New Zealand Rally Championship round two
Noel Moloney and his driver Quentin Palmer have the engine of their Mitsubishi Lancer E5 repaired in time for this weekend’s International Rally of Rally of Whangarei – the second round of the New Zealand Rally Championship.
The crew are contesting the Newcomers element of the championship for the first time but suffered cruel luck on the opening round- Rally Otago – last month.
Both Moloney and Palmer are based in the North Island, near Auckland, and their service crew spent the best part of three days getting their Lance to the South Island-based Otago Rally. Despite a top 12 overall and class leading time on the opening stage their rally ended on stage two when the car’s engine gave up the ghost.
This weekend’s event will feature 18 Special Stages over 264 kilometres on what is widely regarded as New Zealand’s best gravel rally roads.
Moloney and Palmer face stiff opposition – a total of 12 cars are entered in the Newcomers category, and while they are targeting a class win they know, their task wont be easy.
“Hopefully we will get a clean run in Whangarei and have a good battle with 11 competitors in our category and come out in the podium on Saturday evening,” Duagh native Moloney told Kerry Motorsport News, “Hopefully we can take top honours in Category 5 (newcomers) this weekend to make up for Otago.”
The rally gets underway at 7am Irish time on Friday morning (or 6pm NZ time). After two spectators stage on Friday, the Cat 5 newcomer crews face eight more tests on Saturday. The first car expected at the finish at Semenoff Rugby Stadium Saturday afternoon – NZ time.
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