Team Dilusi completed their final rally of the year at last weekend's, Rally of the North on Saturday, October 9. Despite a day full of ups and downs, the Far North team achieved a podium finish of third overall in their home rally.

Kerikeri local Kingsley Thompson and the very experienced Christchurch based co-driver, Garry Cowan, proved their ability to readily adapt to major changes by storming through the very first stage of the day, ‘Oromahoe’, with a twelve second winning margin over the second fastest car.

Being a round of the Top Half Rally Series, competitors were required to use supplied notes for the event and were not given the opportunity to check them, something that Thompson is accustomed to from campaigning the National Championship. Despite this, the Team held the lead going into the lunchtime service even after a stage note that was graded too high in Stage Three caught Thompson by surprise, causing them to lose twelve seconds after they hit a bank and spun out.

Later in the day part way through stage five, a similar note error sent the team off road. The same corner also caused grief to many of the other top contenders and the Dilusi pair watched helplessly from inside the paddock, as the next car through, Stephen Barker, tragically rolled onto his roof right behind Thompson’s immobilised car.

“Going through the fence and getting stuck off the road on stage five cost us another three minutes,” stated a dejected Thompson.

Upon getting the team’s Mitsubishi Evo 10, ‘Lucy’ out of the paddock, Thompson and Cowan went on to win the last three stages of the afternoon, clawing back lost time to within thirty seconds of second place.

Overall it was a fantastic event, with Team Dilusi claiming a total of five of the eight rally stage wins along with third place overall.

“We are really happy with the pace we showed today against a top class field and will build on this going into next year’s National Championship,” concluded Thompson.

Congratulations to the “Two Bens” from Whangarei for taking the rally win and keeping the trophy in the North.

The team would once again like to express a special thanks to Mount Pokaka Timber Products and Repco Kerikeri for generously supporting them to compete at this event and are looking forward to taking them for a blast in ‘Lucy’ as special thank you!

Thompson will also be running Hot Seat Rides over the holiday season. If you are interested in going for a ride in the car at race pace visit www.teamdilusi.co.nz and get in contact.

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