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Young Improves Pace at Hawkes Bay Rally

Another solid result for Mike Young at last weekend’s Hawkes Bay Rally finishing 5th in category and 6th overall, has given Young and co-driver Malcolm Read plenty of confidence as they look ahead to the championship finale in September.

Given the level of competition at the New Zealand Rally Championship 4th round, Young was happy with the way the weekend went and one where after 160 kilometres of rallying on the narrow and twisty Hawkes Bay gravel roads, fifth to seventh places were separated by just 3.3 seconds.

“It ended up being a really good rally for us, we built our pace over the day and the last two stages we were quite competitive, 5th in the power-stage was nice. We had a good battle in the afternoon and managed to catch Matt Summerfield, but then Todd Bawden pinched 5th place off us on the last one by 1.6 seconds.

"The SAS team have done a lot of development work on the car (Subaru GRB Sti) since South Canterbury and I’m also starting to feel more comfortable and confident with it.

"We changed to Winmax brake pads for the last four stages, the same as I use on the Cusco cars – and what difference that made, knowing you can stop! On these tight and twisty roads you need to be so precise – get it wrong and there’s some pretty big drops!” Young said at the finish.

Similarly co-driver Malcolm Read could see the difference “There's been a few changes to the car and it always takes a few k’s to workout if the brake bias is where we want it, is it going to grip up and do everything it should. Once that confidence was there we were able to push this afternoon and got into a great battle with Matt and Todd . We’re starting to get close to some of the guys at the front, so looking forward to Coromandel”.

The next event is the Coromandel Rally on the 4th, September and based in Whitianga. The Mike Young Motorsport team is supported by Dunlop, Cusco Japan, Würth New Zealand and Go Logistics.

Photos by Geoff Ridder