From the Service Park – Otago Rally

Good Samaritan award
The week got off to a rough start for a number of North Island crews, who were unable to cross the Cook Strait due to big swells.
One of those crews was Mike and Helen Cameron, whose car remained in the North Island. Despite their frustration, the husband and wife team decided to come down to Dunedin anyway and volunteered with the organisers over the weekend in a show of what rallying spirit is all about.

New look live stream
For the NZRC Live team, they debuted a new live stream over the weekend and barring a couple of glitches, the result will be a big win for championship fans moving forward with Volt TV providing a multi-camera stream.
Although they are promising to bring more diesel for the generator in Whangarei.

It was a rough weekend on that front for some members of the team – Budgie took BB to a local farmhouse near Stage 1 after misreading the map and heading up a gravel driveway – he claims the smell of bacon cooking confused him.
Meanwhile Carl Fenn left his phone on the roof of his Omega Rental Car at a service break. After ringing the phone on exit and hands free picking it up, he took off thinking the phone was clearly in the car.
After retracing his movements, the phone was found in pieces a couple of kilometres down the road.

He did what?
Dildo Baggins (aka Dylan Turner) found himself struggling for energy after recce and announced to the numerous teams staying at the Commodore Motel that he was off for a bath with salts, candles and some Barry Manilow – none of us want to know any more details…

What’s the point of documentation?
Mike Young forgot to bring his licence and paperwork to documentation. We’re not sure what he was hoping to do there without it.

Origins of the Scandinavian Flick
Malcolm Read made a welcome return to the championship but was preaching new safety standards learned with his time at M-Sport and explained what the Scandinavian Flick really means after a recent trip to Sweden.
You’ll need to ask him about the details but I suggest you wait until he has a beer in his hands for specifics.

Greenie turns back the clock
How about the performance of Brian Green at Otago? The veteran driver won the power stage in the Rally Challenge 4WD class and recorded the fastest overall speed on Dansey’s Pass on Saturday on the way to finishing on the podium.

Rocky don’t lose those numbers
Rocky Hudson, reportedly finalising a soon-to-be-released autobiography that I’m reliably told is to be called Jabberrocky, made a small boo boo on Sunday.
The veteran co-driver re-used notes from a previous rally but was caught out on the Taieri Beach stage, which had been extended for a couple of kilometres much to Hudson and driver Andy Martin’s surprise.

Eventful weekend for Donna Elder
Donna Elder had an eventful weekend. She kicked things off by throwing defending Historic 2WD champion John Silcock into panic when she accidentally knocked the kill switch on the Mazda RX7 while going over a bump.
But the title-winning co-driver proved how valuable her first aid skills were when she was first on the scene of John Spencer’s crash. The trained paramedic helped tend to Spencer and did a great job putting a fellow competitor’s health at first.
On behalf of the NZRC we wish John the best with his recovery and thank Donna for her assistance.

More culture for the NZRC
Lukas Ramsay wasn’t competing in Otago but turned up to prize giving sporting a new Tama Iti-style facial moko.
Apparently Lukas translates to Taka in Te Reo but we think the alternate spelling Tucka is more appropriate.

Top of the morning to you
Which well-known rallying personality got in so late on Saturday night/Sunday morning that he was able to provide his crew with hot coffees at parc ferme as they were taking off for the day?

Sting in the tail at Kuri Bush
We made a big effort to get to the end of the famous Kuri Bush stage on Sunday to get a handful of driver quotes before racing off to the end of the rally.
Unfortunately most were not appropriate for broadcast with the majority of drivers, including ex-WRC star Mikko Hirvonen dropping a string of f-bombs.

Schedule updates coming
All weekend we were asked about what the latest is with replacement rounds for Hawke’s Bay and Coromandel.
Rest assured the championship organisers will waste not time making a public announcement once they’re locked in.
Smart money is to expect a replacement round the same weekend as Coromandel had been planned but a later date for the other replacement round.


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