Rangiora’s Matt Summerfield has made a strong comeback at round four of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the Fuchs Rally Gisborne.
After three weeks of hard work to rebuild the car after a rollover at the previous round, Summerfield was tentative heading into the event but also knowing a solid result was required to keep their hope of a championship podium alive.
Despite easing their way back into things, Summerfield and co-driving sister Nicole set a strong pace to sit fifth equal after the opening stage in the Castrol Edge Subaru.
The tour to the second stage saw the car develop a brake fluid leak, leaving the pair to make a temporary remedy to the situation before tackling the infamous Motu, although they would have to take 20 seconds in time penalties to make the repairs.
With the brake problem manageable, Summerfield stormed through the notorious stage to set the third fastest time through the stage. The following stage would see a sixth fastest time, with the 23 year old hampered by gear selection issues.
With just one stage to go, Summerfield put his car issues behind him and charged, with the second fastest stage time also seeing him move up to fourth overall.
“It’s a great result, particularly for everyone that worked so hard to get the car ready again after Canterbury,” said Summerfield. “It certainly wasn’t all plain sailing throughout the day, but at the end of the day we were able to bring it home and get a solid haul of points to go with it.”
The Matt Summerfield Rallisport team now focus their attention on the penultimate round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel, on August 22.