Malley takes maiden rally win
Malley takes maiden rally win.
In what must be the most successful week of his three year rallying career, 24 year old Patrick Malley has backed up claiming his first New Zealand Rally Championship title at Nelson on Sunday by winning the Hugh Baird Memorial rally in his former home town of Hawke’s Bay.
The result is the first outright victory for a Ford Fiesta ST150 in Australasia, and an excellent end to the season for the NZ Truth/Citizen Watches sponsored car.
Malley set three fastest stage times and was never outside the top four all day, impressive especially considering he had neither the four-wheel drive nor the turbocharger some of his rivals possessed.
Making the victory even sweeter, Malley’s entry was touch and go after severe mechanical damage resulting from the previous weekend’s rocky Nelson roads. However the M Rally Team crew performed miracles to get their car ready and Malley repaid them with the ultimate result.
The team now focus their attention on getting the Citizen Watches Mitsubishi Evo 9 ready for the Pirelli Star Driver contest in Malaysia on the 11-12th October. The winner of the star driver scheme will get the chance to contest six rounds of the Production World Rally Championship in either a group N or super 2000 spec car.
To round off the year Malley will have the opportunity to contest the Fiesta Sporting Trophy international shootout in the UK , as a reward for winning the New Zealand Fiesta Sporting Trophy. The winner of the shootout earns a 12 month employment contract with the Abu Dhabi World Rally Team based in England.