NZ champion snaps at heels of rformer production car world champion in first stage of Rally NZ.
Waikato, August 31, 2007, 11.30am. New Zealand Rally Champion Richard Mason has started Rally New Zealand in sensational style, posting the second-fastest standard production car time on Special Stage 1.
Mason was 14th fastest overall, and only 1.4 seconds off the pace of 2005 production world champion and fellow Subaru Impreza WRX STi driver, Toshi Arai.
Current NZ championship leader Hayden Paddon was 18th overall in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 .
At the head of the field world champoionship leader Marcus Gronholm (Ford Focus RS) holds a 7.5-second lead over Sebastien Loeb (Citroen C4 WRC) after SS1.
Gronholm’s teammate Mikko Hirvonen in third, another 3.6 seconds back.
Photo caption: Richard Mason (file photograph).