Kiwi ace gets among the world champoionship regulars on day two.
Runaway leader of the New Zealand championship section of Rally New Zealand, Richard Mason, has been getting among the World Rally Cars in his Group N Subaru.
On today’s second test, Mason set the 12th fastest time, beating works Subaru WRC team driver Chris Atkinson by 3.1 seconds.
And he was closing in on privateer Conrad Rautenbach (Citroen C4 WRC) in the overall standings.
He got ahead of the African champion on the next test, and moved into 11th overall.
But he dropped a chunk of time on the Mystery Creek super special and fell behind Rautenbach again, and has gone into the afternoon stages in 12th place.
Mason continues to lead the standard production class, ahead of all of the PWRC regulars.
Newsflash: The leading cars have completed the final stage of leg two of Rally New Zealand, and the event has a new leader for the final day. Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala now leads the event, from Hirvonen.
Frenchman Sebastien Loeb, who led into the final stage, slowed near the end, handing back the lead to the Ford team and ensuring he wouldn't have to start first on the road tomorrow. That "honour" goes to Latvala who will be the road sweeper.
The tactical battle has ensure tomorrow will be a needle-match thriller.