Haddon Paddon: Brother Rally New Zealand Day 1
Today has been a tough opening day of Brother Rally of New Zealand. As the longest day of the event with only a midday remote service, we knew that we would have to look after the car but still push on at a good speed.
Unfortunately that was something I was unable to do on the morning loop as we struggled with the set-up of the car in the slippery conditions. With the rear of the car sliding around a lot it was hard to carry any corner speed and we lost time with this. Nevertheless we still got to the midday break with a healthy lead.
The afternoon started a little better until halfway through the infamous Whaanga Coast stage, 2nd gear went bang. A very crucial gear for this particular stage meant we lost a lot of time but more concerning we were worried if we would get through the rest of the day with a very sick sounding gearbox.
On the next stage we also lost 6th gear and on the final stage lost the clutch. So it was a matter of nursing the car through the stages to get back to the end of day service back in Auckland. I must admit that getting back to Auckland on the motorways, traffic lights etc with no clutch meant it was almost a special stage of its own. We made it back however and our team did a great job repairing the car and is now as good as new for tomorrow. We still hold a big lead in SWRC and are 12th overall, but unfortunately lost some time this afternoon to the WRC cars ahead. We will push tomorrow though on my favourite stages north of Auckland and hope to set some better stage times. Will keep you posted.
Follow this link below to see our Day 1 video blog