Christchurch rally driver Josh Marston, was part of one of the closest battles in the New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) at Rally Canterbury over the weekend but ultimately finished in second place, keeping his championship title hopes alive.
Marston, who was competing at his home event in his Rubber Developments Ford Feista R2, went head to head with Tauranga’s Phil Campbell, but was eventually beaten by little over two seconds despite winning the power stage, picking up bonus championship points in the process.
The pair had been swapping times all day but Marston had experienced a few minor troubles during the day which cost him valuable seconds.
“The conditions out there in the forest were very tricky! There was a ford in one of the early stages which caused our windows to fog up and I couldn’t see a thing. We had to stop and Rocky [Hudson] had to get out to clear the windows which cost us quite a bit of time,” explained Marston.
“We also lost the intercom in the first stage which cost us more time. Then later in the day on stage five, we bent the front wheel alignment which didn’t help the whole situation.
“Other than that, the roads we used were absolutely fantastic. Both Rocky [Hudson] and I loved the event and other than our relatively minor issues, and losing both wing mirrors on the narrow roads, the Rubber Developments Ford Fiesta was faultless all weekend.”
Marston now sits only 11 points behind Campbell in the championship standings with two rounds left, but Marston is still committed to the team’s goal and will be pushing hard at future events.
“We are now planning our next trip north and looking at how we can maximise our points. Our goal from the start of the season still remains, and that is to win the championship,” said Marston.
The next round of the New Zealand Rally Championship is the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally, set to be held on Saturday 7 September around Pukekohe. The event marks the 10th anniversary of the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally, which celebrates the achievements of New Zealand’s iconic rally driver, Possum Bourne, arguably one of New Zealand’s most respected and well known rally drivers.
Marston’s 2013 NZRC campaign is supported by Rubber Developments, RDL Performance, ILS, Castrol and Signwise.
Media Release: Alana McIsaac (August, 2013)