From the Service Park – spring edition

We finally have some rallies to go to!

The NZRC team has been working hard despite the lack of events to find the latest news in and around the sport.


Comeback at City of Auckland
Which multiple NZRC champion has surprised a few people and entered November’s City of Auckland rally?
There will be plenty of interest in whether he can match it with the current stars at the front of the field having been a regular there in previous stints.
He’s also one of the few drivers around that would have driven most of these stages before.
All will be revealed later this week once entries close and are made public.

Potential buyer for Murph’s Holden
Greg Murphy has been trying to find a buyer for his Holden Barina AP4 since retiring (sort of) from rallying at the end of 2018.
I’m hearing he has a potential buyer and details are currently being worked through.
The car is clearly competitive with Murphy landing some impressive results.
Watch this space.

Holden showing plenty of speed
Speaking of Holden Barinas – a big congratulations to Josh Marston for wrapping up the Mainland Championship last weekend.
Marston piloted his Holden Barina AP4 to second place at Rally Canterbury – good enough to secure the championship.
It backs up his runner-up finish in the NZRC last year.

Busted (and we mean BUSTed)
Which leading driver was busted not only doing a not-so-private test in the past couple of weeks but was caught with three strippers watching on in bikinis?
The culprit will be of no surprise to most readers!

Stellar category 2 field for 2021
The FIA Group N 2WD category could be one of the most competitive in history next year with a stellar line-up of young up-and-coming stars set to do battle.
Any one of about six young guns could be considered realistic favourites to win the category and it should be a popular story-line heading into the new season.

Not another Rocky movie?
Yup, sadly the punch-drunk veteran is coming back from retirement once again. Rocky Hudson, that is.
Hudson, who has had more comebacks that Madonna, sat alongside Deane Buist at last weekend’s Rally Canterbury and now I’m told he has got himself a co-driving gig for the City of Auckland Rally.

What’s happening with Masons?
So Richard and Sara Mason showcased their undoubted talent by winning the recent Rally Bay of Plenty in their old model Subaru.
The pair beat a strong field that included some NZRC heavyweights and plenty of new generation cars.
The big question now is – when will we next see them in action again?

Wedding bliss but what about the honeymoon?
A big congratulations from the NZRC family to Dylan Turner and new wife Renee. The pair were married a couple of weeks ago and I’m told the wedding was beautiful.
Dylan was stoked when Woman’s Day turned up for a photo shoot but was a bit miffed they were only interested in Survivor star Renee.
Turner was spotted heading off on honeymoon a few days later – to Whakatane of all places – for Rally Bay of Plenty. It wasn’t Renee in the passenger seat though but rather Malcolm Read. Which bodes the question of what the pair got up to on a couple of stages particularly when you look at the stage times!

Second generation winner in 2021?
No second generation driver has ever won an NZRC event throughout the sport’s history.
With Robbie Stokes winning the non-championship Rally Canterbury at the weekend – 37 years after father Brian achieved his first win – we must be heading for our first ever second generation winner.
With Robbie and Jack Hawkeswood showing superb pace, odds are on that 2021 might see the feat finally achieved.

Uh oh!
The driver/co-driver relationship between Jack Hawkeswood and Sarah Brennan has already been put under pressure before their first full season together.
In trying to sort out a seat mould for Brennan recently, a little accident with expanding foam resulted in Brennan’s lock blonde locks being covered in the messy mixture.
Hawkeswood’s quick reaction wasn’t to get her a towel or something to clean with but rather his phone for a snapchat shot!


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