Officials cancel Otago Rally’s longest, and possibly most crucial, test after safety vehicles couldn’t reach specified locations in time to allow the stage to proceed safely.
Dunedin, April 14, 2007, 1.25pm. Officials cancelled Special Stage 4 of today’s Otago Rally after safety vehicles couldn’t get to their appointed positions in the required time.
It’s understood the vehicles included the FIV vehicles which carry emergency medical crew and equipment.
There was also an issue with the Safety Car, so officials decided to abandon the Glenburnie stage for safety reasons.
Competing cars toured through the stage which runs from west of Lake Waihola and then southward on largely tortuous roads, to a point just north of Milton.
With a total distance of 42.75 kilometres, it’s seen as a crucial test during the rally’s first heat, and a stage on which the day’s competition might well have turned.
Cars now have 52.78km of special stages to complete before returning to Dunedin for the overnight parc ferme. In the first three stages (the Glenburnie stage was the fourth) they covered a total of 34.41km.
The event is now running about an hour behind schedule, and cars were due to start SS5. the 12.76km Waipori Gorge, shortly before 1pm.
Richard Mason leads the rally, from Emma Gilmour and Brett Martin.