September 2, 2007, 4pm. Richard Mason has finished first New Zealander in Rally of New Zealand.
The BNT Subaru Impreza WRX STi driver, the current NZ champion, caught and passed fellow WRX driver Sam Murray during today’s special stages in the western Waikato, and opened a winning margin of 1m 17s by the rally’s end.
Murray, who took the NZ championship lead on Friday and consolidated it yesterday, finished second.
He had started today 20 seconds ahead of Mason but had said that though he would like to be first NZ finisher, he would not risk wrecking his Subaru in a bid to do so.
In a brilliant drive after a rally fraught with difficulties, Mason climbed the production world championship leaderboard today to finish third behind former production world champion Toshi Arai and Niall McShea, both driving Imprezas.
Photo of Richard Mason by Euan Cameron.