Defending champion Derek Ayson got his Southern Rally Series title defence off to the best possible start at the Rally Of Otago.
While points were awarded on overall finishing positions in the Laird Motorsport & Models event the Gore driver finished third in the classic section in his Nissan-powered Ford Escort giving him 32 points, five more than Carter Strang, of Wallacetown, who won the all-comers rally section in his Mitsubishi EVO 6, with Russell Burgess of Timaru third in his Toyota Celica ST205, four points behind Strang.
The co-drivers for the top three drivers overall are also first, second and third respectively in their championship after the opening round with Lisa Hudson leading from Stewart Robbie and Phillip Andrew.
Ayson also took maximum points in class C (1601cc & over) from James Worker, of Wyndham, in his Ford Fiesta ST and Deborah Kibble, of Waimate, in a Lancer.
In the class C co-drivers championship Hudson leads from Tasha Oakden.
- The Southland Times