Rally Canterbury got off to a tough start for Sloan Cox and co-driver Malcolm Read with nearly two minutes lost when the Taslo Engineering Mitsubishi Evo X stalled in stage one after they encountered a deep water ford also causing the windscreen to heavily fog up resulting in further delays wiping the screen clear.
Despite the issues encountered in stage one, the pairing decided to try and claw back time to the leaders. Unfortunately the ford again caused issues with the Evo X, when in stage five it ripped the alternator belt and the pairing had to stop in the stage to change it. Despite the issues in stage one and five, the pairing consistently set top stage times and even won three stages outright.
With this being the first time Cox has competed in Rally Canterbury and after not pairing together at the last event, Cox and Read found that their car speed came naturally. They found that the forestry stages suited Cox’s driving style and with the partnership of good stage notes a great combination was formed and the speed was quicker than they expected.
“It was a frustrating rally for us with the major problems in stage one and five, but it is great to see our speed was there on the other stages. We had a lot of minor problems throughout the rally and a bit of caution was needed in each stage so we were surprised with the stage times we were achieving. The final stage, and power stage of the rally, was awesome but time was lost when an ice covered hairpin caused us to understeer wide. The car stalled in the process and then needed to reverse up, so to come away 3rd fastest and only two seconds off Emma Gilmour was a bonus. We are really looking forward to Rally Gisborne now where we can hopefully have a clean run and show our speed again,” states Cox.
With the positive of great car speed shown this weekend and the need for only minor maintenance on the Evo X, the whole Cox Motorsport team now eagerly turn their attention to Rally Gisborne, Round Four of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, held on Saturday 2nd July 2016.
Press Release by Cox Motorsport
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