Rangiora’s Matt Summerfield heads to the second round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, Rally Whangarei, looking to step up a gear after a tough opening round.
The opening round, held three weeks ago in Dunedin, saw Summerfield as one of the favourites, but a series of problems hampered he and co-driving sister Nicole. When the car ran well, Summerfield was able to record the second fastest time on the power stage behind WRC driver Hayden Paddon.
Since that event, the whole Matt Summerfield Rallisport team have been over the Castrol Edge Subaru with a fine tooth comb to avoid a repeat of the Otago issues on an event that has delivered two podium finishes in the past two attempts.
Outside of a good record of results, it is an event Summerfield enjoys, with a combination of fantastic roads and the only event in New Zealand to offer two-pass reconnaissance. The two pass recce is particularly important for the pair, who write their own pace notes as opposed to using organiser supplied safety notes.
“Really, we can’t afford another low points score this season, so we’ll be pushing on fairly hard at Whangarei, not going silly, but a bit harder than we went in Otago,” says Summerfield. “It’s a cool event, we had some really good notes last year and we can build on them, so I can’t wait to get underway.”