Queenstown’s Mike Sheehan has left the fourth round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the Stadium Finance South Canterbury Rally, gutted after breaking his gear lever saw him ruled out of contention.
Sheehan and co-driver Glenn Goldring came to the event confident in the knowledge that another strong finish would be a large step towards a national championship title. The pair powered through the opening stage second in their class, having beaten several of their four-wheel drive competitors in the two-wheel drive Truck Moves Ford Fiesta R2.
Everything was going to plan for Sheehan until special stage four, when the gear lever unexpectedly snapped, leaving the car with no drive. Sheehan and Goldring worked to fix the car to get out of the stage, losing some 18 minutes in the process.
With relaxed touring times, Sheehan was able to arrive at the service park following the stage only seven minutes late and his team, along with several other competing teams, set to work repairing the broken lever. As expected, the repairs went over time and Sheehan checked out of service 26 minutes late. With a total of 30 minutes of lateness for the rally, that meant Sheehan was out of the rally, although he was able to complete the remaining stages for pure enjoyment.
“I’m gutted, we do a heap of work and preventative maintenance to make sure the car is reliable and this one is completely out of left field, I guess that’s the joys of motorsport,” said Sheehan. “The stages were magic, it was great to get to this event after missing it last year, so a massive thanks to the event and NZRC organisers.”
With two rounds remaining, Sheehan is now equal with rival Robbie Stokes at the head of the NZRC two-wheel drive class standings.
Press Release by BB Media