Double New Zealand Rally Champion Richard Mason's contractual arrangements in the China Rally Championship mean his bright yellow BNT Subaru will not start the fourth round of the Vantage Aluminium Joinery New Zealand Rally Championship [NZRC] - the TOMOANA Warehousing Rally of Hawkes Bay, which will be run tomorrow.
"We knew when we began driving in China that date clashes could happen - and did with the final [NZRC] round at Nelson last year, but in that case we had already won the title.

"This time we're in the middle of the series, so although that's unfortunate, it just gives us even more motivation to do a good job at [the next NZRC round] Rally New Zealand at the end of this month [August 30 - September 2].

"We seem to be making a bit of a habit of this 'Missing a Round' thing, but we have faced a lot worse obstacles in the past and know we are more than ready to come back and do our best to retain our Gold Star titles.

"Knowing that BNT and our other Sponsors are completely supportive of our continued participation in China is very reassuring and means we go back up there fully focused on getting the best result possible for our Chinese Team."

Mason will be back in a left hand drive Subaru this weekend for the Kaiyang round of the China Championship, not far from their last trip just three weeks ago in Guizhou province.

 From there it will be an immediate return home to continue preparing for Rally New Zealand - round 11 of the FIA World Rally Championship - where Richard and fiancee & co-driver Sara Randall will make their second appearance in the Production World Rally Championship [PWRC], having finished a stunning 2nd in the category and 10th Overall last year - the best ever result by a kiwi team.

"After putting together our own PWRC deal we are really looking forward to getting the chance to drive 'EVOETA' for the [Japanese/Belgian] SYMS Rally Team [as car #38] and, having got second last year, we’d like to go one better for sure this time.

"It will be great to fly the Kiwi flag at our own event against drivers from all over the world, especially this time as a fully-fledged entry in the WRC.”
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