New Zealand’s fastest Police officer Darren Galbraith showed his true speed at round three of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the Lone Star Rally Canterbury, only to be forced out when a recurring overheating problem forced him to stop.
Heading into the event, Galbraith was looking to repeat his podium finish at Rally Whangarei and despite backing off and running a low boost setting in the inclement weather conditions, was surprised to find himself leading the event after the opening two stages.
A massive battle with Matt Summerfield ensued, Galbraith dropping to second after stage three before he and co-driver Rocky Hudson regained the lead on stage four, opening a gap of close to five seconds, but becoming concerned by the car’s appetite for water.
Heading into stage five, Galbraith knew that a lift in speed was achievable and would help him gain a stranglehold on the event, and he attacked difficult conditions. By the three quarter stage mark, Galbraith looked set to extend his margin by the best part of 10 seconds, but the overheating became worse and caused him to back off and cruise to the finish of the stage. He dropped to second place, only a tenth of a second away from the rally lead.
Worse was to come on the touring stage. After topping the water supply up, the engine dropped on to three cylinders and with the realisation things were getting worse, the gut wrenching decision was made to retire.
“Rallying offers up such great highs and low lows and unfortunately just when we thought we were headed for the highs, we got the lowest of lows,” said Galbraith. “I was really surprised that we were so quick early on, we’d put the car on the low boost setting and certainly weren’t taking any risks, but the speed was there, which is really pleasing. The plan was to try and make a bit of a break before the night stages, but unfortunately the engine cried enough. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.”
The team now head to the mid-season break having falling to 13th in the points standings.
Galbraith Rallysport is proudly supported by Ranger Specialist Coatings, LJ’s Auto Align, Farmlands Grain and Seed, Trident Homes, All About Signs, Harbour View Motel Timaru, Cromwell Collision Repair, Rapid Performance, My Travel Broker, Saikou TWB, Todd Mudie Group, Autoparts Partsworld, Cool Air Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Repco Timaru and the Paddon Foundation.
For more information, please contact Darren Galbraith on 021 331 499.