan Cox and co-driver David Calder straight on the pace with their Junior rivals.

The battle for top Junior on day one was intense all day with Cox and rival Matt Jansen swapping the honour several times over the course of the day. Going into the final tarmac super special Cox held the Junior lead and seventh in the Group N field to setup the spectacle that was to follow. Jansen went first into the popular spectator stage but struck trouble, leaving young Sloan to show maturity beyond his 17 years by recording 4th fastest overall stage time and take maximum junior championship points.

With Otago being the first round Cox had nominated for the Rally New Zealand Rising Stars International competition, he finished both legs holding third place in the battle for the $50,000 prize towards contesting international events for 2010. It was a creditable performance by the young Rotorua driver, taking maximum points on one stage and further four second places over the weekend.

Sloan was once again top Junior for the second day but in a more convincing manner, the eventual margin just shy of 45 seconds. The weekend’s results move the team from 14th to 10th in the Group N points chase and from 10th to 3rd in the Junior championship.

"It took half of the first leg for me to get comfortable trusting my own notes so I could drive to them on the amazing and technical Otago roads" commented a reflective Cox.

The team now set their sights on round three, International Rally Whangarei giving Cox a chance to prove himself against the best drivers from the Asia-Pacific region.

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