Queenstown’s Mike Sheehan has taken plenty of lessons away from his first North Island rally, the Hyundai NZ Goldrush Rally Coromandel, which was the fifth round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, held over the weekend.
Sheehan headed to the event off the back of a strong second in class at the Catlins Rally South of Dunedin a week earlier before travelling across the majority of the country to get to the Whitianga-based event.
After a false start at the South Canterbury Rally, Sheehan would finally have his first rally with the experienced Glenn Goldring calling the pace notes.
The tricky tight and twisting roads, littered with short tarmac sections, were an entirely new challenge for Sheehan and with a goal of completing the event to learn for the 2019 season, but was still able to set a top five stage time on the opening stage.
As the day progressed, Sheehan’s pace increased and he was able to half the margin between himself and the leaders on the afternoon stages, eventually powering the Truck Moves Ford Fiesta R2 to fourth in class and 30th of the 60 entries.
“Coming to the North Island was certainly an eye opener for us, the roads are completely different and the pace is a whole step up,” said Sheehan. “In the first couple of stages, I found that I wasn’t really listening to the notes, which is crazy with someone like Goldie in the hot seat, but once I focused on that the pace stepped up. Now we’ve identified a few things to work on so hopefully we can be faster again at Raglan (the final round of the NZRC).”
The Sheehans Motorsport team will first turn their attention to the final round of the Mainland Series, the Hanmer Rally, on September 1.
Press Release by BB Media