After varying weather reports through the week, it was a relief to wake to a fine cool Saturday morning start in Pukekohe’s main street in front of Possum’s statue.
A full complement of New Zealand’s best rally cars and drivers, along with guest driver Cody Crocker driving Possum’s Gold Rush Hill Climb car, left us in no doubt we were in for a big day.
Paul and I were under clear instruction to get the car home and secure the NZRC 5b title. It was to be a no risk rally with the first seven stages held in Maramarua Forest, and the final four on tarmac. Cool! I love mixed surface events!
The forest stages were thankfully not as rough as I expected, but still gave our suspension a thorough work out. Dust from catching the car starting in front of us was our only issue right up to the last corner of stage seven (a 5 right), when in fifth gear the rear axle broke free and we went through the finish timing gear backwards! (I like to think Possum was looking out for us because it could have finished our rally right there). A quick patch up on the side of the road, and off to Hampton Downs for service where the guys did a great job getting the car fixed and into tarmac trim for the remaining four stages.
Despite out lack of horse power and a fading brake pedal, the mighty Jaffa set some pretty respectable tarmac stage times and we were pleased to bring her home 18th overall NZRC and Class 5b winner, and a 14th overall and 2nd in class in the Top Half Series, placing us now in an unbeatable position for the class win in the national series and moving us back up to 4th overall and tied for first in class in the Top Half Series.
As always, our results are only due to the great team of support crew, sponsors and family, and a little orange car that just doesn’t know the words “give up.”
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