Christchurch’s Marcus van Klink has seen a strong result slip through his fingers after crashing out of the opening round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the Otago Classic Rally.
After completing the build of a new Mazda RX-8 over the off-season, the Klink Rallysport team decided to take their trusty RX-7 to the Otago Classic for a shot at a second victory.
A solid start to the day saw van Klink and co-driver Dave Neill sitting in fourth after the opening three public road stages. A charge through the forestry-based stage four would see the pair jump into third place.
A solid afternoon saw van Klink stay inside the top four as teams returned to Dunedin, as a bonus also second of the NZRC historic competitors, whilst also surviving the infamous super special stage without a traditional spin.
Day two started well when van Klink moved the Buteline Mazda back up to third place on the opening stage of the day and a lot closer to the front running pace.
The positive run took a negative turn a small mistake in stage 11 would be heavily punished, with the Mazda fired off the road, rolling twice and causing retirement, van Klink’s first roll in seven years of campaigning the RX-7.
“It’s not quite what we had in mind. The idea was to get the car through this event and give it a bit of a birthday, now it’s going to need a bit more of a birthday, but really it could be a lot worse as well,” said van Klink. “The speed was pretty encouraging, but now I can’t wait to get the Buteline RX-8 out for Whangarei.”
The team now prepare for the championship debut of the Buteline Mazda RX-8 at Rally Whangarei on April 28-30.