Gravel gets better of young driver
Pride dented but not as much as the carPETER LAMPP
Pride was dented but not as much as the car of Paul De Rose when it flipped during Rally Wairarapa near Eketahuna on Saturday.
The young Palmerston North driver, 22, was going well at the time, sitting inside the top 10.
He had a fourth in stage two and was speeding along at seventh to ninth in the other stages when it all came to grief 10km from the end of the 14.7km Mangaoranga special stage 7 south of Eketahuna.
His father, Graeme, essentially the Team De Rose crew chief, was waiting at the end of the stage, but Paul didn't show.
Graeme asked the driver of the next car through and was told the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7 was on its roof, but that Paul and navigator Logan Sayer were out of the car and unhurt.
Then it was a matter of getting the car on a trailer and transporting it back to Palmerston North.
One of the first on the scene was the car's owner, Palmerston North mechanic Morrie Ebert.
At the time Paul has been probably getting along at 140kmh or more.
"He went into a corner a bit hot where there was quite deep gravel," Graeme said. "He got into loose stuff, went wide on the corner, corrected it, slid into a fence and into a drain and over she went."
The cars are fitted with sturdy roll cages and although it looked a mess, it was only superficial damage, mostly to the panels , and the windscreen, which had caved in.
"He had done six stages, was into the third to last one and was definitely showing he's got a lot of speed. It's a good learning curve."
Paul De Rose and his rallying were profiled in the Manawatu Standard last week, which provoked some friends to say it might have been a hoodoo.
He has driven only five events this season which has been a patchy one, punctuated by flat tyres and mechanical problems.
While Paul will take a few days to get over the crash, his father said once you had the rallying bug it did not go away in a hurry.
"We've got to get the car fixed and we'll reassess things."
De Rose was one of 14 withdrawals during Saturday's rally, five of them for similar off-road excursions.
Manawatu's Geof Argyle and Tara Gwynne in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 finished fourth overall in the rally won by international Hayden Paddon. Argyle won stage 2 and was second in the opening stage.
Manawatu's Tony McConachy was 16th in his Toyota Starlet and runner-up in Class B.
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