Northland’s rallying schoolgirl Kirsty Nelson was delighted with her ninth place finish in the Wairarapa Rally on June 3.
The Wairarapa result was a contrast to the disappointment of a DNF in the Rally of Whangarei after an under-bonnet fire at the end of the first stage on Sunday.
A power-steering fluid leak which ignited on the turbo caused the fire which destroyed all that could burn or melt in the engine bay. Nelson only noticed there was a problem when she couldn’t change gears after the clutch system failed and smoke then appeared from under the car after she pulled to the side of the road.
Although repairs were rather expensive, the engine was unaffected and the car was ready for Wairarapa.
Nelson is 11th overall in the New Zealand Championship and second in the Rookie Championship behind Callum McInnes. Ironically, McInnes is now based in Tauranga but was also brought up in Northland close to Nelson’s home.
Nelson won’t compete again until the Rally of New Zealand at the end of August, skipping the Rally of Hawke’s Bay.
She attends Cromwell College in Central Otago where she is taking advantage of the school’s successful outdoor pursuits programme.