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Last weekend’s Rally of Wairarapa proved to be a quantum leap up the standings for New Zealand Rally Championship Rookie campaigners, Team Dilusi.

Beating some of the times of more equipped competitors, Kingsley Thompson and new Co-driver Malcolm Peden were very pleased with the team’s result of fifth overall and fourth in their class (Group N).

“The first day of racing was absolute magic with my sole duty consisting of getting into the car and focusing on driving fast,” said Thompson. “As the team driver, that is all I should have to worry about.”

Ex-National Champion Chris West and Team Dilusi’s combined service crew, were left to concentrate on the Mitsubishi Evolution X after West damaged his Evolution 9’s engine early on the first day. The additional attention on the car at service, the newly added ‘launch control’ along with the changes within the team structure, proved to be a great success and was clearly evident in the stage times.

The team found itself in what was described by Motorsport Media as ‘the tightest battle of the rally’ against leading Rookie Kieran Hall, for fourth place. Thompson finished the first day with the advantage, but was overtaken by Hall on the penultimate stage of the second day and was unable to reel back the lead.

“We achieved our goals this weekend and it will only get better from here,” added a newly confident Thompson.

The final round of the Championship takes place on September 19 and 20 in Nelson. New Zealanders can check out Team Dilusi on TV One’s Powerbuilt Tools Motorsport Show this Sunday at 4:50pm.

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