July 7, 2007, 12.30pm. Glen Inkster has made a sensational start to the Taranaki Tarmac Rally, winning the first two special stages and placing third in SS3.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 driver now holds a nine-second lead over national champion Richard Mason who is making his first serious tarmac rally attack on New Zealand soil.
Mason, driving his older Subaru Impreza WRX STi, is 24 seconds ahead of the Evo 3 of defending Taranaki champion Neill Marshall.
Marshall has moved up the order after winning Special Stage 3.
Joe McAndrew (Nissan Skyline GTR), who had traded stage times with Mason on the opening two tests, hasn’t come out of Stage 3. The Nissan is reported as stopped, and McAndrew and co-driver Sue O’Neill are said to be okay.
Also reported stopped in SS3 are Kevin Honiss (WRX) and James Lennie (Evo 6), both of whom had been running in the top 10.
Top seed Glenn Smith has started a fightback in his WRX after dropping down the order in the opening stages with an as-yet unspecified problem.
North Island series points leader Grant Liston leads his class in his Honda Integra Type R.