Malley takes victory in dramatic Rally of the North

| Photographer Credit: Jason Bryne

Whangarei’s Patrick Malley has survived the carnage to take a comfortable victory on Saturday’s Tanoa Paihia Hotel Rally of the North, coming home more than three and a half minutes ahead of his opposition.

Malley and co-driving mother Linzi, competing in a Peugeot 208 Proto, lead home the highly experienced Brian Green/Fleur Pedersen, who took the runner up spot on the last of the eight special stages, ending up six tenths of a second ahead of fellow Mitsubishi pilot Matt Jensen/Kieran Anstis.

The tricky roads used on the event saw plenty of crews strike trouble, with only 24 of the 42 starting teams completing all of the 180km of competition. Top seed Todd Bawden took victory on the opening special stage, only to go off the road in stage two. That left young Rotorua driver Sloan Cox in the lead, until he too left the road in special stage six. In the end, only two of the top ten seeds made the finish.

An overall win also gave Malley victory in class D, while fifth place overall was enough for Craig Stevens and wife Sarah to take their Ford Escort to class C victory. Class B honours went the way of Scott Ogle and Dennis Pullman in their Toyota Starlet, while class E was topped by seventh placed Kian Scherer and Murray Manion in their Subaru Legacy.

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