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Scott Pedder and Glen Weston have completed Rally New Zealand with another strong day behind the wheel, putting well behind them the heart ache of an early accident during Leg One on Friday, to finish in 41st position.

“Today has been another really strong day, a lot of positives to take away from this weekend, it is just such a shame that we had that little accident on Friday,” said Pedder at the finish.

With a final seven stages comprising Leg Three, including two passes over the infamous Whaanga Coast, Pedder began confidently setting the fourth fastest Group N time on the opening stage.

Running down the order on the road didn’t help Pedder though, with moisture in the road from overnight showers brought to the surface by the cars running ahead, with the tyre compound he ventured out on for the morning’s three stages not entirely suited to the conditions.

“It was tough work, very slippery in places where the road was turning into mud. We pushed on pretty hard but we couldn’t quite get in touch with the other Group N guys,” explained Scott.

A mid-morning service break allowed Scott and co-driver Weston to switch to a more suitable tyre and improvement in results were immediate. On the first stage after service he set the second fastest stage time behind flying Finn Juho Hanninen by a miniscule one tenth of a second. He then backed it up with another second quickest Group N time just two tenths of a second behind Portugal National Champion Armindo Araujo.

“Frustrating not to be able to take a fastest Group N stage time but we got extremely close and that’s positive, very positive,” he said.

The final pass over the Whaanga Coast saw Pedder set the sixth fastest Production stage time, but with only ten seconds covering those six drivers after 29.81km of stage Pedder was understandably pleased with his hard work. A final blast around the Mystery Creek Super Special in front of a vocal crowd of rally fans rounded out the weekend, Pedder settling for 41st, a strong finish considering he missed five full stages on Friday.

Pedder admitted at the conclusion of the event that this outing in the World Rally Championship would mark his one and only appearance of 2007, however the Victorian confirmed that he had been working quietly on an ulterior motive this weekend.

“I’m working pretty hard on a few options to return to the Australian Rally Championship next season; however I’ve also been making good inroads into potentially contesting the PWRC (Production World Rally Championship). This weekend was as much a test to see how our pace compared to the leading PWRC drivers as it was to enter a rally that I’ve always wanted to compete at,” stated Pedder.
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