From the Service Park – Rally South Canterbury

From the Service Park - NZ Rally ChampionshipCheers to Andy Martin
A massive thanks to Andy Martin and his team at the Bunker/The Fort in Timaru for putting the NZRC up in his new digs over the weekend.
The place was perfect for the crew to stay at and he generously looked after the team superbly across the weekend.
This in addition to being a rally sponsor and competing in the event.
A special mention from BB – thanking Andy for keeping the bar open until the wee small hours on Sunday.

Who forgot Dave Robb?
The Ralliart NZ crew boast plenty of rallying experience and nous but even experienced campaigners can make a mistake now and then.
A booking mishap (forgot to remember to book one member of the team) saw Dave Robb nearly stranded in Auckland for the weekend.
Luckily it got fixed in time and D-Robb made his way to Timaru and took his seat in the dubious black van the team were running around in, which gave off an impression they were on a day out from the mental health hospital.

New car on the way?
Which Rally Challenge competitor is rumoured to have secured a new cat 1 car?
While a team representative denied the suggestion, our sources think this story has some legs.
Keep an eye out for an announcement in the coming months.

Scissors, paper, rock?
Family team dynamics can often be something to keep an eye on that proved to be the case Saturday with Zeal Jones in the Smith & Sons Skoda Fabia R5.
Dad Austen thought one compound of tyres was the right decision while Zeal thought the other would be better. Uncle Kingsley, who owns the car, intervened and went with a 2-2 split.
While it remains to be seen whether the move worked, Jones enjoyed an outstanding performance to be fourth overall and a best ever finish.

Friends come to the aid
When Jack Hawkeswood’s stricken Force Motorsport Toyota GR Yaris made it back to the Service Park on Saturday and the clock started ticking on getting the repairs made in time to send him out for the power stage, you saw the beauty of our sport in full force.
Members of the Paddon Rallysport Team, Stokes Motorsport crew and Kingsley Jones from the Zeal Jones Rally team all lent a hand to get the car fixed in time.
It showed not only the popularity of Jack and the Hawkeswood crew but also the amazing camaraderie within the NZRC.
Hawkeswood made it to the power stage and set the second fastest time behind Hayden Paddon as a result.

Those that attended the prize giving on Saturday night (and yes, we noticed some big names not present) would have taken great delight in seeing the MC for the evening make a bit of a trip on stage.
Blair Bartels was not under the influence when the incident occurred much to the surprise of those attending.
Perhaps his lack of balance came from all the darts practice he took trying in vein to beat Budgie while back at The Fort.

Tight grip on the gear shift
The in-car of Jack Stokes over the weekend might make for some amusing viewing.
Stokes was rumoured to be using vice grips as a gear stick at one point on Saturday.
It clearly didn’t affect his too much as be banked a second successive podium in the NZRC 2WD class.

Lost my keys
Poor old Simon Bell was left stranded at Levels Raceway during scrutineering on Friday.
Fenn jumped in one of the Omega Rental Cars Rav 4s and headed back to Timaru to run some errands and chill out back at the accommodation.
He got a colourful call from Bell a hour or so later when the latter realised his car keys were in Fenn’s pocket.

Cheers to Greenie
A hat-tip to our title sponsor of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship for successfully completing the race circuit safely at Levels on Saturday.
In all seriousness, it was a relief to see our legend walk away from a scary accident in circuit racing a week earlier.
It was great to see him perform well over the weekend after his confidence had taken a hit in the previous couple of outings.


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