September 1, 2007, 12.40pm. Richard Mason heads back to Mystery Creek this afternoon with a 17.5-second lead in the NZ Championship section of Rally New Zealand.
A stunningly-fast drive through this morning’s third stage in the western Waikato has taken Sam Murray into second place behind Mason, giving Subaru Imprezas command of the top two positions.
But closing fast is Scotsman Alister McRae who blitzed the Group N field in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, putting the car into 11th overall on the stage. McRae, who won yesterday’s first leg, is now three seconds behind Murray.
Murray was second to McRae in both the NZ section and Group N on Stage 8 this morning, edging the fastest production world championship driver Gabriel Pozzo (Evo) by 4.6 seconds.
Hawke’s Bay driver Stewart Taylor (Lancer) was third Kiwi championship driver, and also beat Pozzo and the rest of the PWRC field.
Hayden Paddon now runs fourth in the NZ section, ahead of fellow Lancer Evo drivers Dylan Turner and Chris West.
American Ken Block is seventh in a Sam Murray-run Impreza.