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Close call for champion van Klink

Close call for champion van Klink

Newly crowned New Zealand Historic Rally Champion Marcus van Klink has come away from the final round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, powered by Brother, Rally Gisborne, having completed his pre-event goal, but not without a couple of close calls to keep the Cantabrian on his toes.

Coming to the event, van Klink needed a finish to wrap up the title regardless of other results and despite taking a conservative approach to ensure such a result, led the historic class after stage five and was sixth overall in the NZRC standings despite roads that didn’t suit the powerful Mico plumbing supplies Mazda RX-7 Group B replica.

However on stage six, a broken axle forced van Klink and co-driver Dave Neill to spend the remainder of the opening leg as spectators while also left contemplating their championship chances.

Day two saw the pair rejoin in an attempt to gain maximum bonus points to ensure their championship chances. Again, van Klink set out to an early lead in the historic class despite driving to finish and when title rival Miles McElwain made a mistake, van Klink had one hand on his first national title.

But the rally gods had one more trick to play and with 12kms remaining in the final stage, a broken brake line left van Klink with no brakes. After some nervous moments, van Klink made the end of the day to wrap up his first national rally championship title.

The result gives van Klink and Neill the final major classic rallying title left to win this season, going along with the Classic Challenge Trophy, Malcolm Stewart Classic Rally and Otago Classic Rally titles won earlier in the season.

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“I’m absolutely wrapped to get the championship but there were some nervous moments over the weekend before we got there,” said van Klink. “I really have to thank our team this year, they have done an awesome job all year and I couldn’t do it without them. Also thanks to Mico Plumbing Supplies, our major sponsor, and the boys at Palmside who prepare the car between events.

This weekend sees the team focus their attention on the final round of the Mainland Rally Series, which van Klink also leads, Rally Canterbury.

ENDS

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