VINZ Rally Whangarei: Five to watch…

The countdown is on with only one day until the start of the opening round of the 2014 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ. Every year the first round springs a few surprises, below are our tips for five things to keep an eye out for this weekend….


The NZRC field awaiting the start at last years Rally Whangarei. Photo: Euan Cameron

1. Richard Mason – Has the pace to lead the event from the front, but Whangarei has never been friendly to the Masterton flyer and the BNT Subaru. The Masons have won nearly every major event in the country bar this one. A couple of podium finishes in 2009 and 2013 have been surrounded by a range of DNF’s. Will the change in format for the event spark a change in Mason’s luck?

2. New chargers – There are a number of young drivers debuting new cars or making their debut in the championship. Who will be the standout from David Holder (ex Paddon Evo 8), Phil Campbell (ex-Allport Motorsport Evo 9), 19 year old Lance Williams (Possum Bourne Motorsport Subaru Impreza R4) and  17 year old Max Bayley  (Ford Fiesta R2)?

3. New format – The event has added new roads to the north of Whangarei for the first time in its 7 year history. An all new challenge for the NZRC regulars and a level playing field.  Stage 2 at 30kms (the repeated again as SS5) will be crucial if an early gap can be gained. The stage is a mix of super-fast stretches with narrow ridge climbs and descents punctuated throughout. Will favour the brave…..

4. The Dark horse –Dylan Turner returns to the NZRC in 2014 in the very potent LJ Hooker Mitsubishi Evo IX. Dylan is the only driver in the top 10 with recent experience of the new day 1 roads from previous Rally of the North’s and loves the area with multiple wins at that event. Combined with experienced co-driver Malcolm Read this pairing will be fast. Do we smell a roughie?

5. #rallylivenz – keep your phone, ipad or pc handy to follow all the action live! Our team of roving reporters will be providing live updates from the field, which will also be syncing with the Chrissport results service. Click on the twitter icon on the results board to see comments, photos, news and views from the field as it happens. A world first all in one place on and also on facebook and twitter at #rallylivenz


Returning to the NZRC, current Top Half Series Champion Dylan Turner has previous experience on the leg 1 roads. The combination of Turner, Malcolm Read and the LJ Hooker Evo IX will be quick.


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