I’m in the process of putting it together my full event report at present, but wanted to put this short bit piece together to congratulate good mates Antony Jones (Jonesy) and Noel Moloney on winning the VINZ National Rally of Whangarei.
These two have been a good combination since pairing up last year along with a fantastic Honda powered Escort. They’re always a pleasure to watch compete, with a driving style which is best suited to the Escort. During Day 1 they pair eased into Stage one setting the third fastest time. During Stage two Jonesy was picking up the pace when as he flew down hill into a hairpin it felt like something gave way in the rear of the car – possibly a puncture. Despite this he continued on and out of the stage setting the fastest time. Unfortunately this stage claimed some of his competition when Doug Adnitt clipped(possibly caused by a puncture) a bank and rolled out of the rally.
As the day progressed Jonesy was putting in competitive times, until during SS6, the rear end issue became too much and made the car very difficult to drive costing valuable time. During service the service crew carried out a make shift repair using a couple of tie down straps allowing Jonesy to continue into the night stages. At the end of the day I believe Jonesy was ready to retire due to the broken rear end, but the willing and very able service crew (Shaun Williamson, Georgie Williamson and Bryn Jones) managed to make the temporary repair stronger with some welding, (and tie downs straps), allowing the team to carry on for day two.
Jonesy put in some good times during Day 2, only beaten by Ben Huband in his Subaru Legacy RS. Tony Gosling was the pacesetter on the road during Day 2 but his times didn’t count towards the overall result. Fortunately Jonesy and Noel had done enough for the overall win with Jeff Torkington 2nd and Ben Huband 3rd with only 5 seconds separating the top 3.
Well done Jonesy, Noel Shaun, Bryn and Georgie for doing an awesome job and coming home with the VINZ National Rally of Whangarei Trophy!