Perseverance is a virtue for any rally driver and it paid off at the Tauranga Clubmans Rally for Sloan and Tarryn Cox, who ended the day with a podium finish.

The day started well with a strong fourth place however the second stage of the rally saw clutch failure and Cox dropped 25 seconds. The team was unable to effect repairs during the twenty minute service, meaning Cox dropped a further minute through the next two stages. Extra service time at lunch enabled the crew to undertake a clutch change, albeit 11 minutes over time.

The fifth stage saw Cox get back on the pace he has shown in the past, powering the Taslo Engineering Evo 10 through the stage 8.5 seconds quicker than anyone else over the 12 kilometre special stage.

Just when a comeback looked on the cards, a misfire developed, robbing the car of the vital power needed for the fast forestry roads that made up stages six and seven.

Despite the misfire, Cox had worked his way from 18th place at lunch up to sixth place heading into the final stage. He then won the final stage after service, 9.3 seconds faster than rally winner Patrick Malley who was the stage runner-up. But more surprises were in store.

Three cars in front of Cox in the results, Brent Taylor, Karl Douglas and Alex Kelsey all left the road on the same corner, giving each of them punctures. That meant that what seemed like an impossible podium finish at lunch time had turned into a surprise third place.

“It was a tough day with the clutch problems and the miss in the afternoon, but we battled on and in the end finished up in third spot,” said 18 year old driver, Sloan Cox.

Cox Motorsport would like to extend their thanks to Paul Cartmell from Patrick Malley’s team and Dean Guilford and Nathan Klomp from Ian Wood’s team who helped with the clutch change that kept Sloan and Tarryn in the rally.

by Blair Bartels

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