The Cox Motorsport pairing of Sloan Cox and co-driver Malcolm Read headed into Rally Gisborne, round four of the New Zealand Rally Championship feeling positive after completing positive pre event preparations and having a good reconnaissance run of the stages before the event.
Unfortunately the team were off to a rough start to the rally with a brake rotor breaking in the morning stages, which was made worse when the brakes overheated causing damage to the rear brake caliper as well. The service crew did an outstanding job to rebuild the brakes of the Taslo Engineering Mitsubishi Evo X, but despite their top efforts during service, Cox was late out of service resulting in a three minute time penalty which effectively ruined any chance of a podium finish. Regardless Cox and Read decided to press on and continue to push, as with over 100km of rallying still to go, they knew anything could happen. With rivals suffering similar issues and off road excursions, the team fought their way back up to sixth overall, which was enough to move them into fourth overall in the championship and only four points from second place.
“Despite the issues at the start of the event, it was a good rally again for speed with a stage win and three second fastest stage times. The brake fade the Evo X suffered was the worst I have ever had and it is something we will be working hard on to rectify before Coromandel Rally as we are hungry for a podium in not only the rally but also the overall championship,” expresses Cox.
Cox and Read now turn their attention to the final round of the New Zealand Rally Championship, Rally Coromandel, held in Whitianga on Saturday 20th August. The final round of the Championship will be an exciting winner takes all battle for the junior championship and a fight for a podium in the overall championship. Cox is currently sitting second, only one point behind first in the junior rally championship and with this being Cox’s last year eligible for the junior championship and having won the championship before, he is eagerly anticipating the battle with first place Lance Williams at Coromandel.
Press Release by Cox Motorsport