Ralliart NZ score PWRC points in Norway
- 16th February 2009, 1:16pm
This yearâ€™s first round of the Production World Rally Championship (P-WRC) has seen Ralliart New Zealandâ€™s team driver Eyvind Brynildsen finish in second place at his home Rally of Norway.
The 20-year old completed the three-day event using New Zealand expertise and equipment to head off a number of more recognised competitors to impress team principal Neil Allport in temperatures that dipped below -30 degrees Celsius.
â€œIt was a very mature drive for him. After the first day he had a lot of fast guys behind him and although he wasnâ€™t really going to catch the experienced Patrik Sandell, he didnâ€™t make a mistake the whole weekend â€“ which sums up the potential of the guy.â€
â€œItâ€™s a great start to the season and really picks us up from where we left off in 2008,â€ added Allport. â€œGetting eight points in your first round is very important.â€
Dropping down the order on the opening day when he ended up stuck in a drain was a temporary set-back for the Norwegian. Cresting a brow, evasive action to avoid crowded spectators lining the road side resulted in the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 steering for trees.
â€œIt was either clean up people or some trees,â€ described Allport of the video footage later used to provide Brynildsen with evidence to incur an assessed time for the test. â€œThat returned him to his original position up the field after organisers gave him an assessed time.â€
Contesting six rounds in the 2009 season, Brynildsen said the eight points earned was double reward to finishing on the podium:
â€œThe last stage was so long I couldnâ€™t wait for the finish! To be honest, I had a really small hope at midday today that if Patrik (Sandell) made another mistake on the long stage there was a slight chance I might be able to win but after that we lifted off a bit. We knew Patrik was going to be fast here and to finish behind him even feels like a victory. Iâ€™m very happy and very lucky to score my first podium on my home event, especially after all our bad luck last season.â€
Covering 360km of snow bank lined roads with a hard icy surface; picture postcard scenery didnâ€™t detract the 20-year old from setting two fastest stage times during his journey.
With currently 19 drivers entered to the six-round global series, the Ralliart New Zealand team return to the Northern Hemisphere for their second round of the season: Vodafone Rally de Portugal (2-5 April 2009).
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