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Clendon’s championship rolled in South Canterbury

Jackson Clendon’s badly damaged Ford Fiesta after rolling it in Rally South Canterbury. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

MOTORSPORT

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Jackson Clendon.

A misheard pace-note ended Masterton rally driver Jackson Clendon’s Rally South Canterbury and the non-finish severely dented his national championship chances.

Clendon, in only his second competitive outing in his Ford Fiesta Rally4, was leading the rally after four special stages when he took a corner too fast and rolled the car, ending his rally.

“It was just my mistake,” said Clendon.

“I misheard a pace note and had a bit of a brain fade. I took that corner way too fast for what I should have.

“The pace note said the corner tightened, and I misheard the tighten part.”

Heading into last weekend’s rally, Clendon led the Category Two [2WD FIA] championship, but the DNF has dropped him to fifth, 28 points behind new leader Dylan Thomson.

“It’s not looking good for the championship this year because we got zero points, and we’re a bit behind now.

“There are still three rounds, and we’ve got the pace to win it, but it is a big ask doing three rounds and winning every single round.”

Helping Clendon’s cause though, is that each driver’s worst result will be dropped from the points after the fourth round of the championship, next month’s Hawke’s Bay Rally. Organisers invoked the rule because of other drivers missing events having tested positive for covid-19.

The Ford Fiesta is back in Palmerston North with Clendon’s team, but getting the car ready for the Hawke’s Bay Rally could be the biggest hurdle. Sourcing parts in time, especially a windscreen and rear window from overseas a potential drawback.

Clendon is also looking for a new co-driver after he parted company with Andrew Brooks before Rally South Canterbury.

Tania Cresswell [Dannevirke] filled in at Southland, but is committed to another driver for the rest of the championship.

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