The 2013 New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) came to a disappointing end for Christchurch rally driver, Marcus van Klink who finished the historic championship in third, after a promising start at the final round, held at Rally Wairarapa over the weekend.
Van Klink and co-driver Dave Neill had been dicing for the historic class lead at the event for most of the day but a small bump in the road caused van Klink’s Chesters Plumbing Mazda RX7 to slide wide, getting the duo stuck in a ditch and losing six minutes in the process.
“Dave [Neill, co-driver] and I were absolutely gutted. It was a stupid thing to have happen really. We weren’t pushing that hard and I approached the corner the same as others like it, but that bump, which we didn’t spot during recce [pre-event reconnaissance], cost us dearly,” said van Klink.
“We wanted to finish the season on a high after a tough start to the season but it just wasn’t meant to be.”
While the historic class championship title win was unlikely to eventuate for van Klink and his Chesters Plumbing team at Rally Wairarapa, he was still determined to showcase his pace at the final round to prove why he was the 2012 historic class champion.
“We came to the championship this year keen to defend our title from 2012. Unfortunately, a couple of minor mechanical issues plagued us at the early rounds which cost us dearly towards the end of the season,” said van Klink.
“So our main aim for this event was just to have some fun on the great roads around Wairarapa and win the rally in the process.”
Earlier in the season, van Klink and his Chesters Plumbing team, had successfully won two rallies in the historic class during their 2013 rally campaign, on top of several power stage wins, proving the team’s dominant pace throughout the season.
“We had the right formula to win rallies this year. After we fixed those issues from earlier in the year, the Chesters Plumbing Mazda RX7 was perfect. Dave [Neill] always did a top job on the notes and kept me on the road, and my service crew were always there doing a great job too.”
“We’d also just like to thank everyone who helped us this year. It was an incredibly tough year for us but the support we received from our sponsors, families and friends never faltered and we’d just like to say we appreciate that.”
Van Klink’s NZRC campaign is supported by Chesters Plumbing and Bathrooms, AMT Mechanical, Castrol Oil, Universal Plumbing, Buteline Al Marsh Rotorsport and Palmside.
Media Release: Alana McIsaac (October, 2013)