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Rally driver Nathan Tough and co-driver Samantha Gray finished third in the Category 2 2WD at last weekend’s Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel. The rally was round four the Brain Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, and this was the pair’s first time entered in this class, with it also being Nathan’s first NZRC event. The podium finish wasn’t an easy task to achieve, as they experienced multiple mechanical issues throughout the day, including overheating and an oil fire, but Tough and Gray persevered and got their Honda CRX to the finish line. “We had a challenging day. At the first service I thought it was all over but we managed to keep the car running and got to the finish, even with the mechanical problems and the car filling with smoke on stage four,” Gray said. “Nathan was putting out some great times and it was a real credit to him to get the car to the finish and on the podium. “Attending both the Motorsport NZ Elite Motorsport academy and the Rally NZ Co-driver’s academy, I felt very prepared for the event. I have been seeing a sport psychologist provided by the Elite academy leading up to this rally, which helped me get into the right head space, and helped me cope with the pressures that are involved with competing in a national series.” “The Rally NZ academy helped me with pacenotes, regulations and general preparation for the event, and there is a mega amount of behind the scenes preparation that goes into a rally from both the co-driver and the driver, therefore, everything I learnt at the academy helped me make sure that nothing goes wrong on the co-driver’s side,” she added. Nathan backed this up saying: “Sam was excellent on the notes all day, keeping a clear head, even continuing to read the pace notes while having an off road excursion. “To get on the podium of our first NZRC event was a great result.” Next year Nathan hopes to contest the entire championship with the goal of winning the Category 2 title.
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