Shane Murland from Paraparaumu has retained his lead in the epay Silver Fern marathon car rally at the end of the fourth day, but only just.

Having left Dunedin this morning with more than seven minutes advantage over nearest rival Simon Tysoe (England) in a similar Escort RS1800, Murland arrived back in Dunedin after 250 kms of special stages with just 13 seconds advantage over Jeff Judd of Christchurch who was only third away this morning.

Tysoe was a victim of the 100 kms stage across the Lammermoor Range in Central Otago, rolling his Escort into retirement. Neither Tysoe nor co-driver Chris Parsons was injured in the accident.

Englishman Andrew Siddall who has climbed to fourth place overall described the desolate high country Central Otago stage as “like Africa without the wild animals,” a reference to The Kenyan Safari historic rally he has competed in.

During the morning stages, Murland said he was cruising, prepared to give a few seconds away to his closest rivals. But he then struggled across Lammermoor with only three cylinders of his engine producing any power.

He dropped ten minutes to stage winner Brent Rawstron in the Berwick Forest after going backwards off the road and Judd lost four minutes in the same stage and the opportunity to grab the lead.

The rest of the leader board also had a shake up as drivers tackled six stages in South and Central Otago.

Former Australian double champion Geoff Portman in a Holden Commodore rose from sixth to third with a trouble free run. Christchurch’s Brent Rawstron dropped a place to fifth after a conservative drive over Lammermoor.

In the Challenge event for cars with more modifications, Australian Brad Goldsbrough saw his lead disappear in the Berwick Forest after puncturing. He had even passed the new leader Deane Buist (Christchurch) in the Lammermoor stage to cement his advantage.

Buist will head for Invercargill tomorrow with a 2 minutes 37 seconds lead.

Tomorrow’s stages take the field through six stages totalling 173 kms in South Otago and the Catlins in Eastern Southland to the overnight halt at Invercargill. The rally finishes in Queenstown on Saturday after 1060 kms of special stages.

epay Silver Fern Historic Rally – Overall results after Day 4
1, S Murland, J Benton (Escort RS1800) Paraparaumu, 6hrs 29mins 5secs;
2, J Judd, M Smith (Escort RS1800) Christchurch, 6.29.18;
3, G Portman, R Runnalls (Holden Commodore) Australia, 6.34.36;
4, A Siddall, C Thompson (Escort RS1800) England, 6.39.20;
5, B Rawstron, I McKee (Escort RS1800) Christchurch, 6.40.56;
6, J Scannell, C Lancaster (Escort RS1800) England, 6.43.41.

epay Silver Fern Challenge Rally – Overall results after Day 4
1, D Buist, A Bulman (Escort RS1800) Christchurch, 6.25.33
2, B Goldsbrough, A Topliff (Datsun 1600) Australia, 6.28.10
3, A Hawkeswood, S Johnstone (Mazda RX7) Alexandra, 6.30.09;
4, B Taylor, C Ramsay (Toyota Corolla) Cambridge, 6.37.53;
5, L Marston, J Marston (Subaru Legacy) Christchurch, 6.42.40.

Get full, exclusive access for only $6.55/month.
  • Full access
  • Exclusive news
  • Store & Tour discounts

Show Your Support


Recent Posts