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Mason confident but keeping an eye on West and Gilmour


Series leader Richard Mason was itching to get back on to the special stages in Otago this morning.

New Zealand Rally Championship points leader Richard Mason was brimming with confidence and just wanting to get on with it as he waited for the start of the Otago Rally in a fine and cold Dunedin this morning.

The BNT Subaru Impreza WRX STi driver said “it’s looking good”, as he shuffled from foot to foot, a bundle of nervous energy as he waited to drive the car over the start ramp in the central city.

“We’ve been working on suspension things and have been testing during the week with (Finnish driver) Pasi Hagstrom.

“It was more of a coaching day for me, really. It’s very difficult to get coaching in Motorsport so this was a good chance.”

He says Hagstrom has also been a Subaru works team test driver, “so he had a few things to say about car set-up, and we’ve made some small changes to that.

“By my own observation, I’m not 100 per cent happy with the car yet.”

Mason says that after making a pacenote checking run over tomorrow’s new stages north of Dunedin, he’s looking forward to the roads’ challenge with their blind crests, big drops and fast speeds.

“They’re really high (in altitude) and if it snows on them it’ll be quite interesting.”

The rally overall is “very fast this year. Very, very fast.”

He says some of the roads during today’s seven tests are “very bony” and studded with rocks. “There could be some punctures in there,” especially on the second run through some of them.”

Mason says that during the day he’ll be keeping an eye on the performances of Emma Gilmour (Subaru) and Chris West (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9).

“If Emma goes well I think it will be today, and Westy always goes well here. I’ll be keeping an eye on those guys.”

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