Sensational start to the third round of the New Zealand Rally Championship.
June 2, 2007, 11.15am. In a sensational start to the Wairarapa Rally, Wellington driver Nathan Thomas, in his first season at the top level, won Special Stage 1 and holds the rally lead after SS2.
Thomas, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7, holds a slender 1.3-second lead over national champion Richards Mason (Subaru Impreza WRX STi).
Thomas, whose pace has steadily increased over the first two rounds of the 2007 national series, took advantage of running ninth on the road and having as relatively clear, gravel-free track.
He won SS1 by 1.4 seconds from eighth starter Stewart Taylor’s Evo 9.
Mason was third, 2.2 seconds behind Thomas.
The Lancers continued to dominate on SS2, won by Evo driver Dean Sumner from Mason. Thomas was third.
After two stages Thomas leads from Mason, Taylor, Brett Martin (Evo 9), Dylan Turner (Evo 9) and Sumner.
Sam Murray is seventh in an Impreza, one place ahead of series leader Hayden Paddon (Evo 8) who is running first on the road and “sweeping” the loose gravel off the stages.