Fine Finish For Westy

Published: Mon 27 Aug 2012 11:17 AM
For Immediate Release
26 AUGUST 2012
Fine Finish For Westy
Timaru driver Chris West enjoyed a great finish to the 2012 NZ Rally Championship in Gisborne on Sunday when he won Leg 2 of Rally Gisborne in his new Andrew Simms Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 10.
West, and co-driver Chris Cobham of Palmerston North, finished 55.6 seconds ahead of Matt Jansen and Jason Farmer with Brian Green and Fleur Pedersen third for the leg. Green and Pedersen took overall victory after West and Cobham had failed to finish Leg 1.
West won the last three stages of the event including the Power Stage which carries extra championship points. The result allowed both Westy and Cobham to take fourth in their respective drivers and co-drivers championships after a season in which several minor issues cost them points.
Rally Gisborne was the fifth and final round of the championship and Westy and Cobham debuted the Andrew Simms Mitsubishi Rally Team's new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 at a National Championship round.
Westy, the 2004 National Rally Champion, started well on the first day to lead after the third Special Stage. However disaster struck two stages later when the Andrew Simms Mitsubishi EVO 10 clipped a railway sleeper, breaking a steering arm. Westy and Cobham were out on the spot.
Repairs were made and West rejoined the fray on Sunday for Leg 2 of the event. Westy showed the potential of the new car throughout the day. Of the five stages he won three, building up a good lead after the demise of Richard Mason who had clinched his fourth National Title the previous day.
"I'm really happy with what we achieved," said Westy as he explained the difficulties of getting to grips with a new car in the heat of competition. "We made good progress with the car. We didn't go the right way with all the changes but we learned a lot. Looking at the big picture it was quite beneficial. It is a reasonably big task introducing a new car. It is a huge amount of work. As hard as it is to do it when you are in competition unfortunately you just have to do it. At no stage was the car consistently the same. The restart on Sunday gave us a chance to learn what we have. What you want is miles. The car is nice to drive and you need seat time to move forward as we look towards next year."
Support for Chris West and the Andrew Simms Mitsubishi Rally Team in the Brian Green Property Group 2012 NZ Rally Championship powered by Brother comes from Andrew Simms Mitsubishi, Castrol, Pirelli Tyres, Team Ralliart NZ and the New Zealand Herald.
Photograph - Chris West and Chris Cobham at full speed in the Andrew Simms Mitsubishi EVO 10 on their way to victory in Leg 2 at Rally Gisborne this weekend - please credit Geoff Ridder
Round 1 - 30 March-1 April 2012 Rally Of Whangarei (Asia-Pacific Rally Championship)
Round 2 - 27-29 April 2012 Rally Wairarapa
Round 3 - 25-27 May 2012 Rally Of Otago
Round 4 - 21-24 June 2012 Rally New Zealand
Round 5 - 25-26 August 2012 Rally Gisborne

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