For Rotorua’s Sloan Cox, the weekend’s Rally Hawkes Bay delivered so much promise but was over before it really began after a loose hose clip led to a blown head gasket and retirement.
Cox came into the event with a rich vein of form, having narrowly missed out on an event win in the opening round of the Rally Xtreme series, Rally Maramarua, before consistently setting top three stage times in the New Zealand Rally Championship round at Rally Whangarei.
Cox and co-driver Sarah Coatsworth immediately set the pace after a storming run through the opening triple bridges stage to record the fastest time, despite the car overheating towards the end of the stage as a consequence of a loose radiator hose clip.
Roadside repairs saw the temperature stabilise on touring and the pair avoided lateness penalties by just seconds, but when back at competition speed, the Taslo Engineering Mitsubishi Evo 10 continued to overheat and at
the end of the second special stage, the tough decision to retire was made.
“It’s pretty disappointing, if the first stage was anything to go by, it would have been a good battle with Stewart Taylor,” said Cox. “But there was no sense in running the engine until it blew, so we had to make the tough decision.”
“There are still positives to take away from the weekend so we will just have to come back more prepared for the next round.”
The Cox Motorsport team have not yet decided on their next event but in the meantime there is still plenty of work to do.
Press Release by BB Media