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Young Nelson rally driver Dominick Unterberger, driving the Excelsior Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST, has produced another creditable result at last weekend's 30th Anniversary Ashley Forest Rallysprint in North Canterbury.

“After our success at Rally Nelson I didn’t want the fun to stop," said Dominick, "so it was a last minute decision to compete in Ashley. I always watched this iconic event when I was younger and have always dreamed of competing in it one day. It was amazing and I will definitely be back next year.”

The main objective of the weekend was to take some of the crew and sponsors for rides.

The Alltrax NZ Ford Fiesta is not ideal for an event like this, especially when compared with some of the other cars in the 2WD Unlimited class, the Fiesta has only half the HP and being front wheel drive also makes it harder to get off the start line. So, realistically, there was a limit on the times Unterberger knew he would be able to achieve.

Saturday started off as expected and by the last run Dom had knocked seven seconds off from his first run. The conditions were fantastic but in some places it felt like driving on marbles. By the end of the day Unterberger was five seconds behind Carl Balani in his Mazda RX-7 and eight seconds behind Chris Hey in a Toyota MR2.

On Sunday, two runs were guaranteed, then there were the elimination runs. After the fourth and final run Unterberger was sitting in fourth position behind Neil Allport in the Mainfreight RX-7.

In the Top 32 elimination run, Allport had an issue on the run and decided not to continue, which elevated Unterberger into third position also making him eligible for the Top 16 run off. Knocking another two seconds off his time to a 1:12.40 wasn’t quite good enough to match the pace of the other two turbo cars, but Unterberger was still happy. 

“I’m over the moon about the result; I didn’t take any risks with the car, and we still achieved more than we expected. I would like to thank all of the organisers and officials for a fantastic event.”

The Team would like to thank their loyal group of Supporters for the whole season: Mum & Dad, Gary & Kit from Alltrax NZ, Alexandra & Leighton from the Alpine Lodge Nelson Lakes National Park, Alan Kirby from M.S Ford, Francis from Novus Auto Glass - all from Nelson.

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