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Callum McInnes and David Calder have finished their second season in the New Zealand Rally Championship with a sixth place at Rally Nelson in the Milkbar Subaru Impreza.

The performance capped off a tough year for the Milkbar Rally Team that was frustrating at times, however a manufacturer overhaul of the Impreza’s suspension prior to the final round of the championship gave McInnes instant feedback at the one-day Nelson event.

“The new suspension valving really worked and we were really happy with the results,” McInnes commented.

“The car was much more responsive and stuck to the road far better than it has before. We were treating the event as a test weekend for the 2009 season, so we certainly fulfilled our goal.”

McInnes just missed out on a top six championship finish after battling with Dunedin’s Emma Gilmour in the final rounds. Gilmour found a turn of speed at Rally New Zealand and then Nelson, where she finished third overall, which McInnes admittedly couldn’t counter.

“It was clear from the first stage that Emma was just too quick for us on the day. With that in mind we continued to focus on the car’s development. In hindsight, we were probably a bit too over-cautious on Nelson’s fast roads, but to finish was the aim and we did that which is great.”

With that, Callum McInnes has finished his second year in the New Zealand Rally Championship in seventh place, having picked up far more than he anticipated along the way and with increased confidence in his Milkbar Subaru Impreza in preparation for the 2009 season.

An eight month off-season now lies ahead for the NZRC competitors; however McInnes and Calder will be hanging up their helmets later than most, with plans to compete in the 25th running of the Turners Auctions Daybreaker Rally on Saturday October 11.

The single-day, ten stage event held across the Central North Island features stints on the infamous Saddle Road and at the Manfeild Autocourse, normally used for circuit racing. The event will not only be an enjoyable and pressure-free end to the season for the Milkbar Rally Team, but also an important follow up to Nelson to continue vehicle development for next season.
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