From the Service Park – end of season edition

While it is disappointing the season has been called off early, we have still managed to find plenty of news and gossip to report to you.

More R5 cars on the way
I’m hearing there are more R5 cars on their way to New Zealand – as many as three new cars coming to join the 2022 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship.
None of them have been talked about publicly before but I understand that on top of Todd Bawden’s Ford, which was due to debut this year, we can expect to see a further two manufacturers and three cars additional cars appear.
They will be a big addition to the 2022 championship.

Calendar conundrum
The early part of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship is set for 2022 with the season kicking off in Otago as usual.
There are stops at Whangarei, South Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay but the conclusion to the championship is yet to be confirmed.
Bay of Plenty and Coromandel are a chance of appearing while I’m hearing another North Island-based event is in the mix too.
It will all be locked in over the next month or so.

Rally quiz during lockdown star
A number of NZRC personalities took part in a zoom-based rally quiz during lockdown and it will come as little surprise that Wikipedia Bartels took it out.
While others weren’t in the same ballpark as Bartels, one up-and-coming driver in particular struggled, to the point we wonder how he even got his name right on his driver licence application.
The Elf on a Shelf re-mix round, produced by Zoe Jones and Amy Keighley, proved the biggest hit. It featured a few NZRC personalities with some clever photoshop work.

International move
Which driver is eyeing a campaign overseas in 2022?
Watch this space.

Turner expanding his empire
We hear Dylan Turner is starting an eco-tourism business to supplement his real estate empire. Based in Pukekohe, he will be launching farm tours on his Gator to a hidden waterfall and glow worm grotto.
A first trial of the tour failed, and left guests stranded as the Gator had an oil starvation issue. Keep an eye out for “Waterfall Tours with Dylan” coming soon to Pukekohe.

2022 off to a bang
There will be the perfect way to build-up to the 2022 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship with a couple of iconic events shifting dates.
The Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge has been moved to Waitangi Weekend in early February due to the COVID Alert Level restrictions in Auckland.
Hayden Paddon’s Golden 1200 hill climb on the spectacular Ben Nevis Station will now run in early March, meaning two outstanding events will feature in the build-up to Otago Rally in April.

Timaru staple concern
There is some trepidation in NZRC circles with news popular Timaru restaurant Saikou Teppanyaki and Whisky Bar has sold to new owners.
The venue has become a popular hang out during Rally South Canterbury over the years and was a sponsor of Darren Galbraith, when he was competing.
Thankfully rumours of the Richard Pearse Tavern (also a Timaru favourite) selling were proven false.

Who bought Murph’s Barina?
We told you last time that Greg Murphy has sold his Holden Barina AP4 and we are pretty confident we know who has taken it over but that person has yet to publicly announce the move.
It now begs the question whether it is available to the first person to track it down?

2WD car on the move
Speaking of car sales – here’s another one for you. Jeff Ward has recently sold his Ford Fiesta that he used in this year’s FIA Group N 2WD Championship.
The new owner is an NZRC round winner that intends to hand it over for his son to use. Let’s see if you can figure out who will be peddling it in 2022.

Just a rat in a cage
My favourite lockdown story is this, however. A prominent NZRC co-driver was very excited to find the “NZRC buy and sell” Facebook page recently.
But after finding the questions to join the private group somewhat strange, the co-driver in question worked out they were applying to join the New Zealand Rat Club buy and sell page.
The page offers members the chance to sell or swap cages, toys and other accessories for your pet rat! We’re wondering if the co-driver got accepted or not.


About The Author


The New Zealand Rally Championship is this country’s premier nationwide rally championship. It attracts New Zealand’s best drivers to compete in numerous categories for the prestigious MotorSport New Zealand-sanctioned rally championship titles. In 2024, there are six NZRC rounds, each with a unique character reflecting the diverse regions – from Northland to Invercargill