September 1, 2007, 11.30am. Reigning champion Richard Mason has taken command of the New Zealand championship section in Leg 2 of the Rally of New Zealand.
The BNT Subaru Impreza WRX STi driver has opened a 14.4-second gap over Chris West (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9), with Dean Sumner (Evo 9) third after this morning’s first two special stages in the western Waikato.
Sam Murray (WRX) who took the NZ series points lead on yesterday’s first leg is running fourth, ahead of Dylan Turner (Evo 9) and Hayden Paddon who has restarted after retiring with a broken gearbox yesterday.
Paddon’s Evo 8 Lancer is now running with a standard gearbox which is expected to hamper him in the tighter going.
In the WRC section, Marcus Gronholm has extended his lead over Sebastien Loeb in SS7, this morning’s second test.
He’s now 14.9 seconds in front of the Citroen driver after the Frenchman had closed in to within nine seconds after this morning’s first test.
Gronholm’s Ford teammate Mikko Hirvonen is third.
- Mike Stock at Mystery Creek. File photograph of Richard Mason.