Cox Motorsport have got their 2017 New Zealand Rally Championship off to a great start with fifth overall at last weekend's Rally Otago. The effort the whole team put into the Taslo Engineering Mitsubishi Evo X over the off season has proved valuable with the car being more reliable allowing for the aim of finishing with a consistent result to be achieved.
Saturday started well for driver Sloan Cox and co-driver Sarah Coatsworth with the pairing quickly settling in together and recording top three stage times. However stage three saw the pairing catch the car in front and struggle with their dust. All was not lost and the pairing headed into stage four feeling confident, this was until they suffered a puncture from the Souths sharp rocks and had to continue driving 17km through the stage before changing the tyre. After this, the day became about producing consistent times and gaining valuable points for leg one of the rally.
Sunday brought new opportunities with top three stage times again being set and even taking out the win on the 47km, longest stage of the rally. However, the car suffered an off road excursion during stage 12 causing some time to be lost but thankfully the team were able to get out through a gate and complete the final stages to record a rally finish.
"The car was feeling amazing all weekend long and I felt really confident, especially in the longest stage of the event. We are really rapt with the overall rally finish in a first round, that was not easy," states Cox.
The Cox Motorsport team now turn their attention to Round Two of the New Zealand Rally Championship, International Rally of Whangarei held on 28th - 30th April. Follow the build up to the event on www.facebook.com/CoxMotorsport and www.twitter.com/CoxMotorsport