Timaru’s Darren Galbraith/James Bracefield (Mitsubishi Evo 6) have won the 2016 Stadium Finance/REPCO Westland Rally for the second year running from Rangiora’s Matt Summerfield/Nicole Summerfield (Subaru WRX) with Deane Buist/Karl Celeste (Ford Escort) third. Held in wet and often slippery conditions, the rally threw up a number of challenges for the 57 entries, with only 39 making the finish line.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the win,” said Galbraith. “It wasn’t without its moments and the pace is certainly getting quicker each year.”
Second place Matt Summerfield won the opening stage but then lost the lead to Galbraith who held it to the end, winning four special stages and never finishing lower than second in the other five.
“The rally went really well,” commented Summerfield. “The whole thing went faultlessly and we achieved what we wanted to do. We have rebuilt the car since last season and needed to put it through its paces before we head to Rally Otago.
“Darren was really pushing real hard, as we could tell by following his marks through the stages”
Undoubtedly it was this pace that brought about the win but very nearly was the undoing of the rally for Galbraith and Bracefield.
“The rally was pretty exciting for us as we had quite a few ‘moments’,” commented Galbraith. “On the very first stage we nearly hit some deer that ran out in front of the car while we were in fifth gear.
“But just before that we clipped the edge of a bridge. The road was very wet and we braked a bit late.
“We had a few other moments later during the day as Matt (Summerfield) was pushing us all the way.
“Going into the last stage we had a 22sec lead. However, we spun and the car stalled and initially we couldn’t get it started. We lost about 18-20 seconds and we thought that it may have been enough for Matt to take the lead. We kept pushing and fortunately went quicker than Matt on that stage and it was enough to secure the win.”
Unbeknown to Galbraith, Summerfield had elected to cruise through this stage and secure second position.
“The last stage, (Ahaura SS9) we struggled for rhythm so elected to cruise and secure the result,” said Summerfield.
Deane Buist won the final stage, his third in the rally to secure third overall and first home in Class C.
Expect Galbraith to be back in 2017.
“We are definitely keen to come back next year to do three in a row,” commented Galbraith.
1 Darren Galbraith/James Bracefield Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6 1:06:05.8
2 Matt Summerfield/Nicole Summerfield Subaru WRX 1:06:36.4
3 Deane Buist/Karl Celeste Ford Escort 1:06:44.8
4 Jeff Judd/Grant Marra Subaru WRX 1:07:44.5
5 Regan Ross/Tania Ross Ford Escort RS1800 1:08:14.8
6 Richard Bateman/Sharisse Guckert Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 8 1:08:46.7
7 Cleve Kokshoorn/Jordyn Smith Toyota Corolla 1:09:00.1
8 Marcus van Klink/Dave Neill Mazda RX7 1:09:11.9
9 Graham Ferguson/Ross Moody Ford Escort RS1800 1:09:51.6
10 David Clearwater/Stephen Lloyd Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4 1:10:14.6
11 David Gee/Liam Gee Subaru WRX 1:11:18.5
12 Job Quantock/Sarah Brennan Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 7 1:11:47.3
13 David Quantock/Emma Quantock Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 8 1:12:05.4
14 Wade Henshaw/Pearl Moore Mazda RX7 1:13:19.5
15 Roger Townshend/Matt Richards Ford Escort RS1800 1:13:32.8
16 Russell Burgess/John Simpson Toyota Celica GT4 1:14:10.4
17 Cameron Moore/Chris Nicholas Toyota Trueno 1:14:37.6
18 Lloyd Owen/Jonty Brenssell Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 1:15:13.6
19 Andrew Sim/Caleb Sim Ford Fiesta 1:15:23.3
20 Garry Cliff/James Cowles Datsun 160J 1:15:23.7
21 Darryl Campbell/Mike Tall Toyota Altezza 1:15:39.6
22 Ray Wilson/Donna Elder Audi S2 1:15:40.1
23 Jim McDonald/Craig Abernathy Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 5 1:16:11.9
24 Greg Murphy/Mark Leonard Vauxhall Chevette 1:16:22.5
25 Steve Cattermole/Mark Clemens Datsun 1200 1:16:55.6
26 Mike Townshend/Gareth Spence Toyota Corolla AE86 1:16:59.8
27 Allan Kermeen/Sarah Faulkner Subaru WRX 1:17:18.4
28 Deborah Kibble/Heather Johnston Lancer EX Turbo 1:17:53.
29 Chris Lancaster/Murray Lancaster Suzuki Swift 1:17:57.8
30 Wayne Muckle/Thomas Muckle Porsche 911 1:18:11.2
31 Taylor Judd/Sean Sands Toyota Corolla 1:18:16.9
32 Darren Keen/Nick Jenner Toyota Corolla 1:18:39..3
33 David Taylor/Pania Huntley Honda Civic 1:20:25.9
34 Chris Herdman/Aaron Ruddick Toyota Starlet 1:21:01.3
35 Rex Ford/Gary Wilkinson Datsun 180B 1:21:36.4
36 Matt Wright/Richard Richards Subaru WRX 1:25:11.3
37 Barry Varcoe/Steve Gray Subaru WRX 1:30:21.3
38 Kevin Lynch/Wayne Julian Toyota Corolla AE86 1:34:07.7
39 Eddie Gray/Josh Skafer Ford Escort RS1800 1:51:10.4
dnf Peter Scharmach/ Jacob Bennett Subaru WRX
dnf Brent Rawstron/Ian McKee Ford Escort RS1800
dnf Nigel Barclay/Josh Marston Ford Escort 2000
dnf William Hawes/Arthur Halliday Toyota Celica GT4
dnf Graham Wilson/Leanne Jolly Toyota Starlet
dnf Neil Gee/Joel Lynch Subaru WRX
dnf Phillip Walker/Michael Gunn Mazda RX7
dnf Murray Sollitt/Michelle Blaskiewicz Datsun Sunny
dnf Jason Clark/Tracey Clark Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 5
dnf Phillip Lash/Jeff Sara Mazda GTX
dnf John Silcock/Richard Atkinson Mazda RX7
dnf Phil Collins/Tracy Spark Audi Quattro
dnf Nigel Ross/Chris McLean Ford Fiesta
dnf Dave Ollis/Jessica Ollis Subaru WRX
dnf Glen Daly/Shane Thornley Ford Escort 1600
dnf Ashton Wood/Fred Merkin Ford Eswcort RS1800