RCK Contractors Rally Team driver Clint Cunningham’s hopes of a reliable start to the season were unfortunately dashed at the opening round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, Rally Whangarei, held over the weekend.
The team spent the off season fully rebuilding the car in the hopes of ending a horrific run of DNF’s from 2013 and on the opening stage Cunningham and co-driver Greg Ruka were able to set the 12th fastest time, mixing it with some far more modern machinery than their older RCK Contractors Mitsubishi Evo 4.
Stage two saw the pair have an even better run with split times indicating that a time inside the top ten was well and truly on the cards. Unfortunately, a fuel injector failed near the end of the stage, instantly dropping the power of the car and in the end Cunningham and Ruka would again emerge 12th fastest.
With the team unable to diagnose the injector problem in the field, the decision was made to retire for the day and return to the service park. The team worked into the night to have the car ready to return to the stages and Cunningham restarted the following day, albeit with a car down on power.
However on the day’s second stage, a problem with the centre differential meant Cunningham made the decision to stop and avoid risking doing more damage.
“It’s tough for us, I was really looking forward to a good event but it just wasn’t to be,” said Cunningham. “I don’t know what we have to do to get some luck.”
Cunningham and the RCK Contractors Rally Team now look forward to Rally Hawkes Bay on June 1.
Press Release by BB Media