June 2, 2007, 5pm. Richard Mason fought back from a morning filled with “car issues” to peg back Nathan Thomas’ lead and win Leg 1 of the Wairarapa Rally.
Mason took the lead on Special Stage 4 and built it to 28.7 seconds at the finish. An earlier story had indicated Mason winning by 19.1 seconds.
Officials discovered a timing error which gave Mason a further 9.6 seconds.
Thomas, who produced sensational form to lead the rally at the day’s half-way point (he won stages 1 and 3), brought his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7 home behind Mason’s Subaru Impreza WRX STi.
Third overall was Dean Sumner in an Evo 9, 14.8 seconds behind Thomas.
He was 29.2 seconds ahead of Sam Murray (WRX). Then came Hayden Paddon (Evo 8) who had been hampered by running first car on the road, sweeping the stages of thick gravel.
Callum McInnes (WRX) ended the leg sixth, followed by Patrick Malley (Evo 9) and Subaru drivers Emma Gilmour and Kirsty Nelson.
Mark Tapper won the Ford Fiesta challenge section with a clean sweep of six stage wins.
Aaron Cook won five tests to win the Kiwi 2 division in his Honda Jazz Type R, though he had to give best to class stalwart Dave Strong (Honda Civic) on the day’s final special stage.