Rangiora’s Matt Summerfield is looking to maintain his second place in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ when the third round, the Lone Star Rally Canterbury, gets underway this weekend.
Summerfield has generally had a strong run on what is his home event, including an outright rally win in 2012, but last year when the event returned to championship status, a disastrous sequence of events saw the 21-year old and co-driving sister Nicole first stop to change a puncture and then roll out of the event.
In recent years, Rally Canterbury has been held in the Ashley Forest that Summerfield knows like the back of his hand, but for 2014 a change in route sees the event using public roads as far north as Cheviot, with only two forestry stages being used in the Okuku forest, effectively negating any home advantage the youngster may have.
“This year the plan is certainly to have a better run than last year!! It will certainly be a new challenge heading up to the public roads, we’ve used part of one in the opposite direction as a sprint,” says Summerfield. “But we will still be doing our best to get a good result on our home turf.”
The Lone Star Rally Canterbury kicks off with a ceremonial start at The Palms Mall in Christchruch from 4.45pm on Saturday before heading north to the Okuku Forest to contest two night stages. The following morning, crews leave the overnight Parc Ferme in Rangiora to contest four public road stages as far north as Cheviot, followed by a return to the two stages in Okuku Forest run in reverse direction, before returning to The Palms for the finish.
Matt Summerfield Rallisport would like to acknowledge their sponsors, without whom their 2014 campaign would not be possible: Castrol Edge, Autotech Services, NAC Insurance, North Canterbury Energy Centre, The Gearbox Company, Chatterton Builders, Gull Fuels, Liquorland, Ashby Engineering, I C Frith Insurance Brokers and No Limit Construction.
Press Release by BB Media