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Motu Magic On Day Two Of The Silver Fern Rally

Media Release
12th November 2012 – Immediate release

Motu Magic On Day Two Of The Silver Fern Rally

Day Two of the epay Silver Fern Rally has seen a major shakeup of the leader board as the crews tackled the mighty Motu on their way from Rotorua to Gisborne.

While the morning started to plan, with a mere 15sec covering the top 5 in the Historic Trophy, it was the afternoon stages that saw all of the action. The 40km Motu lived up to its reputation, and the challenges continued with Rakauroa and Whakarau making up 100km over the three. It was Shane Murland who made the first move and he blitzed the front runners. Going from 6th and 42sec off first place at the start of the day, he is now sitting pretty in Gisborne with a healthy 1min 46sec lead.

Behind Murland has been a game of musical chairs as Deane Buist, Neil Allport, Jeff Judd, and Vince Bristow have all had their ups and downs, but with only 51 seconds covering this group you can be sure this order will change again tomorrow.

However an honourable mention must go to Geoff Portman. Having crashed off the road in the morning, he was back in the rally after the midday service at Opotiki. He then stormed through the tight and twisty roads of the afternoon, beating Murland for the stage wins and setting stage records in the process. Thus proving that Aussies can drive around corners, and lots of them all in a row too.

The Silver Fern Challenge has also seen a change in the top order, with Brian Stokes moving from third to first in his highly modified Escort. But it wasn’t a straight forward move. Having jumped ahead of Brent Taylor’s Toyota, and closed the gap on Dave Strong by midday, it was then Taylor who blasted through Motu 1min 19sec quicker than Stokes. This briefly gave Taylor the lead, until he stumbled in the next stage, allowing Stokes into first.

Stokes then extended his margin on the last stage of the day to have a 21sec lead over Strong’s Honda, with another 25sec back to Taylor. However the biggest gain in the Challenge field goes to the newest car. Leigh Marston used the freshly built Ford Fiesta R2 to good effect today as he climbed from 10th yesterday to 4th today.

The Silver Frond also saw action. Andrew Shrimpton had broken more than just the driveshaft in his Escort yesterday. He bought a replacement engine off Trademe yesterday afternoon, had it fitted overnight, and was back in the rally today. However James Hewlett still leads, with Trevor Taylor moving the Mirage up to second after Stuart McFarlane had mechanical issues with his Porsche. Former NZ Rally Champion co-driver Jim Robb has moved from the silly seat to the driving seat and he is now comfortably third in his Datsun Sunny.

However the crews won’t be able to relax in Gisborne for long. The tests just keep coming as the road train diverts into the hills for 7 special stages and 178km of sideways fun on the way to Napier. Again the names are synonymous with rallying. Hereheretau, Cricklewood, and Mohaka Coach all bring smiles to those in the know.

The epay Zone in Napier will be on Marine Parade south of the National Aquarium from 5:20pm, allowing people to see the cars up close and mingle with the drivers as they head into the end of day service. There will be a commentary and driver interviews, along with the latest end of day results. epay will also have event merchandise on sale and there will be giveaways.

More information on where you can see the rally is available at Full results are available on

Shane Murland splashing his way into the lead
Photo Credit: Geoff Ridder

For more information on the event visit


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