Mitsubishi Lancers are dominating half-way through Leg 1 of the NZ Championship Wairarapa Rally.
June 2, 2007, 11.45am. Mitsubishi Lancers hold the first two places in the Wairarapa Rally, with half of the Leg 1 stages complete.
The Lancers are doing the job on roads that were tipped to suit the rival Subaru Imprezas better than the Lancers.
Nathan Thomas (Evo 7) leads the event by 8.6 seconds from Evo 9 driver Brett Martin.National champion Richard Mason is third in his rebuilt Subaru Impreza WRX STi.
Thomas was fast straight out of the blocks this morning, winning Stage 1, then repeating the feat on SS3.
Lancers have won all three stages run this morning, with Dean Sumner (Evo 9) winning SS2. Sumner now runs fourth, behind Mason.
Before the event, Sumner – who won Leg 2 of the last round in Northland – had warned that the Lancers couldn’t be discounted even in the tighter going around Pongaroa on the first leg of the Wairarapa Rally.
Sam Murray (WRX) runs fifth in Wairarapa, 23.7s ahead of Dylan Turner (Evo 9).
Turner had been fifth after SS2, but lost an estimated 20 seconds with a spin in Stage 3 when he was on a charge that would have taken him to second place overall.
Series leader Hayden Paddon (Evo 8), who is being hampered by running first on the road and sweeping the stage surfaces of loose gravel, is seventh, 49.5 seconds adrift of the rally leader.
Photo caption: Nathan Thomas leads the Wairarapa Rally half-way through Leg 1. File photo by Euan Cameron.