Queenstown’s Mike Shëehan has gone close to an unlikely victory at the third round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the Lone Star Rally Canterbury, held over the weekend.
“Shëehan suffered torn ligaments in his right thumb a week before the event after an accident during warm-up at his son’s rugby game saw him spend half a day in hospital suspecting the worst. Whilst determined to make the event, Shëehan knew he wouldn’t be able to perform at full speed.”
Having struggled through the opening two stages, Shëehan and co-driver Glenn Goldring were handed a life-line in stage three when their rivals, Robbie and Amy Stokes, punctured, losing three minutes. With a lead of a minute and a half to defend over four stages, Shëehan knew he would struggle but grimaced through the pain to take the battle on.
Heading to the final stage, Shëehan had the Truck Moves Ford Fiesta R2 26.4 seconds ahead of his rivals. Just to add to the challenge, that final stage would be held in complete darkness. Shëehan gave as much as he could but would come up 16 seconds shy after Stokes set a storming time.
“Hats off to Robbie, his effort all day and in the final stage especially was top notch. You never wish a problem upon your rivals, but as we were running almost literally with one hand tied behind our back, we had to make the most of the opportunity and nearly got there,” says Shëehan. “Unfortunately it was only in some of the faster corners we could actually commit, anything more just put too much pressure on the thumb. But at the end of the day the championship is main game and we’re still well on target for that, so it wasn’t a complete disaster, albeit a bit frustrating to know we could’ve been going a lot faster.”
The Shëehans Motorsport team now turn their attention to the Stadium Finance South Canterbury Rally on June 22, where they will start with a 26 point lead.
“The team would also like to acknowledge the amazing amount of assistance they received from Speedy Signs Queenstown, Frankton Automotive, and Frankton Tyres Services prior to the event. “Without them going above and beyond, we were struggling to get all the prep done in the last days before the event. A massive thank you goes to these fantastic companies!!”
Press Release by BB Media