From the Service Park – Lockdown special

The last few weeks have been tough with no rallies and not being allowed out. That hasn’t stopped the crew from hunting out the good oil in the world of NZRC.

All is not lost
While there will be no Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship in 2020 there is much work being done behind the scenes to run some individual events in the latter part of the year.
Covid-19 has disrupted everyone’s plans but with that disruption comes opportunity. I’m hearing there could be a couple of rallies in the North Island including a new event using some iconic roads. It will be MASSIVE if what I’m hearing eventuates and the early signs are encouraging.
There will be a handful of quality events in the South Island as well so competitors will definitely get a chance to have some skids in 2020.

Hold up
One man that won’t be too worried about the current hiatus is Regan Ross.
The mainlander is still eagerly awaiting the arrival of his Ford Fiesta R5 with it stuck somewhere on a cargo ship between Europe and New Zealand.
With any luck it will make it in time to run during some events in the second half of the season.
Meanwhile Tony Gosling and Stewart Reid’s Wales Motorsport BDA Escorts arrived during lockdown so they are chomping at the bit to get testing.

E-Shenanigans up north
The Virtual Rally of Whangarei proved a hit over the weekend with a huge entry list taking part.
Some interesting talking points to come out of it were WRC star Hayden Paddon struggling to match his real world pace, Rocky Hudson sacking his co-driver after blaming him for everything that went wrong (who knew he liked two sugars in his tea?) and NZRC coordinator Simon Bell beating workmate Blair Bartels. We all saw Bell struggle to find second gear in the 00 car this time last year so BB has some serious explaining to do.

Banned from E-racing?
It wasn’t a great night for BB but he wasn’t alone – Bryn Jones also had a particularly bad night. Racing online Rallycross with BB, the latter forgot to put the handbrake on and rammed Jones, giving both a jump start penalty and Bryn a puncture that put him out of the final.
He carried on racing later in the night and when someone else took him out, he made a reference regarding that competitor’s mother and a broomstick. Bryn got a 48-hour ban from Xbox.

Emma recovering after crash
No not, in the rally car. Apparently Ms Gilmour has been keeping active by riding a bike.
Unfortunately she had a wee mishap recently and posted some photos of the nasty incident on social media.
We’re all looking forward to seeing her back on four wheels in the coming months.

Dylan Turner was seen recently using his Audi to tow a mower on the new farm that he owns in Pukekohe.
When questioned about it, Turner said it was staged for a photo to send to Rallysportmag.

Mowing down the speculation
Speaking of mowing, the NZRC is investigating the idea of promoting a New Zealand Lawn Mower Racing affiliation.
With there being no NZRC this season due to the Coronavirus and the odd competitor still wanting to run events despite the economic impact of the virus, the NZRC was investigating the possibility of a three-round event later this year.

Hair-raising purchase
Who recently ordered up a bulk shipment of Molecule helmet refreshers from Neil Allport Motorsport?
Apparently keeping their hair in place and smelling nice is important on event.

It is getting lonely without any rallying
That certainly wasn’t Mike Sheehan ordering up the hairnets was it? Nonetheless Mr Sheehan apparently got confused posting on Rallyflow the other day when he said he “likes long walks on the beach.”
Gotta keep off Tinder in work hours even with all this down time Mike, especially if you’re necking the red wines.

Did anyone think to ask Dylan Turner to help sell Motorsport House?
I mean it might be a bit south of his neck of the woods but real estate is real estate right?

2021 calendar spots hotly sought after
With focus already shifting to the 2021 season attention will now turn to which events make it onto the calendar.
Presumably Otago and Whangarei will be there, but which other events will join them? South Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay were set to feature in 2020 along with Rally New Zealand. Will Canterbury, Coromandel or Waitomo return? What about a new event altogether? The aforementioned potential event tipped to run later this year could easily become a regular fixture if it gets up and going.

What kind of lessons are these?
Finally, with all this time on my hands I’ve been reading to my son a fair bit in recent weeks. While this has nothing to do with rallying have you ever stopped and analysed the nursery rhymes we teach our kids and what message they actually send?
Many will know that Ring a Ring o’ Roses was actually about the days of the Bubonic Plague in Europe, which is somewhat morbid but that isn’t nearly the worst.
Rock A Bye Baby shows extremely poor parenting. You’ve got Goldilocks breaking and entering, Georgie Porgie the sex pest and don’t get me started on Wee Willie Winkie.
Who was Old Mother Hubbard’s landlord? Humpy Dumpty clearly hadn’t heard of OSH, Jack and Jill were a little reckless or were clearly on something and why on earth were the butcher, baker and candlestick maker in the bath together?
Dr Seuss may have been tripping on acid when he wrote One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish but at least his stories were harmless fun.

The 2020 New Zealand Rally Championship is proudly supported by Brian Green Property Group, Gull New Zealand, Dunlop New Zealand, HELLA New Zealand, Stadium Finance and Omega Rental Cars.


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