Martin looks for more speed at Canterbury


Photo: Euan Cameron

Tauranga rally driver Andy Martin is looking to up the pace when round two of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, the Lone Star Rally Canterbury, gets underway this weekend.

After a disappointing run at the previous round, Rally Otago, which ended in a shattered driveshaft, the New Zealand Forest Leasing Mazda RX-3 has had a three-week sleepover with the gurus at Palmside, who have given the old girl a makeover of sorts, with the team hoping the new car will be easier to drive fast so Martin can put on a better show for the public.

Although both Martin and co-driver Matt Hayward are in their first season of rallying at the highest level in New Zealand, and throughout regular team meetings at the Mount Brewing Co have realised that a big part of going fast is making pace notes that work between them.

“Every team has their own unique note system that works for them, each with their own little quirks,” explains co-driver Matt Hayward. “For this weekend we have added some new notes to our system like ‘Scandy at junction’, ‘2 left, back it in’ and my personal favourite ‘flat crest, don’t be a girl’.”

Martin, meanwhile, is confident that after showing some promise at Otago, he can up the ante at Canterbury this weekend.

“With the way the car is now, it’ll be going on the trailer with trophies,” whilst also boasting his plan for fighting the expected cold weather by “bringing a nice classic chicken cooker to keep us warm,” in reference to the Mazda’s rotary engine.

The pair would like to thank their sponsors who allow them to live the dream; Carbon Works, Supa fence, Devan tanks,, Uno lifestyle magazine, Mount Brewing Co.

The Lone Star Rally Canterbury kicks off with a ceremonial start at The Palms Mall in Christchruch from 4.45pm on Saturday before heading north to the Okuku Forest to contest two night stages. The following morning, crews leave the overnight Parc Ferme in Rangiora to contest four public road stages as far north as Cheviot, followed by a return to the two stages in Okuku Forest run in reverse direction, before returning to The Palms for the finish.


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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