Kaiapoi driver, Marcus van Klink, will be on a mission to win at this weekend’s Possum Bourne Memorial Rally, the fifth round of the New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) held around Pukekohe.
Van Klink and co-driver Dave Neill are focused on taking as many stage wins as possible during the weekend despite the fact the duo have never competed on Maramarua’s forestry roads before, putting them at an instant disadvantage.
“It’s going to be extremely difficult to win the historic championship from here on roads we’ve never been on before so we’re planning on just going as hard as we can. It’s made even trickier when you consider both Jeff [Judd] and Deane [Buist] have both competed on the Maramarua roads a few times,” said van Klink.
“The Chesters Plumbing Mazda RX7 is capable of some great times, so we know we have the right formula. It’s just a matter of making it happen on the day.”
Van Klink’s 2013 NZRC historic class championship campaign got off to a rocky start after mechanical issues plagued the team at the first two rounds. However van Klink and Neill bounced back to take the rally win at the third round of the NZRC, the Daybreaker Rally, earlier in the year proving they had the pace to finish in the top spot.
But in a drastic change for this event, rally organisers have also introduced four tarmac stages in addition the seven gravel stages which van Klink admits he is slightly hesitant about.
“I did Targa for a few years and have raced at Hampton Downs a couple of times so we kind of know what to expect in that regard, but I certainly prefer the gravel surface over tarmac,” explained van Klink.
“In fact, the last time I was at Hampton Downs I spun the Chesters Plumbing RX7 a couple of times, which we hopefully won’t be repeating this time around,” laughed van Klink.
The Chesters Plumbing Mazda RX7 has also undergone general service checks prior to the rally but no major changes have been made to its suspension for the mixture of gravel and tarmac stages it will encounter.
“We haven’t changed anything on the car for this rally but we did fix that troublesome window wiper motor,” said van Klink. A window wiper motor cost van Klink dearly at the previous round of the NZRC, the Canterbury Rally, forcing him to slide down the leaderboard after maintaining a competitive pace early on in the rally.
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.
Van Klink’s NZRC campaign is supported by Chesters Plumbing and Bathrooms, AMT Mechanical, Castrol Oil, Universal Plumbing, Buteline Al Marsh Rotorsport and Palmside.
Media Release: Alana McIsaac (September, 2013)