Stunning debut sets up Horan’s season

Championship rookie Raana Horan turned heads with a stunning drive at last weekend’s Otago Rally swaying him to think about a fulltime crack at the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship.

Horan, who has a background driving off-road cars, produced a sublime performance on the fast Otago roads to finish sixth overall in his Mitsubishi and pick up the Dunlop Drive of the Rally in the process.

“We could have ended it on about six occasions,” the humble Horan said after completing the rally. “It felt good – we just decided to keep on track and stay tidy I guess.

“I got a bit sideways and out of control trying to push so I just came back a couple of notches to stay on track.”

Horan made his rally debut at Rally New Zealand last November and entered just his second NZRC event in Otago. He set himself modest goals for the weekend but smashed it with a top six finish.

“We had put a top 15 [goal] on ourselves and we are up in sixth,” Horan said. “With a bit of luck we have got through.”

He is entered for next month’s International Rally of Whangarei and will look to continue that form on the tight and twisty cambered roads of the north.

Beyond that however his plans are somewhat up in the air as he tries to balance rallying with off-roading. His success in Otago might have swayed him rallying’s way however.

“I do a bit of offroading as well – I race both and I was just going to see which one is going the best as to which one I end,” he said

“I am entered in Whangarei – the plan is to do the season and have a crack.

“The good thing is I have no pressure on myself because I have no expectations. I don’t know anything so I just go out there and do it.”


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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 2019, there are six NZRC rounds, each with a unique character reflecting the diverse regions – from Northland to Otago.