WEST SHAKEN BUT NOT DETERRED Christchurch rally driver Chris West is shaken but not deterred as he prepares for the final round of the New Zealand Rally Championship, the Trust House Racetech Rally Wairarapa this weekend. West lives with partner...
WEST SHAKEN BUT NOT DETERRED
Christchurch rally driver Chris West is shaken but not deterred as he prepares for the final round of the New Zealand Rally Championship, the Trust House Racetech Rally Wairarapa this weekend. West lives with partner Mel and young sons Oakley and Carter close to Darfield at the epicentre of the earthquake that caused havoc in Canterbury in the early hours of last Saturday morning. Whilst the family home sustained damage in the quake Westy is quick to point out there are many worse off than him. "Our thoughts are with my work colleagues at Donnithorne Simms Mitsubishi and friends", says West. With the final round of the championship looming West has had to prepare while coping with the aftermath this disaster has caused for the people of Canterbury.
"As much as events have unfolded we have tried to continue with daily life as much as possible and that includes keeping focused and preparing for this weekend," said Westy early this week. "The team has put in countless hours over the last fortnight and have totally rebuilt the Andrew Simms Mitsubishi EVO 9 since the Rally Of Nelson. "Our team of guys from South Canterbury have worked endlessly allowing myself a few hours of seat time on Sunday. Full credit for the work they have done."
"With the championship down to the wire this weekend at Wairarapa between Dean (Sumner) and Emma (Gilmour) our goal is to get the best result we can for ASMRT to bring closure to our season. We are looking for a good solid result. Richard (Mason) will also want to put in a strong performance in front of his local crowd so expect an intense fight for the podium placings".
Westy, the 2004 National Rally Champion, and co-driver Chris Cobham of Palmerston North have endured a tough season in their Andrew Simms Mitsubishi EVO 9. Twice they have seen significant hauls of championship points slip through their fingers when problems have sidelined them while running prominently within sight of the finish.
However Westy arrives at this, the final round of the championship, still third overall in the point standings while Cobham is second in the co-drivers championship.
The ceremonial start of Rally Wairarapa will take place at the Copthorne Resort Solway Park in Masterton at 6pm on Friday evening followed by a drivers autograph signing session for the public. The next day six Special Stages totalling 113 kilometres await competitors with several new and altered stages early in the day before more familiar territory near Eketahuna in the afternoon. Sundays competition will be fought out over eight Special Stages comprising 117 kilometres of high speed competition.
The cars will depart the Copthorne Resort Solway Park from 8am on both days of the rally with the cars expected back at the hotel from 3.30pm onwards on Sunday for the ceremonial finish.
Support for Chris West in the Vantage Aluminium Joinery 2010 NZ Rally Championship comes from Andrew Simms Mitsubishi, the New Zealand Herald, Castrol, The Mad Butcher, Donnithorne Simms Mitsubishi and Adamson & Holland Ltd.
-source: chris west