From the Service Park… Rally Otago

This edition of From the Service Park was written under duress. This writer was forced to work under extreme conditions with limited sleep at no fixed abode over the past four days. The reasons for which will be explained over the course of the next couple of minutes. Any inaccuracies, misrepresentation and overly dramatic use of poetic licence should be excused.

Turner does sell job on NZRC team
A well-known Pukekohe-based real estate agent offered to include the NZRC team when he sorted Dunedin accommodation prior to Rally Otago. He sent the directions to the lovely sounding Manor House but when the team pulled up on Thursday we discovered Turner’s dyslexia had come into play when it turned out to be Manor Hostel and Backpackers.
After one night of sleeping on the floor this writer had to make use of the Suzuki-supplied NZRC wagon for the remainder of the weekend. Thankfully the Vitara proved comfortable and warm.

The shared hostel room the NZRC crew stayed in.

Location, location, location
So with 13 NZRC Team/LJ Hooker crew members, three German 21-year-old backpackers, an angry French cyclist, a lovely British 24-year-old tourist, a competitive fencer and her two small children, a dreadlocked American stoner and a possible methamphetamine dealer squeezing into about 20 beds across four rooms there was always going to be a fight to be first to bed (or last depending on your strategic approach) and a wait time for the toilet.
Meanwhile Turner high-tailed it to the Ritz to spend the weekend with his darling.

Bartels struck down by illness
Blair Bartels pushed through the pain barrier to deliver his live streaming and on event organisation after being hit with a mysterious illness.
He picked up a nasty rash (true story) that has been attributed to bed bugs at the aforementioned hostel. Either that or something jumped out of the American’s dreadlocks in the communal shower.

Putting his foot in it
Speaking of NZRC team pushing through the pain barrier, spare a thought for Warwick “Wazza” Martin, who had his foot run over by a competitor on Saturday.
The team were at the end of Kuri Bush getting comment from drivers through the window of cars at control when a Rally Otago Historic competitor tried to get past the car in front and managed to collect Wazza’s Ducati shoes. On a positive note it proved that the Dunlop tyres had plenty of tread as they left a clear mark on his fine Italian shoes.

Thankfully Wazza was not hurt at all.

New car for seasoned campaigner
Which Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship regular is talking about getting a new car?
His previous one was a bit of a liquorice all sort if that helps.

Sex scandal one
Which NZRC star had his Tinder account suspended recently?
Apparently the amount of traffic that it was doing kept crashing the app’s system and developers were forced to shut it down.

New competitor to join the Historic battle
Which NZRC regular is making noises about joining in the ultra-competitive 2WD battle and is trying to get his hands on a BDA Escort?
The Klinky v Regan Ross battle might be about to get another player.

Co-driver Idol is back
The next instalment of Co-driver Idol will return for Whangarei with Samantha Gray joining Hayden Paddon in the Hyundai i20 AP4 car.
Former champion Paul Fallon is set to take over next to Dylan Turner in the Audi while Regan Ross is has secured a seasoned campaigner. There is no word on where John Kennard, Mal Peden or Malcolm Read might land.
Seriously, this show trumps Married At First Sight.

Big name to run at Canterbury
Which international star is set to line-up at Lone Star Rally Canterbury in June?
Planning is already underway and the driver will make a big impact should they get the deal across the line.

Who wore it best?
Dave Holder’s ‘Dirty Sanchez’ or Job Quantock’s bum fluff?

Smooth talker
It didn’t even make the top 10 Dylan Turner moments of the weekend but did you hear about him driving Malcolm Read and Paul Fallon through the drive-thru at McDonalds and then flirting with the lady on the intercom?
It turned out to be a pre-recorded corporate voice and he got a hell of a fright when he pulled up to the window to find a six foot hairy man hand him his food.

One NZRC crew member slept in the Suzuki Vitara.

RX7 to make a comeback
Is Marcus van Klink serious about bringing his Mazda RX7 back to the championship.
Insiders tell me he was making statements to rivals over the weekend claiming he was about to make the change.

Sex scandal two
Two cars, one drive shaft. You do the math.
Watch this space.

Did you hear about the Irish rally driver?
No, we aren’t talking about the entertaining Frank Kelly. According to one media person Richie Dalton’s half brother Ronan O’Horan was running over the weekend.
Perhaps that is why the gold Skoda Fabia R5 ran into problems on the opening stage.

Mads Ostberg isn’t the biggest bloke in the world and when he jumped on the scale at Sunday night’s prize giving to win his weight in Speights his good friends Hayden Paddon and John Kennard came to his aid.
They loaded him up with chairs, cutlery and even a box of beer to help make him heavier but unfortunately it proved too big a measure and the scale broke.
Brian Budd has kindly offered the MotorSport NZ portable weigh bridge for next season.

Lucky escape for Stokes
Robbie and Amy Stokes were lucky to escape catastrophe when they went off the road in their Ford Fiesta on Saturday.
The brother and sister combination ended up in the water on McIntosh Rd and were able to get out of the car before it sank.
The car is already on its way to Nelson to be tidied up and is expected to make a full recovery.

The 2019 New Zealand Rally Championship is proudly supported by Brian Green Property Group, Gull New Zealand, Dunlop New Zealand, Hella New Zealand, Stadium Finance, Omega Rental Cars and Suzuki New Zealand.


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