Cantabrian rally star Matt Summerfield has confirmed his entry for November’s Battle of Jack’s Ridge.
Heralded as one of the greatest 25 drivers in New Zealand Rally Championship history, Summerfield joins a growing entry list of top rallying and dirt talent which includes the likes of WRC round winner Hayden Paddon and multiple national Speedway champion Michel Pickens.
This year Summerfield had intended to contest the New Zealand Rally Championship alongside co-driver and sister Nicole. However, the championship was cancelled this year to future proof the sport in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After a 12-month hiatus, the pairing finally got back behind the wheel of their Mitsubishi Mirage AP4 in last weekend’s South Canterbury Rally where they won by almost an entire minute.
His momentum has been impressive, and Summerfield is hoping to carry it forth into November’s event.
“We have got good momentum at the moment so having that going into Jacks Ridge is a definite plus,” Summerfield said.
“It is going to be quite a different event but even going in being more familiar with the car will be a big help.”
The Jack’s Ridge stage is characterised by unending undulation changes and boasts plenty of jumps and dips, something Summerfield has not experienced much of across his rallying career.
To counter this, he says he will be relying on the sound advice of the professionals and using the first handful of runs to learn the course.
“I’ve Just seen some pictures and a bit of video – it looks like there are quite a few jumps and more like a BMX track than a rally stage so it will be interesting,” he said.
“I haven’t done a lot of jumping, so I am going to have to take some time and ask the pros how that is done.
“It will take me a few runs to get there. After doing all the Ashley Forest stuff you get used to looking where there is time to be made or not.”
Summerfield also suggested he intends to use the event as another preparation trial ahead of the 2021 New Zealand Rally Championship.
He will also be entering the Auckland City Rally which precedes the Battle of Jack’s Ridge on November 14 and comprises of the stages that were planned for the World Rally Championship event both north and east of the city.
Main Image: Geoff Rider