Martin looks for good run at Whitianga

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Photo: Euan Cameron

Tauranga’s Andy Martin is looking forward to a strong run at the penultimate round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, the VINZ Goldrush Rally Coromandel.

Since the last round of the championship, Rally Wairarapa at the end of June, Martin and co-driver Matt Hayward contested their home rally, the Tauranga Clubmans Rally, setting several top ten stage times to come home second in class after a few niggles slowed them in the afternoon.

The team also completed a recent and successful test day with classic rallying guru Deane Buist, making changes to both Martin’s driving style and the suspension setup of the mighty New Zealand Forest Leasing Mazda RX-3.

“I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of the Mazda, we’ve made some great improvements with the help of Deane,” says Martin. “The car actually turns in now which is something we have struggled with, so that should make a big difference with the tight and twisty roads we will face.”

The VINZ Goldrush Rally Coromandel gets underway with a ceremonial start in Whitianga from 4.30pm on Friday. The following day sees the gravel action with teams leaving the Mercury Bay Multi-Sports Park at 7am to contest 135km of special stages punctuated by three services at the Sports Park. Crews will also contest the Whitianga Waterways Super Special Stage twice before the ceremonial finish at approximately 4pm.


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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