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After a consistent drive in challenging conditions, the Australian VTRacing crew of Matt van Tuinen and Erin Kelly has scored a podium result at the International Rally of Whangarei, and now sit second in the race for the Pacific Cup behind India’s Gaurav Gill.

With fog and persistent rain making the roads in New Zealand’s north slippery and inconsistent,
Van Tuinen and Kelly made no mistakes and brought their Subaru Impreza home as the third placed Asia-Pacific finisher, behind the factory-supported Skoda S2000 cars of Gill and overall winner Esapekka Lappi.

For their first attempt at the uniquely cambered and fast rollercoaster roads near Whangarei, van Tuinen was pleased to come away with a solid haul of points.

 “For us, that was the whole aim of this event,” he said. “We knew we would struggle to match the factory Skodas with our older car and limited budget.”

“But we’re very happy that the car ran flawlessly thanks to our professional crew, and the Hankook tyres performed very well in the cool and muddy conditions.”

The team now sits just nine points behind Gill in the Pacific Rally Cup.

The next event for the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship is the Rallye du Nouvelle Caledonie in New Caledonia, where the VTRacing team will be looking to put more pressure on Gill for the title.

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