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Kaiapoi rally driver Marcus van Klink has made his intentions clear for the 2014 season, he wants to regain the New Zealand Historic Rally Championship title he won in 2012.

As the defending champion last season, van Klink faced strong opposition in the Chesters Mazda RX-7, although it was not speed but a horrific run of mechanical problems that ultimately resigned van Klink and regular co-driver Dave Neill to third place in last year’s championship.

Over the off-season, van Klink and his team have stripped the Mazda right back to a bare shell for the first time in three seasons and every component of the car has been rebuilt in preparation for the 2014 season, which starts this weekend with Rally Whangarei before visiting Otago, Canterbury, Wairarapa, Coromandel before the series finale in the Manawatu.

Adding to a busy season is the upcoming arrival of a new car for the Klink Rallysport team in the shape of a Citroen C2 Super 1600 car. The screaming hatch back was due to be debuted at Targa North Island, but shipping delays mean it will be used in both the Taranaki Tarmac Rally and Targa South Island events this season.
 
“It’ll be great to get back behind the wheel of the Chesters Mazda again, I just hope I can remember how to drive it,” jokes van Klink. “But both Dave and I really want the championship back this year, plus I’m really looking forward to doing some tarmac stuff in the Citroen.”

The VINZ International Rally of Whangarei gets underway with a ceremonial start on Friday 11 April, with competitive action starting the following day on roads new to the event north of Whangarei.

After six stages, teams will then complete two passes of the Pohe Island Super Special Stage under darkness. Day two sees a further six stages before the ceremonial finish at 3pm.

Photo: Euan Cameron

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