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Stephen Barker will take on round two of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship this weekend on home soil in Whangarei. Although currently Hamilton based, he grew up in the northern city and considers the stages as some of the best in the country.

Eager to bounce back after a disappointing DNF during round one in Otago, the team have made changes to further improve the performance and driveability of the Mitsubishi EVO 9.

“We’ve done some preventative maintenance on our engine to ensure we don’t have a repeat of the mechanical issue that let us down in Dunedin. But most importantly we made some setup changes in the hope of increasing the stability of the car.” Barker says.

Although suffering from a lack of seat time and limited experience on the Otago roads, Barker was improving with every kilometre and was closing in on a battle for a podium position late on day one.

“It was a shame the way our day ended. Chris (Co-Driver) and I were just starting to feel comfortable with the pace. Thinking ahead to the next rally, I think we can really build on that confidence and challenge the leading competitors.”

The two-day event offers a large points haul and after falling behind in the championship race, Barker has set his sights on the podium. Needing every available point to stay in the fight for the title.

The ENEOS International Rally of Whangarei gets underway with a ceremonial start on the Te Matua a Pohe Bridge from 5pm Friday, closely followed by two super special stages around Pohe Island. The following day, teams tackle eight stages north of Whangarei, with a further eight stages on Sunday before the ceremonial finish at the Whangarei Town Basin from 3pm

Team would like to acknowledge the supporters of their campaign.                                                   Online Stabilisers, GHL Temp Fence, Wrigley Concrete, Manukau Auto Centre, Ingham Mitsubishi, Winmax Brakes, Waikato Mobile Windscreens, Dunlop, Pickerall Auto Electrical, Rallydrive NZ.

Media release: Stephen Barker

Photo: Lance Hastie

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