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Christchurch Casino Rally Team driver Matt Jansen ticked all the boxes last weekend in Rally Nelson, wrapping up both the Junior and Rookie titles.

Faced with the unenviable task of attacking for the Rookie title whilst knowing a mistake could cost him the Junior as well, Jansen applied the pressure. When Junior rival, Sloan Cox, crashed out of the event, the Rookie title attack became priority, with Kieran Hall and Jansen swapping times all day.

With only 2.9 seconds separating the two, the final stage would set the scene for a fierce battle with rival Hall, but towards the end of the stage, Hall crashed out of the rally in spectacular fashion.

Jansen and co-driver, Jason Farmer, managed to stay clear of the punctures and accidents that Nelson always seems to offer up and, after a day of top-ten stage times, ended up sixth on leg one, despite a sticking throttle early in the morning causing a few anxious moments.

The second day offered up another relatively clean run. A puncture two corners into the 15km stage 10, meant finishing the stage on three wheels and cost the pair over a minute. Once again Jansen finished sixth for the leg but the consistency he showed in a drama filled rally, meant he was just one place shy of the podium in fourth for the rally.

“To wrap up both championships is fantastic. Our aim from the start of the championship was to clinch both the Junior and Rookie titles. The team has been focused and committed to achieving this. They have done a fabulous job all year,” a happy Jansen said.

Neither championship win would have been possible without the valuable support of the team’s sponsors: Christchurch Casino, Mitech Welders, HGM construction, Armstrong Subaru, PMT Motorsport, Bluebridge ferries and straight shipping, Proflex shock absorbers, Dunlop tyres, Elf lubricants and Pagid pads.

Jansen would also like to thank the crew: Dad, Jason, Dave, Chris, Matt, Hamish and Taylor.

“Without their hard work, this year would not have been possible,” he added.

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