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Rough Ride For Unterberger At Rally Whangarei

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Rough Ride For Unterberger At Rally Whangarei

16 JUNE 2009 - Young Nelson Driver Dominick Unterberger and Co-driver Warwick Martin didn't have the best of starts to the NAC Insurance International Rally of Whangarei - round three of both the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship and the Vantage Aluminium Joinery New Zealand Rally Championship, held over the weekend of 6th and 7th of June.

The Excelsior Rallysport team had put in long hours in preparation for this rally, but unfortunately 11km into the first stage on Day One Unterberger misjudged a right hand corner and was caught out by the infamous camber that Rally Whangarei is renowned for. Dominick tried everything to get out of the situation but it was too late. There was a large ditch and the rear of the car hit the bank, ripping off the right rear wheel in the process. The car then flipped 180 degrees and hit the bank with the left rear wheel also being ripped off.

"It was a huge blow for the team and for me," said a dejected Dominick. "This was not the result we were after. For the first 11k's the Alltrax NZ Fiesta felt great. We were finally getting the speed we were after, it was all or nothing. But in rallying these things happen."

Day Two became an extended test session getting more experience using pace notes and also learning more about the car. It was also important that Unterberger made it to the end of the day to ensure scoring some points for the weekend.

"These roads are fantastic!" said the 24 year old student. "We took a cautious approach today as the car was not 100% after the crash and getting a puncture in the second stage didn't help. But we made it to the finish ramp and collected some points towards the championships."

The next National Championship round will be Rally Wairarapa on the 18th and 19th July. Before that though, the team will compete in a local Nelson event - the Phil Fiddymont Memorial Rallysprint on the 5th July which uses Smith's & Reay's Roads.

The team would like to thank their loyal team of supporters - Mum & Dad, Gary & Kit from Alltrax NZ, Alexandra & Leighton from the Alpine Lodge Nelson Lakes National Park, Alan Kirby from M.S Ford, Francis from Novus Auto Glass - all from Nelson.

"Also a special thanks to Rally New Zealand for an awesome event. To the Mayor and the local people of Whangarei for their fabulous hospitality. We will definitely be back next year!"

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