Consistency has Jeff Judd win the Hanmer Rally
Consistency had Christchurch's Jeff Judd win the Royce Watson Memorial Hanmer Rally on Saturday.
Judd didn't win a stage but recording ten top times on all 10 stages driving an older 1993 Subaru gave him a 15.2 second winning margin over Dylan Turner (Audi S3). Turner and Josh Marston (Holden Barina) won all 10 stages between them but the consistent Judd was second or third in six stages.
Marston won six stages but a clutch problem on stage 5 cost him almost 2 minutes and ultimately the overall victory. Turner had four wins among his nine top 10 stage finishes but a 12th place finish on stage 3 proved costly.
Rangiora's Matt Summerfield was unable to defend his title, having won the three previous events.
Summerfield had to line up in his older Subaru Legacy after suffering severe damage in the previous weekend's Coromandel Rally – where he came off the road on stage five and slipped out of the overall New Zealand Rally Championship lead.
However, the defending champion put in an impressive performance to finish 10th without the top end speed of some of the other drivers had at their disposal.
Fellow Rangiora driver Matt Penrose (Subaru Impreza) finished sixth.
Ohoka's David Quantock (Mitsubishi Lancer) was seventh, and also had the unofficial award for biggest air over the ford which had more water in it than previous years which caught several drivers out.
Rangiora teenager Ari Pettigrew (Ford Fiesta) was happy enough to reach the finish line in 31st.
"What a relief to finally finish a rally! Had an awesome trouble free day in the Hanmer Forest," Pettigrew said.
After a promising start, Ohoka's Job Quantock (Mitsubishi Lancer) lost front drive and had to withdraw after stage six, one of 12 drivers that failed to finish.
The rally was the sixth round of the Stadium Finance Mainland Series. Heading into the round it is Deane Buist, who finished fourth overall in Hanmer, in the lead on 107 points with a 12 point lead over Judd, with Summerfield a further four points behind.
The Mainland Series wraps up in three weeks' time with the South Canterbury Rally in Geraldine.
Rally action returns to North Canterbury on September 16 with the annual Ashley Forest Rally Sprint.