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Team Taslo pairing, Sloan Cox and David Calder, are out to put in a strong showing in this Saturday’s Metalman sponsored Possum Bourne Memorial Rally based out of Hamilton. For 17 year old Rotorua high school student Cox, the focus for this event centres firmly on securing points towards the Rally New Zealand Rising Stars International Award.

“This is a big opportunity,” commented Cox. “The award of $50,000 towards competing in an overseas rally next year is the initiative of Rally New Zealand to get behind and support a young driver with the potential to compete on the international stage.”

The young Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 driver currently sits second in the award points standings behind current NZ Rally Champion Hayden Paddon. After the final round in September, the top two points scorers and a wildcard will progress to the final selection programme. 

As well as the hotly contested Rising Stars award, Cox and co-driver Calder will be contending with some of the country's most challenging roads, renowned world over for their use on the World Championship round, Rally New Zealand.

“This event is a fitting tribute to the late Possum Bourne who made his mark against international drivers on some of these roads. As young competitors, Possum’s attitude and achievements in rallying were something we looked up to”, said Calder. 

Since the team’s last event, Rally Wairarapa, the pair have been brushing up on their skills in preparation for the event.

“Stages such as Whaanga Coast and Waitomo are particularly demanding so having good pace notes is essential to driving them fast,” said Cox, who aims to be setting stage times inside the top five along the way.

Practicing their pace note writing in readiness for Friday's reconnaissance, as well their tyre changing procedure which they identified as costing them time at the previous two rallies when forced to stop in a stage to change a puncture, have been areas of focus.

The Possum Bourne Memorial Rally will run on Saturday, August 22, taking in over 200 competitive kilometres of special stages, with the start and finish at the Hamilton Workingmen’s Club. Spectator maps and further event information can be found at www.pbmrally.co.nz .   

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