It’s business as usual this morning for NZ rally champion Richard Mason as he drives into a solid lead on Leg 2 of his home territory event.
June 3, 2007, 10.45am. Richard Mason has taken a firm grip on Leg 2 of the Wairarapa Rally, winning this morning’s first two special stages and building a 24.9-second lead.
On stages run north of Masterton, the Subaru Impreza WRX STi driver leads from Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 fastman, Dean Sumner.
Sumner has taken second and third placings on the opening tests, and is 7.2 seconds clear of Bay of Plenty’s Callum McInnes (WRX).
McInnes was fourth on the morning’s opening stage but was second on the next, his stage time 18.7 seconds adrift of Mason’s but 1.1 seconds better than Sumner’s.
Nathan Thomas who had rally circles buzzing with his fine second place yesterday, appears to be out of the rally.
His Lancer Evo 7 has stopped five kilometres into this morning’s second test. Thomas had been the early rally leader yesterday, winning two stages.
Championship leader Hayden Paddon (Evo 8) runs fourth overall, ahead of Sam Murray (WRX) and Brett Martin who restarted after rolling his Evo 9 two-thirds of the way through Leg 1.
Martin and co-driver Brett Marra were given medical clearance last night to start today’s leg of the rally.
Dylan Turner (Evo 9) and Emma Gilmour (WRX) complete the top eight.
- report by Mike Stock in Masterton.