Undiagnosed damage to his Subaru’s centre diff led to Richard Mason being off the pace in this morning’s Wairarapa Rally; changes made for the afternoon saw him fight back and win.
June 2, 2007, 6.40pm. New Zealand rally champion Richard Mason says his slow start to today’s Wairarapa Rally was the legacy of damage caused to his Subaru Impreza WRX STi when he drove 10 kilometres at rally speed on a flat tyre in the previous round at Whangarei.
Mason ran as low as fifth this morning before fighting back to take victory in Leg 1 of the Wairarapa event.
“We’ve got some leftover problems from having that flat tyre in Whangarei,” he said this evening.
Running out of the stage with the flat front tyre had caused damage to the front diff which didn’t show itself until he used the rebuilt car in anger this morning – he had crashed later in the Whangarei Rally, a crash that may also have been contributed to by excessive tyre wear.
Mason made suspension and tyre grooving changes to the Impreza after SS3 this morning and charged in the afternoon tests to overtake Nathan Thomas for the Leg 1 victory.
“Those changes made a big difference,” he said. “It’s certainly not too bad now.”
Mason says he doesn’t have the parts to fix the car before tomorrow’s second leg.
“So we’ll have to do some more of the same.”
Photo caption: Mason at Whangarei. Euan Cameron photograph.