Christchurch’s Marcus van Klink comes to the final round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the Hyundai NZ Raglan Rally of the Coast, with a long term strategy in place as he aims for a trouble-free finish.
After five rounds stretching the length of New Zealand, van Klink and co-driver Dave Neill head to the final round needing just a finish to wrap up the Gull Rally Challenge two-wheel drive class for the year, while also sitting third in the overall Gull challenge, a position he would love to defend against four-wheel drive cars.
Another reason for the added desire to finish is a four-day turn around before van Klink tackles the tarmac challenge of the Targa rally based in the lower South Island.
Since his last championship appearance in the championship, the Buteline Mazda RX-8 has found another 50 horsepower in a far more driveable range from the triple-rotor engine which should suit the largely fast flowing roads around the Waikato.
“It’s going to be a bit of a tricky event for us, obviously we always want to go as quick as we can but we’ve got to make sure we get to the end,” says van Klink. “The car is even more exciting to drive with the extra power, most of the rally should work well for us, but the tight bit at the end of Whangaa Coast could be interesting.”
The Hyundai NZ Raglan Rally of the Coast gets underway with a ceremonial start in Raglan from 5pm on Friday. The following day, teams will contest eight special stages on some of the most iconic gravel roads in world rallying, covering 171.8 kilometres, before finishing at the Raglan airfield from 5:15pm.