Kaiapoi’s Marcus van Klink heads to this weekend’s Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel with little pressure on his shoulders in his pursuit for a third historic title in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship.
A near-dream run in the Chesters Plumbing Supplies Mazda RX-7 to date this season has seen van Klink open up a solid points advantage, also moving himself into fifth place in the outright NZRC standings and top two-wheel drive car. As a reward for his top five championship placing, van Klink will be a part of the road order selection draw, the first time a two-wheel drive competitor has had the opportunity to do so.
With championship rules dictating that each team must drop their worst score from the first five rounds, van Klink can only better his score before the final round by one point if he can win both the event and the power stage, so can really attack the event without fear of compromising his championship position.
Last year, with a championship win up for grabs at the event, van Klink had a troubled day, with punctures and a fuel pump problem giving him nervous moments. Despite that, he and co-driver Dave Neill were able to win their class and with it, the championship.
“It’s good to come to this event with no pressure on, last year we had all the pressure on and it was horrible,” says van Klink. “The top five draw should be a bit of fun, I just hope the boys don’t stitch me up and put us first on the road!”
Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel gets underway with a ceremonial start from 4.30pm in Whitianga on Friday afternoon. The following day, teams will tackle nine special stages totalling 130 kilometres before the finish ceremony from 4.15pm.