Summerfield heads to Otago with confidence

| Photographer Credit: Jason Bryne

Christchurch’s Matt Summerfield heads to the opening round of the 2016 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship with confidence off the back of a strong finish to the 2015 season.

Summerfield and co-driving sister Nicole took their debut championship round victory at Rally Wairarapa, the final round of the series last season. The result rounded out a season of increased speed and consistency with their new Castrol Edge Subaru Impreza, that eventually resulted in third place overall in the NZRC.

Last year at Otago, 23-year old Summerfield suffered engine problems but returned on day two to take maximum points on the power stage over the infamous Kuri Bush stage. This year, he is looking for a more trouble free run to put a solid haul of points on the board early in the season.

“It was great to get that win last year heading into the off-season, which lifted the spirit of the whole team across the summer. That really helps as we head into the new season,” says Summerfield. “Which is just as well, it’s a hugely competitive field this year and we want to be fighting at the front of it.”

After a ceremonial start in Dunedin’s Octagon on Friday night, Saturday 9 April sees teams head as far north as Oamaru before returning south via the infamous Dansey’s Pass to the traditional tarmac super special in Dunedin to finish the opening day. The following day sees a further nine special stages to the west of Dunedin before the finish, held at the railway station, from 3.25pm.

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!

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