Photo credit : Euan Cameron

Van Klink’s rally championship fight back on track

Photo credit : Euan Cameron
Photo credit : Euan Cameron

Marcus van Klink, from Kaiapoi near Christchurch, fought back in the New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC), over the weekend after winning the historic class at the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally, increasing his championship title chances in the process.

Van Klink, aided by co-driver Dave Neill, drove his way to victory at the penultimate championship round across roads he has never competed on before but says he’s happy with the team’s pace.

“Our goal was to come here and be fast. We’ve done just that and managed to score maximum points for our championship along the way which was important for us,” said van Klink.

In addition to the overall historic class victory, van Klink also won the power stage for the third event this year which gave the team valuable championship points. A power stage is a pre-determined stage set by organisers where teams fight to set the fastest time against their rivals to score bonus points.

“We were extremely pleased to win the power stage as we had been in a fierce battle with Deane [Buist] all day. As the rally came to a close, we found some extra speed and put the final nail in the coffin in the last stage,” explained van Klink.

“We’d never driven through Maramarua forest before either so to set the fast times came as a little surprise to us considering both Jeff [Judd] and Deane [Buist] have competed here before. But the roads were brilliant and suited the Chesters Plumbing Mazda RX7 quite well.”

Rally organisers, for the first time this season, also included several tarmac stages for the crews to compete across which van Klink said he also enjoyed, despite being hesitant about the sealed surfaces prior to the rally.

“I have done some tarmac rallying in the past but I chose gravel for a reason,” laughed van Klink, “but it went pretty well. Dave [Neill] kept me focused and we had no close calls or spins on the tarmac which we’re very happy about.”

“The Chesters Plumbing Mazda RX7 also performed faultlessly all weekend which is a real credit to my crew and the preparation they’ve put in over the past few months.”

To continue their winning form, van Klink and Neill also took the Xtreme Rally Challenge Class 5 [historic] win at the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally, securing third place in the Xtreme Rally Challenge Series in the process [championship] despite only competing in two out of five events on the Xtreme Rally calendar.

The Chesters Plumbing team now shifts their focus to the final round of the NZRC, set to be held in Wairarapa in little over a month. Rally Wairarapa will be held on Saturday 5 October around Masterton where crews will compete across 134.11 kilometers of closed special stages predominantly to the north of Masterton over one day of competition.

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 (September, 2013)

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