Rangiora’s Matt Summerfield took redemption on the second day of the International Rally of Whangarei, the second round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, over the weekend.
Summerfield headed to the event looking to show good speed, but the failure of a cambelt tensioner on the first super special stage on Friday night saw the car grind to a halt within a kilometre of the start of the rally.
While many teams would have given up, the Matt Summerfield Rallisport team got stuck in, working right through the night and the following morning to rebuild the engine. That meant the team could rejoin for the power stage and fight for bonus points, although an accident for a rival team saw the stage cancelled.
After settling in over four stages in the afternoon, Summerfield and co-driving sister Nicole put their foot down on day two and set four second fastest stage times in six stages, each time placing the Castrol Edge Subaru behind WRC star Hayden Paddon and well clear of the chasing pack. The pace was rewarded by second place for the day behind Paddon, taking a crucial five bonus points.
“Having a mechanical failure on Friday night was gutting, it was a brand new part, but that’s rallying. What our team achieved was incredible, they worked their butts off and the chance to do what we did on Sunday wouldn’t have happened without them. I can’t wait for Canterbury now,” said Summerfield.