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What a fantastic result for Kerikeri’s Team Dilusi, finishing fifth overall in the 2009 New Zealand Rally Championship after completing the recent 0800 Boxman Rally of Nelson!

With the fast and rocky roads testing Thompson and Peden’s tyre changing skills twice, the team made a stunning effort to complete the last round of the Championship with seventh place overall and even managed fifth fastest stage time on the final stage of Day Two.

“Although getting a puncture on both days drastically hindered our result, we’re proud to say we changed the tyres and were back to business within two and a half minutes of hitting the rock,” grinned Thompson, who was well aware that his first professional season would be no easy ride.

“When I started rallying two years ago I knew there would have to be a lot of sacrifices in order to be serious. I think that considering the team has been self-funded, we’ve done quite well in achieving what we have to date.”

Despite retiring early in both Rally Hawkes Bay and Rally Otago, Team Dilusi’s most impressive achievement was in Rally Wairarapa (where the pair finished fifth), proving they have what it takes in this seriously competitive and high-risk sport.

Notably, the competitiveness was elevated in this final round as competitors were vying for their last chance at earning points and it was encouraging to see the high number of spectators who came to watch at the designated spectator areas.

Although finishing seventh in Nelson, even more creditable was the fact that Team Dilusi completed the event, which had an unbelievably high attrition rate and saw many of the cars limping home.

“Overall it’s been a great season,” said co-driver Malcolm Peden, “and we hope to make a further accelerated improvement next year." 

With the Rally of the North on October 10, Thompson will be trying to gain Team D.I.L.U.S.I some additional exposure and local support for their home event over the next few weeks.

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