Christchurch driver, Josh Marston, is optimistic about this weekend’s Possum Bourne Memorial Rally, also the fifth round of the New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC), despite competing on the Maramarua forestry roads for the first time.
Marston, piloting his Rubber Developments Ford Fiesta R2, says that the development in his pace notes [detailed instructions] and the new Fiesta have continued to increase over the year and he’s confident this will help his pace during the rally this weekend.
“We did the Daybreaker Rally earlier this year which was also another first for me. We had good pace there because we got our pace notes and car set up right, so hopefully we can say the same thing after this rally,” explained Marston.
Marston’s biggest rival throughout the season, Phil Campbell, in an identical R2 Ford Fiesta, has rallied on the Maramarua forestry roads several times this season but Marston maintains the aim is to finish the rally and score points for the championship.
“We’re just going to continue doing our own things and not worry too much about the times. We had some really unfortunate luck at the last few rallies [punctures and faulty intercom] so hopefully that doesn’t happen again here,” said Marston.
“We also know Phil [Campbell] knows the roads so will probably be quite fast. If we get a good result that will definitely help our championship campaign but it certainly isn’t a huge focus for us.”
The Rubber Developments team is also looking forward to competing in the iconic event which celebrates the life and achievements of New Zealand rally legend, Possum Bourne.
“Possum [Bourne] was the man!” enthused Marston, “He was obviously a great driver but also a fantastic ambassador for the sport so we’re looking forward to celebrating his life this weekend.”
Marston, joined by experienced co-driver Malcolm Peden again, says he is also looking forward to the added challenge of tarmac stages, introduced by rally organisers as a one off feature in the NZRC.
“The tarmac stages will be interesting. I haven’t done a lot of tarmac racing recently but I think it’s great to mix it up a bit.”
The Rubber Developments Ford Fiesta has never competed on tarmac but this causes no concern for Marston.
“The Fiesta’s are proven around the world as a great, reliable, fun and cheap rally car to run so I’m sure there will be no major issues. We haven’t done anything to it except a good service since the last rally and I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
The 2013 Possum Bourne Memorial Rally honours New Zealand Rally Legend, Possum Bourne, on the 10th anniversary of his death, and is set to start from King Street, in the main centre of Pukekohe at 7.00am on Saturday before heading out to the Maramarua forest stages. The rally then returns back to the Pukekohe area to compete across the tarmac stages including Hampton Downs and Pukekohe race-tracks. Crews will compete across a 135.65 kilometers of closed special stages across one day of competition before finishing at Pukekohe Park Raceway at approximately 6.30pm.
Marston’s 2013 NZRC campaign is supported by Rubber Developments, RDL Performance, ILS, Castrol and Signwise.
Media Release: Alana McIsaac (September, 2013)