Pre Rally of New Zealand - November 2017
Rally New Zealand is back!! This year for the first time since 2012 this iconic event is back on the NZRC calendar. New Zealand has been pushing hard to gain a spot back on the World Rally Championship International stage and have planned a real showcase event for the 2017 season finale. There is the inclusion of some our most iconic and famous rally stages, non more than Whanga Coast this stage has seen some of the closest ever finishes in WRC history and has given even the best drivers in the world grief. Every team who has competed on this stage will have a story about something that has happened to them. This year Rally NZ will add to that story by running it as the power stage. 5 valuable bonus points are up on offer for the fastest team, more than enough to extend a lead or close a gap in the overall standings. There is a 10 year old stage record set by Richard Mason just begging to be beaten also to lay claim and bragging rights to New Zealand's fastest driver in that stage.
Two days of competition kick off on 25th of November, We have 220km of racing split between the two days, this gives it almost a sprint feeling about it for the Saturday, and I can guarantee that by the Sunday it will begin to feel like the endurance event it really is, 800 km of road sections join the stages together. Added to the two days of recce prior to racing, by the events conclusion on Sunday night there will be a few teams looking fatigued.
We have had a good build up towards the last rally of the season, at the penultimate round held in the Waitomo area we came away with the first win in the NZRC category for our new 2016 Subaru Sti. It’s a great achievement for the team in a development year to grab a win it shows all the hard work by the team is paying off and results are starting to really show. The Waitomo event was by all accounts a large single day event. We took the lead early on in the event in one of the twisty stages. Throughout the day built up an advantage from the other competitors to lead by 50 secs before securing 4 points in the bonus stage and 25 for the event win. 29 out of the maximum 30 was a great reward for the team. The result lifted us into 2nd place in the championship.
We currently are 10 points behind the currently series leader. 44 points are on offer at the final round this can really helps us out to close the gap to the leader, it's going to be a real nightmare for the bookies over the weekend to pick a round winner and NZRC Champion, it's going to result in some great action out on the stages, There will be plenty of strategy’s playing out over the course of the weekend.
After Rally Waitomo we held a sponsors day on the Sunday near Auckland on a great piece of road running across a ridgeline, It was fantastic to chat to so many people who support myself and the team from behind the scenes its great to add faces to names of all those who get behind us at every event. Ive had the pleasure of watching some of the reaction footage from your faces while going for a ride and the smiles everyone had at the end of their run is exactly the same feeling I get on race day it's completely addictive. I must apologise to any parents or partners who now have to look at listings on Trademe for rally cars.