Kaiapoi’s Marcus van Klink has had a tough championship debut for his new Buteline Mazda RX-8 at the International Rally of Whangarei, with a multitude of small problems unfortunately seeing him retire from the event.
After starting the season in his trusty Mazda RX-7, van Klink was excited to give the RX-8 its first championship run at Whangarei, but unfortunately alternator failure on Friday night’s Super Special Stages left some anxious moments.
With the Klink Rallysport team replacing the alternator at the morning service, van Klink and co-driver Dave Neill set about learning their new car and in doing so, were still able to set times in the top three of the open two-wheel drive class.
The afternoon would take a turn for the worse though, when a puncture cost valuable time and then a fuel pump failure ended their run prior to the start of the final stage.
Having fixed the fuel pump overnight as well as discovering and repairing a damaged radiator, van Klink was able to reward the team with the cars first class stage win before differential failure left him stranded two stages from home.
“Whangarei is always a tough event and unfortunately it proved that way for us this year. At the end of the day, it’s always tough to go any event with a new car,” said van Klink. “But on the bright side, we certainly improved the speed in the car and it’s pretty hard to argue with the fact it’s the best sounding car out there!”
The Klink Rallysport team now turn their attention to their home event, Lone Star Rally Canterbury, on June 4.