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Issue #4 - August 2016



Skoda Fabia AP4+ Hyundai Excel Gp B Starion




Meeke wins Rally Finland


Molly Taylor David Holder



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Contact us today - Phone: 0477 559 267 - Email: darren@wvct.com.au 2 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

Photo: Craig O’Brien

porting Proudly sup Champion y ll a R n ia r Victo dus Darren Win











































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The passion for rallying .... MANAGING EDITOR

PETER WHITTEN peter@rallysportmag.com.au


Martin Holmes, Blair Bartels, Geoff Ridder, John Doutch, Ross Runnalls, Arron Wishart, Euan Cameron, Steve Russell


TOM SMITH tom@rallysportmag.com.au



Dominic Corkeron, 0499 981 188 dominic@rallysportmag.com.au

Peter Whitten RallySport Magazine peter@rallysportmag.com.au www.rallysportmag.com.au


No material, artwork or photos may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. RallySport Magazine takes care in compiling specifications, prices and details but cannot accept responsibility for any errors. The opinions expressed by columnists and contributors to this magazine are not necessarily those of RallySport Magazine.

Don’t miss an issue of RallySport Magazine .... Click the magazine covers to read previous issues AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 3




s the Australian Rally Championship at a crossroads? Recent comments made public by a number of leading competitors express frustration at the current and future direction of the national championship, and pose the option of a ‘rebel’ series. Are we about to see the emergence of something akin to ‘World Series Rallying’? What is the real likelihood of a second series of some kind, created in direct competition to the CAMS-authorised ARC? Firstly, the reasons for this outcry need to be considered and understood. The specification and rules of the ARC in recent years has changed often, and with much experimentation. The current rules are something of a compromise again, with changes introduced late in 2015 to enable increased competitiveness of older cars to compete against new models, and the newly-conceived G4 category that allows 4WD mechanicals to be implanted in a mainstream small car (and find commonalities with New Zealand). Comments made by ARC Chairman, David Waldon, in last month’s RallySport Magazine suggested that age limits of cars may be introduced and changes may be implemented in coming years to move away from the current formulae. This is when the proverbial hit the fan. Current competitors - who have invested (in some cases) hundreds of thousands of dollars buying, building or developing newbreed rally cars to compete in our highest domestic category thought that they were being forewarned of obsolescence and massive financial impacts. Reading into the article, current leading team and car owners thought their cars would be excluded from competing in the medium term, and effectively rendered un-saleable in the longer term.   Subsequent feedback from members of the Australian Rally Commission (ARCom) 4 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

“This is when the proverbial hit the fan. Current competitors thought that they were being forewarned of massive financial impacts.” not CAMS - reminded all parties that no decision had been recommended nor made, and that any changes to any series specification entailed a full and consultative process before any decisions would be endorsed and implemented. Such is the sensitivity of this subject, competitors with long memories will recall that similar changes of rules in past years have resulted in frustrations with the sport’s regulator, and questions as to the sense behind some of the changes made. The reality is that rallying at the national level is cyclic, and over the past 30 years the modern era of rallying has changed often. In the early 80s, Group G was the standard category, which ironically is arguably the specification of many of the current crop of ‘Classic’ rally cars. Production Rally Cars (PRC) took Australia in the direction of more standard specification, and evolved

to include internationally recognised Group A and Group N, that remained stable for a number of years. In an effort to open up competition and attract manufacturer interest, ARCom introduced Group N (P), which resulted in well-built Corollas from the Neal Bates stable, and the Fordsupported Focus rear-wheel drive of Michael Guest. No other manufacturers supported the ‘prototype’ class. In recent years, another change took the top level of the sport to the G2 category for 2WD, front-wheel drive cars. While competitors embraced the class change with enthusiasm, a number of years of the underwhelming 2WD championship ended in 2015. As the 2016 Australian Rally Championship continues to unfold, the competition is close and diverse with cars from PRC, Group N and G4 battling for the top five positions ... and this may be the crux of the issue. The current set of formulae, whilst not perfect, is attracting competitor and spectator interest - ironically without free-to-air TV coverage for the first time in a number of years. It is far from easy being a volunteer administrator in a competitive motorsport environment. It is a difficult task to keep all stakeholders happy, and even when changes are made in response to public demand, others will not be happy. There’s an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it!!” A period of rule stability at a time when the sport is trying to rebuild, may be the smartest decision to be made.

Cars like JJ Hatton’s Lancer Evo IX may be ineligible to win the ARC in years to come.



The AP4 phenomenon continues in New Zealand, with the new Holden Barinas under construction.

The Holden Barina AP4 cars are taking shape in New Zealand, as the new team prepares for the 2017 New Zealand Rally Championship. Former V8 Super car driver, Greg Murphy, admits that the progress so far is “very exciting”, and as the photos show, the new Barinas are taking shape. The purposeful looking Barinas will be fitted with engines built in the United States. Murphy and team-mate, Josh Marston, will contest all rounds of next year’s NZRC in the cars. - PETER WHITTEN


Four cars have been seen in New Zealand in 2016 running the base of AP4, but interest has spiked. As well as the two Holden Barinas being built for Josh Marston and Greg Murphy, interest has been shown to build as many as three other manufacturer of cars. On top of this, Andrew Hawkeswood

will campaign a brand new Mazda 2 in 2017, complete with 1600cc engine. As many as 10 of the cars could realistically be on the start line for the opening round of 2017. Meanwhile, new regulations have been confirmed for the next three years, particularly surrounding AP4 cars in the NZRC.

Cars running under the 1600cc formula will have a weight limit of 1230kg, while a new AP4+ class allows for the 1800cc engines currently being run, with a 1300kg weight limit. Both classes will be required to run a 34mm turbo restrictor. Cars up to 2-litre will run with a 1350kg limit. - BLAIR BARTELS





JETTY STAGE FOR RALLY OZ The WRC stars will race beside the shore of Coffs Harbour on an arenastyle Super Special Stage at Kennards Hire Rally Australia in November. The Destination NSW Super Special Stage, to be run on Friday and Saturday of the November 17-20 event, is one of the entertainment highlights this year. Fans at the Super Special Stage will see WRC cars complete two runs on a 1.27 kilometre waterfront course on Jordan Esplanade, in the jetty recreation precinct of Coffs Harbour. Action starts at 5pm each day, ensuring excellent daylight viewing from grandstands and other elevated vantage points. Against a backdrop of harbour and Pacific Ocean, stars such as World Champion Sebastien Ogier, Mads Ostberg, Ott Tanak and recent round winners Andreas Mikkelsen, Hayden Paddon and Thierry Neuville will tackle a jump and a motocross-style berm corner on the new course. Rally Australian Chairman Ben Rainsford says the stage promises a fun-filled experience for families and rally enthusiasts. The traditional special stages of Kennards Hire Rally Australia will again traverse forestry and rural shire roads north and south of the Coffs Harbour service park and headquarters. Friday will feature spectator points around Taylors Arm and Urunga in Nambucca Shire, and Saturday moves slightly farther north to locations at Talarm, Bowraville, Argents Hill and Newee Creek. And there will be a bonus for spectators on Friday and Saturday mornings with the new Raleigh Super


Special Stage, a 1.37km test run at a multi-motorsports facility 20km south of Coffs Harbour, and close to the Pacific Highway. Sunday’s finale, including the televised WRC Power Stage, will be played out at the Flooded Gum Rally Village on the Wedding Bells Stage. Food, drink, live commentary, entertainment, souvenir stands, other attractions and the brilliance of WRC drivers in action will make Flooded Gum an exciting climax to the Kennards Hire Rally Australia weekend. Tickets to nine spectator points across the rally’s three competition days are available. Adult prices range from just $29 for a one-day visit to $140 for a three-day Super Pass, including grandstand seating at the Super Special Stage. Spectator tickets are available at www.ticketek.com

SKODA R5 FOR MARK PEDDER AT RALLY OZ? Australian Rally Championship (ARC) regular, Mark Pedder, is currently working on a deal that would see him driving a Skoda Fabia R5 in WRC2 at this year’s Rally Australia. Although discussions are currently in the early stages, Pedder’s plan is to bring the car to Australia later this year, with the goal of then running the car in next year’s ARC. The Skoda would be run and maintained by Perth-based Race Torque Engineering. While Pedder has driven his Peugeot 208 Maxi in the ARC over the past two seasons, the car has suffered reliability problems on a regular basis, robbing him of the chance of good results. The addition of a Skoda Fabia R5 into the championship would be a huge coup for the series, which is enjoying a resurgence in 2016. Pedder’s brother, Scott, has driven a European-prepared Fabia in several rounds of this year’s World Rally Championship, showing impressive speed. - PETER WHITTEN


Rally Show, er up Shakedown, Says and d Special, all 3sentation podium pre

wnload o d o t E R E H K IC L C ralia t s u A y ll a R 6 1 0 2 the Tour brochure

November 16 - 21, 2016

The tour includes: ➜ Five nights twin share hotel room at Aanuka Beach Resort ➜ Cooked breakfast each day ➜ Boxed lunches on 3 rally days ➜ Tours and transfers by private coach with driver ➜ Exclusive tour activity pre-event ➜ Welcome dinner function on Wednesday evening ➜ 3 day rally super pass with grandstand seating Friday night ➜ Official RallySport Magazine tour merchandise ➜ Priority viewing at Ceremonial Finish and/or Power Stage ➜ Pre-event Shakedown, Rally Show and Ceremonial Start ➜ Farewell dinner on Sunday night

Official Rally Australia Tour hosted by RallySport Magazine AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 7



Anticipation is already at fever pitch ahead of the 2017 World Rally Championship, even though the first round is still over five months away. Citroen, Ford and Toyota (pictured) have all been busy testing their 2017 spec cars recently, as have Volkswagen and Hyundai. If the photos and videos release so far are anything to go by, 2017 is going to be one not to be missed.




lans for Coffs Harbour’s Nathan Quinn to drive a factory-supported World Rally Car in November’s Rally Australia have hit a dead-end. The local favourite drove a Mini World Rally Car in the 2013 WRC qualifier, finishing in the top 10, and was hoping to repeat the performance. “We’ve been conversing for a few months to drive a factory car here, and it was surprisingly close,” Quinn said.

“Unfortunately, just before Rally Finland, the plans fell through.” Quinn is now targeting a drive in the WRC2 category at Rally Australia, but admits that his team have lost a lot of planning time because of their World Rally Car negotiations. “I expect we will have to find a large budget, but we are hopeful that a team may choose not to run Rally Australia, and that we come across a deal similar to that which allowed us to drive the Mini in 2013,” Quinn told RallySport Magazine.

MOLLY’S DEBUT SUBARU WIN Molly Taylor and Bill Hayes recorded their debut win for the new Subaru team in the Southern Safari Tasmania on August 6. Their Group N production class WRX STI NR4 swept to victory in the 98.86 kilometre round of the Eastern Autobody Tasmanian Rally Series. Molly’s win is believed to be the first by a female driver in the history of the Tasmanian championship. The team was a consistent second across the first eight stages, then pounced on stage nine – ending with best times across the last three stages. It was a tight tussle across the day with Launceston brothers Marcus and Scott Walkem in their Mitsubishi Evo X. But patience paid off for the Subaru pair, who finished with an

overall margin of just 29.6 seconds over the Walkems. The local knowledge and expertise of the Les Walkden Rally Team also helped the Subaru duo. Team Principal, Les Walkden, also proved his ability, with an eighthplace finish in his Mitsubishi Pajero, in the off-road class. “We didn’t have a great start, with a puncture in the first loop of stages,” Taylor reported. “From there the challenge was on and we really enjoyed battling with the Walkem brothers. “Our first win for our car is a great moment for the whole team, so a huge thanks to them! “Also to the organisers for putting on such a well run event on fantastic roads.” The winning crew were presented with the Ken Roddam Memorial Trophy after their victory.

Photos: Geoff Ridder AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 9





he 2017 NZRC Calendar is starting to take shape, with the first two rounds locked in, being the Otago Rally and Rally Whangarei, subject to the FIA confirming the APRC calendar.


s many as 70 cars may fill the field for the final round of the 2016 NZRC, the Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel, with 43 NZRC cars expected. It will be the largest championship field in recent history.


mongst that field will be two Australian drivers: Brendan Reeves, running a Mazda 2 Maxi-style car, and Bruce Fullerton, driving a Mitsubishi Starion. Bolstering the international field further is Patrick Christian, who will drive a Mitsubishi Evo 10.


ull Rally Challenge competitor, Bryn Smith, will miss the final round after fracturing his back in an accident while participating in the Tauranga Clubman’s Rally. Smith was the only competitor who could challenge Kingsley Jones for the title, and is recovering well for next season.


he Tauranga Clubman’s Rally saw several NZRC contenders out competing, with Matt Summerfield taking the win in the Team Ralliart prepared Mitsubishi Mirage normally campaigned by Brian Green. Second was Phil Campbell, denied a hat-trick of wins on his home event, while third place went to Wayne Pittams.


hree time national champion, Neil Allport, will make a return to the stages for Rally Coromandel, driving his Ford Escort RS1600 (pictured). He will be in good company with four time champion, Bruce Herbert, driving his Hondapowered Mk2 Escort, while outgoing champion, Ben Hunt, and champion-elect, David Holder, will both be fighting for the outright win.

Photo: Geoff Ridder 10 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

Sean Bolger leads Justin Dowel and Will Orders at Lakeside (above), while Orders gets his Lancer Evo sideways. (Photos: Mat Jones)

S HITS THE TARGET “It has the potential to be bigger than V8 Supercars.” - Justin Dowel



here’s still a chance that rallycross could be the next ‘big thing’ in Australian motorsport, after a successful event in Queensland on August 6. After a couple of failed attempts to get rallycross up and running last year, an event was held at the Lakeside Motorsport Complex, north of Brisbane. Competitors included 2011 Australian Rally Champion, Justin Dowel, and former Australian junior champion, Will Orders, who both came away from the event brimming with enthusiasm. Entry numbers are growing with each event run, and Dowel says he’s seen enough to believe there is a big place for rallycross in Australia. “When we lined up for the start of the first race, I literally thought it was going

to be quite boring driving around a short, one kilometre track,” Dowel said. “But as soon as I got to the first corner I quickly realised how intense rallycross is, and fell in love with the concept and can’t wait to see the sport grow.” The Melbourne businessman drove the Hyundai i20 Proto that he normally campaigns in the Australian Rally Championship, and says that after sampling rallycross he has little interest in future ARC campaigns. “It was an incredible experience. The sport is spectator friendly and the action is close and insanely addictive,” Dowel added. “With the uncertainty regarding the ARC regulations at present, I have no interest in being involved in the championship until they come up with a solid five-year plan.

“I would much rather put my full support behind rallycross and help to see it grow to the heights that I’m certain it can achieve. “I have no doubts that it has the potential to be bigger than V8 Supercars, and Will (Orders) and I have already started putting together plans to run a two-car team of Hyundais in the series, and build future G4 Proto cars for the sport. “The cars are extremely exciting to watch and relatively cheap to build and maintain.” Rounds of a national rallycross series are expected to be held in each Australian state. Also competing in the Lakeside event was 13-year Sean Bolger, a young Queenslander who has already been mentored by Alister McRae, and is seen as a real star of the future. AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 11


RALLY ROUND-UP No Circuit of Ireland in 2017 Ireland’s more prestigious rally, the European championship Circuit of Ireland, is not to be held in 2017, as announced by the Event Director, Bobby Willis. The decision is due to funding uncertainty. Willis has managed the Circuit since 2009. “We have been working hard with all our funders to plan ahead for 2017, but regrettably the financial resources required to deliver the event are still not in place,” Willis said. “To run the rally next year

in the current format without the right resources and necessary planning period would be to do the rally a gross disservice. “I believe we cannot risk proceeding with the 2017 event at this point without financial certainty.” While other options for a small, local rally may be considered for next year, Willis’ plan is to work to secure the necessary resources and plan for the Circuit of Ireland Rally to return in 2018. - MARTIN HOLMES

Proudly announcing the

Southern Cross Gold Anniversary Rally November 8 to 19, 2016

Re-trace the 1966 route through Victoria and then via Canberra to Sydney to enjoy the classic roads of the later Southern Cross Rallies around Port Macquarie.

The rally finishes in Coffs Harbour where you’ll join the field of WRC cars competing in the final round of the 2016 World Rally Championship and compete on some of the WRC route..

Another Classic HRA re-run www.hra.org.au

Daily competitive sections including: • • •

Closed road stages Hillclimbs

Timed track sections

Each day finishes in time to enjoy a meal and lots of socialising!

Head to the website for more information

www.southerncrossanniversaryrally.com.au Albury Mansfield Sale Jindabyne Canberra Parramatta Taree Port Macquarie Coffs Harbour 12 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

Winner Adrian Coppin. (Photo: Aaron Wishart)

Coppin wins Narooma ARC regulars Adrian Coppin and Erin Kelly (pictured above) took out the popular Narooma Forest Rally on July 23rd, driving a Toyota Corolla S2000. The pair won the six-stage event by nearly two minutes from the Lancer Evo X of Mick Patton and Bernie Webb, with Chris Higgs and Kirra Penny third in their Subaru WRX. Tony Sullens appeared in a Ford Fiesta to take fourth place, with the top five rounded out by Andrew Penny‘s Subaru. Bethany Cullen was an impressive sixth in her Lancer Evo 6.5. The rally saw the driving debut of Lewis Bates, youngest son of Neal. Brother Harry sat in the co-driver’s seat in the frontwheel drive Toyota Corolla that he drove last season.

Lewis finished the event in 19th place from the 45 starters. Retirements included Michael Harding (Subaru) and Rhys Pinter (Ford Fiesta). Top six finishers: 1. Adrian Coppin / Erin Kelly, Toyota Corolla S2000, 1h14m29s 2. Mick Patton / Bernie Webb, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, 1h16m20s 3. Chris Higgs / Kirra Penny, Subaru WRX STI, 1h17m58s 4. Tony Sullens / Kaylie Newell, Ford Fiesta, 1h19m30s 5. Andrew Penny / Rhys Llewellyn, Subaru WRX STI, 1h19m32s 6. Bethany Cullen / Matthew Cullen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6.5, 1h20m02s

Lewis Bates made his driving debut. (Photo: Aaron Wishart)

Emma Gilmour will compete in the Italian Baja. AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 13


PAGE turner


Queensland-built Subaru could be Rally America bound


ueenslander Luke Page is hoping his Subaru WRX STI will be ready for a gravel debut at Rally Australia in November, but the car could end up being sent to the USA to contest the Rally America Championship.

Although the car was purchased to become a top-flight contender under Australia’s Production Rally Car regulations, it is currently serving as a test bed for his employer, MCA Suspension, where it helps to evaluate their road-going suspension. “Initial track use and testing has already shown what a brilliant chassis the new Subaru platform is, and I really can’t wait to finish the build and get it on the dirt,” Page told RallySport Magazine. “Recently the car was stripped, caged and put back together for the annual Subi Nats event at Phillip Island, where it took first place in the Clubman Class. Now it will be stripped again to finish the build to gravel rally specification, including some more fabrication and paint.” But Page is in no hurry to get the car finished, and says a deadline has not been set, despite his eagerness to drive it on the gravel. “This car is being built to serve my needs for the next five or more years, so doing it right is more important to me than doing a few rallies sooner. “Over the last few years I have become less desperate to do rallies at any cost. I feel more driven and focused than ever to compete, but I understand a whole lot more about how this should be done properly, and I think I’ve learned to be a little more patient. There will always be another rally!” The goal is a debut at the WRC round in Coffs Harbour, but between now and then there’s still plenty to be done. Among the jobs is the pedal box and brakes, underbody protection, a MoTec ECU, the fitment of a turbo restrictor and, as Page stresses, the 100 five minute jobs. 14 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

Where the car ends up after Rally Australia is still up for discussion however, and shipping the car to the USA is more than a possibility. “With the current talk around rule directions and age limits within the Australian Rally Championship (ARC), I am currently exploring the option of sending the car to the USA to do the Rally America Championship,” he says. “The ARC this year has been great, and it’s disappointing to read about its intended direction. “America is an emerging market for us here at MCA Suspension, so it also makes sense from a branding position to send the car over there. Throw in the chance to win contingency money from Subaru America and I’m sold!” It’s hoped that Australian rally fans get the pleasure of seeing the car in action ‘Down Under’, rather than seeing it shipped to the other side of the world.

TECH SPECS Car: Subaru STi NR4. Purchased from Subaru Australia Engine: Stock Jap Spec EJ207 Cage: Custom by Prowerx in QLD Suspension: Currently MCA Red series for tarmac, will be MCA Gold series for gravel Wheels: Tarmac- Koya CR TEK -17x9 +42. Gravel - Speedline Type 2218 in gold of course! Seats: Sabelt GT300 Harness: Sabelt Hans 6 point Current weight: 1390kg




minutes with ... EMMA GILMOUR

New Zealand’s fastest lady rally driver is more than a match for her male rivals. Age: 36 Marital status: Single Children: Do cats count? Two Burmese

cats - Harri and Millie


Business owner and Dealer Principal Gilmour Motors Suzuki

Place of birth:

Dunedin, New Zealand

Where do you live:

Dunedin, New Zealand

Does your spouse / partner like rallying?

The cats are only bothered by it when I travel lots :-)

Any other hobbies?

Trail bike riding, gym, reading, shopping, baking, horse riding, water sports

Favourite food: Italian pizza

Favourite drink:

Freshly made juice

Favourite sports person (other than rallying): Sir Mark Todd - NZ Olympic Equestrian

Favourite film:

Forrest Gump Emma driving a Ford Fiesta ST in the 2006 Deutschland Rally. (Photo: Maurice Selden)

Favourite holiday destination: Somewhere warm.

How did you start out in rallying?

I started navigating for my sister Monica and my cousin Gwynn. I really enjoyed co-driving and ended up codriving for Stumpy Holmes, and also Alistair Cavanagh at Rally of Canberra one year. At the same time I started doing some Otago Sports Car Club events like autocrosses and tarmac sprints in my road car. I thoroughly enjoyed driving, but never thought to have a go at it seriously as I couldn’t afford to do it as a hobby.

First event:

Targa Bambina 2002. Finished 6th overall and 1st in class out of 96 entries.

First car:

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3

Which car club do you belong to?

I belong to two - Otago Sports Car Club and Eastern Southland Car Club.

Do you ever officiate on events? Unfortunately I haven’t yet.

Have you competed overseas? Where and when?

I’ve been very lucky to rally all over the world. I competed in the 2009 Asia-Pacific series which included Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. I have also competed in Australia, Finland, Germany, UK, Qatar, Italy, and I competed In the Red Bull Global Rally Cross series in America in 2014.

Favourite rally car:

Naturally I’m going to say our Suzuki Swift AP4 rally car. Now that we are starting to get the best out of the set-up it’s really enjoyable to drive.

Favourite rally driver: Possum Bourne.

Favourite forest or event:

Otago Rally. Amazing roads whichever direction it is run, and it is my home event.

Things you dislike about rallying?

The unnecessary cost of certain aspects of it. I appreciate that it is always going to be an expensive sport, but I feel some things could be done differently to save costs for competitors.

Best result:

Winning the Canterbury Rally this year. It was hugely satisfying for our team to get the win in our Suzuki, which we’ve built and developed from scratch. 16 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

Best rally memory:

I have too many to pick just one. I think the predominant memory that I have from being involved in the sport is all of the people and friendships that I have made through competing. From the officials, to the mechanics, to the support crews, to the other competitors - I have made many lifetime friendships through rallying.

Strangest incident on a rally:

I can think of many rally incidents that are memorable, but probably not strange for rallying. How about strange animals whilst rallying overseas - camels, lizards, drunken Finnish spectators, snakes, and closer to home sheep, cows and Pukekos!

L-R: Sisters Monica and Emma, with parents Carola and Alistair.

Biggest accident:

In 2007 I had a high speed crash off a ridge line in Rally Whangarei. My seat broke in the accident so I came loose in my belts and smashed my helmet on the roll cage. The concussion and subsequent head injury took a long time to get over even though I rallied three weeks later!!

Achievements gained from rallying:

Winning the Cross Country selection event in Qatar last year was an amazing opportunity. Learning from the world’s best, Jutta Kleinschmidt, about how to navigate dunes and read the desert was something special. Also owning and running my own rally team, along with owning and running my own Suzuki dealership. Rallying has given me a lot of life skills that I wouldn’t have gained elsewhere.

If you had $100,000 to spend on rallying, what would you do?

I’d put it towards competing in an R5 car in an international series or one off event.

What is next on the list for Emma Gilmour?

The 2017 NZ Rally Championship. I still want to be NZ Rally Champion and to win my home event.

In what car will that be in?

In our Suzuki Swift AP4.

Do you have plans to compete overseas more, and if so, where and when?

I am always working on plans to compete overseas again. Although I am fully committed to my business and rallying here in NZ, I still have a dream of doing more international rallying.

What is the biggest challenge facing rallying at present?

In New Zealand, I think it is trying to keep an even playing field between the new generation of cars that are being built and the older existing fleet.

2014 Global RallyCross series in a Hyundai. AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 17



hat a busy week it was at Rally Finland. While we were unable to capture the result we went there for, we were still able to bank valuable points and keep us in a tight fight within the top five of the World Championship. With over 40% of the route this year being new, it meant that there was a lot more work than normal writing, adjusting and refining the pace notes. This also coupled with the fact that we did not compete on any of last year’s day two stages (which were this year’s day 1), meant we had a lot of homework and preparation that needed to be done between the recce and the rally. It was also strange this year to see how much road sweeping had an affect during the rally. What compounded this more than normal is that the region had had a lot of rain in the build up to the event, which then followed with


some sunshine, meant the base of the roads became very compact and hard. On top of this you had a thin layer of small gravel that acted like ball bearings. Before the event we thought third on the road (our championship position) was a good place to be, but it soon become apparent that it wasn’t – that became worse on Saturday when Sébastien (Ogier) dropped back with some problems, and we were then second on the road. We started a little slowly on Friday morning, trying to adapt to a smoother more precise driving style that seemed efficient in testing. However, the stage times begged to differ, so we then reverted back to my more aggressive natural style, which was a step in the right direction. Try as we did, it was clear that the road positions were playing a bigger part in the outcome of the rally, and no matter what we tried with my driving

or car set-up, the pattern and time difference of stage times to our nearest competitors didn’t change. But it was pleasing to be competitive with Sébastien and Andreas, who were on the road around us, and competing directly with the guys behind us. One thing that did become more apparent to me this weekend is that while I have always understood the sweeping affect on the first pass, this was the first time I also experienced it on the second pass, which I normally did not think was such an issue on the repeat loop of stages. So, some good lessons were learnt from this, and we can adapt a better driving approach and car set-up for when we are in loose conditions for the future. f course it is something that is hard to test for, as after three or four runs in testing the loose gravel is gone and the rest of the day is spent on a road that is swept with good grip. We’ll do some homework in this area. The rest of the rally went without issue for us, and on Saturday and Sunday I was happy and enjoyed the driving. This year the stages were the smoothest and best I have ever seen in Finland, which were incredible to drive. On the short final day, we were involved in a close battle with our teammate, Thierry, for fourth, and despite missing out by two seconds, it was pleasing to get some bonus points on the Power Stage, and overall we were the fastest over the day. So there were some positives to take away from the weekend, and plenty of lessons. It was also great to see more drivers on the podium, with Kris Meeke being the first British driver to win Rally Finland (an event normally dominated by Scandinavians) and his team mate, Craig Breen, getting his first podium. The WRC is going through an exciting phase, which is only building up to what I believe will be an even better year in 2017. For now, we change tact as we head for four tarmac rallies in a row. It’s not my area of expertise, but we will treat these events as an opportunity to learn and develop as, after all, if we want to have a chance of fighting for the title in the future, we can’t just be fast on gravel. So the training starts immediately, with some tarmac training in France with Nicolas Bernadi, followed by two days of testing. Then it is the team’s home rally – Rally Germany. Thanks again for all your support, - HAYDEN






P: (07) 3889 9822  W: R6WEB.COM.AU  E: SALES@R6WEB.COM.AU



F PHOTOS: Peter Whitten, Geoff Ridder, Glenn Inkster


FABIA-LICIOUS Glenn’s inking a place in NZ rallying history


ew Zealand’s embracing of the new AP4 vehicle regulations has been one of the huge positives from the 2016 rally season, and the category appears likely to go from strength to strength. And while the three cars running in this year’s NZ Rally Championship aren’t AP4 cars to the letter of the law, they’re pretty close. Glenn Inkster’s Skoda Fabia is arguably the prettiest of the bunch, and compliments the Hyundai New Zealand i20, and Andrew Hawkeswood’s Mazda 2 – all built by

Hawkeswood’s Force Motorsport operation. The AP4 rules were developed for the Asia-Pacific region as a cost-effective way of building cars similar to those running under the R5 banner in Europe. The idea was to enable cars to be built locally, using locally sourced components that are controlled either by MotorSport New Zealand, or the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport.


FEATURE: SKODA AP4+ The regulations stipulate that cars must run 1.6 litre turbocharged engines, however, because of the cost of developing these units, it was agreed that, initially at least, engines of up to two litres would be allowed. This means that the cars, including the Hyundai driven by Hayden Paddon, and Inkster’s Skoda, are classified as AP4+. “In many ways, the Skoda is very similar to the other AP4 cars, with the obvious

WHAT IS AP4? MotorSport New Zealand (MSNZ) and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) collaboratively developed the AP4 technical regulations for a new generation of 4WD turbocharged rally car eligible for competition in both National and International events within the Asia-Pacific region. The official definition of the category is listed as: GROUP AP4 is a rally category developed for National and Regional competition for forced induction 4 wheel - drive cars. It is based upon the principles of the FIA Group R5 category and is intended to create cars of similar performance, as well as that of the Super 2000 Rallies and Group N (including R4) categories. The concept of the AP4 Rally Car is to produce a build specification / technical regulation that ensures cars can be locally built from locally sourced component parts, controlled either directly or indirectly by the ASN [MotorSport NZ or CAMS]. The overriding intention is to ensure that the build specification is controlled, whilst guaranteeing that initial build, as well as ongoing maintenance costs, are kept within realistic bounds. Manufacturer / Dealer involvement is encouraged with respect to promoting their brand through support of Competitors / Teams in building and campaigning their marque.


difference being the engine, which is a 1.8 litre turbo motor that has been used in many different VW group cars, including the Skoda Octavia RS,” Inkster says. oupled with a Sadev 6-speed gearbox, the Skoda is an impressive machine, although Inkster hasn’t really had a clean run in the car so far this year. Like any new car, however, reliability is a work in progress, and it’s the smaller items




“The regulations stipulate that cars must run 1.6 litre turbocharged engines, however, because of the cost of developing these units, it was agreed that, initially at least, engines of up to two litres would be allowed.” and the attention to detail that really appeals to Inkster. “We were very lucky to be able to purchase a genuine Skoda Motorsport body kit for the car, as well as a few other bits, like the carbon inside door cards, the roof vent, and the underguard protection,” he says. “Even something as simple as the factory window sliders in the front side windows just work so nicely. “So being able to make use of these parts, and yet still base the car on these new AP4 rules, has been a real plus.”


he bulk of the car was built at Force Motorsport, but Inkster has also played his part in putting the car together. “Working for Transnet here in New Zealand also gave us access to some nice mill-spec Tyco wire and Dutch connectors, so I wired the car myself. “Not only did this allow us to save some cost in the build, but it’s also good to know the wiring and electronics well, in case of a problem at an event.” Local New Zealand and Australian businesses were also a big help in the

car’s construction. “Racetech were able to get our ECOLight logos placed on the seats and belts, and with some time spent modifying the original dash insert to take a Motec colour dash, the whole inside of the car is nice and tidy,” Inkster explains. “Obviously our ECOlight colours are very close to the SKODA factory colours, and so this, combined with a nice looking rally car to start with, is why we are so happy with the way the whole thing has turned out.    “Of course all of this would be insignificant if the cars didn’t go well, but I think that these new cars from Force Motorsport have all performed very well so far.    “We haven’t been finishing the events, but the last two have been self-inflicted and not due to the car being unreliable. Even when we did have a few small mechanical dramas, they were only small things, and we have been pleased with the stage times when we have had a clean run.   “All in all it feels like a great time to be a part of the NZRC, and on the back of the success of Hayden, and some hard work by those running the championship, the NZRC seems to be going from strength to strength at the moment. “For sure, the 2017 New Zealand Rally Championship will be memorable!”

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Engine:  VW group 1.8 litre turbo.   Transmission: 6-speed SADEV  Differential:   SADEV Suspension: MCA Steering: Evo 10 steering rac Brakes: Alcon Wheels/Tyres: 15” Speedline wheels Car owner: Spencer Winn






ubaru driver, Molly Taylor, has hit the ground running this year, impressing all with three faultless drives in the new Subaru do Motorsport WRX STI. With a three-month break between ARC rounds, Molly headed to Europe to catch up with her partner, Hyundai driver Kevin Abbring, and to watch his progress in Rally Finland. Despite the distance, Peter Whitten asked our fastest female her thoughts on the season so far.

RSM: Three events into the ARC this year, how have you seen your own development as a driver in the Group N Subaru? Molly Taylor: This is my first season in

The team have made a strategic decision to stay with a production car this year, meaning your car is heavier and less powerful than

PHOTO: Geoff Ridder

an AWD car and my first season as a factory driver, so there is certainly a lot which I am learning in a short space of time. I am really relishing every moment of this opportunity, and as a driver I am now in a different position than I have been before, which definitely requires some adaptation.

many of your rivals. Has this made the start of the season more challenging? I think rallying is challenging for

everyone, but for sure running in a different specification adds a unique challenge for us. However, I think so far we have had a great start in our season and as well as a challenge, it’s also really satisfying to be able to prove what we can achieve in a production car. It’s great motivation for the whole team and really shows how well everyone is working together, and how strong the NR4 STI is.

You have performed faultlessly this year, not putting a mark on the car. How satisfying is that, given it’s your first drive in a factory car?

Molly and the Group N Subaru in action in Rally of Queensland. (Photo: Pete Johnson) 26 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

Thank you! This is a huge opportunity for me, so of course it’s very important to start on the right foot and prove that I deserve the job. It’s a new situation and a new type of pressure, but this is what I have been working towards for the last 10 years, so it’s a fantastic feeling to be taking it on. I’m very aware it’s a long road and

in many cases, the hard work is just starting, but I have never wanted anything else more than this.

What is the team doing to further develop the car for the remaining two events this year?

From the first time the car turned a wheel, it has been a great package and that’s a real testament to the guys at Les Walkden Rallying. We have developed the car to as far as the Group N regulations allow, so the main focus for the next events is tweaking the set-up to suit each rally, and for me to make sure I’m getting the most out of the car with my driving.

a busy schedule with the launch of the new Subaru Levorg and SubiNats. It’s great to be involved with a really proactive company such as Subaru, so even when there is not a rally on, there is always something new and exciting happening. I have also had the chance to head to Europe for a few weeks and am

currently writing this from Rally Finland. As soon as I get back to Australia it will be full steam ahead preparing for South Australia. A mid-season trip to Europe saw Molly enjoying a day on Lake Annecy in France (below), and sharing a motorbike ride with Hyundai WRC star, Kevin Abbring. Photos courtesy of Molly Taylor

South Australia will be the fastest round of the championship so far. Will that suit the Subaru more than the first three rounds? South Australia is typically a horsepower rally, as most of the ARC events are really, so I think we need to be on our game just the same as every rally. My preparation will certainly be no different.

Looking forward to Rally Australia, where the world will be watching, how important is a good result in the WRC round - both from Subaru’s perspective, and from your own?

For me, every rally is just as important as the other in terms of my preparation and performance. Although for sure, to have a great result on the WRC stage would be fantastic, and there are still so many Subaru fans in the WRC, so I think everyone would like to see that! I’ll put in 100%, as in every rally, so from my side I won’t be changing anything.

You’ve been labelled one of the hardest workers of anyone in rallying, with measured preparation before each event. Does this just relate to physical preparation, or do you work specifically on the mental side of things as well?

I think a lot comes down to how badly you want something. I want to arrive at a rally knowing that I have done everything I can to be as prepared as possible. Given that time in the car is always at a premium, most of these aspects fall outside of the car. So definitely a combination of physical preparation, mental, working on pacenotes, anything and everything! I’m always learning.

With a three-month gap between Queensland and South Australia, what have you been up to?

Following Queensland we hadBryan quiteBouffier

Marijan Griebel

Alexey Lukyanuk AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 27



cured river, Jason Farmer, se -d co d an er ld Ho d vi Rally in June. Paddon, Tauranga’s Da victory in the Gisbor ne th A protégé of Hayden wi le tit ip sh on pi had d Rally Cham e impact Paddon has th t ou ab s lk their first New Zealan ta er ld azine, Ho . w with RallySport Mag his plans for the future d an g, in lly ra s In an incisive intervie hi in s his Christian faith play on his career, the role


RallySport Magazine: Congratulations on winning your first national championship. It’s obviously a lifetime goal reached, but is there also a sense of relief that you’ve done it? David Holder: Thanks! Yeah, relief is certainly one of the emotions, but to be honest the feeling is just plain weird! Some people overwhelm me with compliments for the accomplishment and I feel like they’re hyping it up to be more than it is, then other times I’ll be sitting there and I just have a wee moment where I smile on the inside a little bit about the fact my name will be on that trophy forever, beside some legends of motorsport! The main thing I feel most of the time, and something I make sure I remember, is the gratefulness towards everyone that’s helped. To sit here and claim the championship as my success would be naïve, to say the least. It’s been a huge team effort, including lots of sacrifice from my wife too!

Your career so far has been an interesting one. You’ve shown great speed from the outset, but have had a few hiccups along the way. What have been the most challenging ones?

Hiccups is a nice way to word them! It’s a journey that’s certainly been 28 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

“It makes sense, but honestly, who actually goes to an event with a ‘win it or bin it’ approach?” filled with ups and downs and at times there’s been lot of emotion involved, but from the moment I got behind the wheel, I’ve just felt like this is my calling. Besides, I’m not really good at anything else, so it’s a no brainer to focus all my energy on this! Let’s not beat around the bush though, there’s no denying I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in a car, some much bigger than others.  I guess the one definitive moment was crashing out of Rally Whangarei 2015 after leading for most of the rally. It was the first event of the national season, and more importantly, the first event of what I had publicly stated as my ‘professional career’. Basically my wife and I decided the time had come to commit wholeheartedly to chasing the dream. Essentially the plan was for me to quit my job as an engineer, enabling me to focus solely on finding sponsorship to run the car, alongside

the other necessary steps to becoming the best. Meanwhile, in the background we would live off my wife’s income. It seemed like a brilliant plan. What could go wrong?  A lot of people like the saying “to finish first, first you must finish’, but personally I hate it! I mean, yes, it makes sense, but honestly, who actually goes to an event with a ‘win it or bin it’ approach? I actually had a bit of a count up of my career to date and out of the 32 rallies I’ve competed in, eight have ended in tears and 24 on the podium nothing in between!

This year’s NZRC has been difficult for everyone, with all the contenders having issues in at least one event. What’s been the key to you winning the series with one round remaining?

To say it’s been a year drama filled year would be an understatement! Looking at the entry list, on paper it’s certainly a star-studded affair. I mean you’ve got all the, dare I say it, ‘old’ names and then us ‘younger’ guys starting to come through, so it was always going to be full of excitement. Personally, I feel the key to winning this year was the team around me. We’ve got a fantastic team culture going

“He (Paddon) may be a WRC superstar, but sitting next to him I have zero faith we are going to stay on the road.” - David Holder



on that I’ve found is hugely important. Everyone involved has 100% belief in my abilities, regardless of what any doubters might say. Ultimately they are giving up their time to ensure I’ve got the best chance of winning, and as a result they bend over backwards to take stress away from me during events ... hopefully they enjoy it too! Not forgetting reliability as a no brainer too, so having Mike at Force Automotive as a member of the team and keeping the car running so perfectly (100% reliability over three years) has been important. It’s also been a tough year sponsorship wise, so we really do appreciate the support we have received, especially from the likes of Stadium Finance, who backed me right from the outset! Overwhelmingly, I think for me, God’s really had his hand in this win. Sorry to get all spiritual, but our faith

“Our faith is something Jase and I both make no secret of, as it’s really the whole reason we compete.” is something Jase and I both make no secret of, as it’s really the whole reason we compete. We’ve managed to get through some pretty tough times, so feel blessed He gave us this championship ... heck, maybe our competitors could try the prayer approach, it seems to be working for us!

Hayden Paddon has been a huge supporter of you for some years. What part has Hayden played in you becoming NZ Champion?

Hayden has been absolutely pivotal in more ways than I can let on, to be honest. Take my first rally win at Whangarei for example. We were staring down the face of not getting to the event at all, and he pulled some strings to make sure we competed. He’s obviously very humble and I’ll tell you now his answer will be “I hardly did anything”, but believe me, he certainly played a big part. Mostly, our relationship consists of emails re-sponsorship ideas or rally advice, as there’s been little chance for actual practical driver training, but he always replies straight away, even when it’s on the evening of his WRC events. We’ve been in the car together a couple of times a few years ago, but honestly, we are both terrible in the co-driver’s seat. He may be a WRC superstar, but sitting next to him I have zero faith we are going to stay on the road (laughs). I’m sure he speaks equally as highly

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about my abilities when he sits besides me, but maybe his are a bit more warranted! Forgetting everything else he’s done, the privilege of claiming him as your mentor and the associated media coverage that gets in itself is great ... for want of a better description, ‘riding off his coat tails’, so to speak, it gave me some credibility when perhaps I hadn’t quite earned it yet. In the background, however, it’s not just all about me. He’s constantly doing what he can for number of other competitors too, maybe a little less in the public eye, but he sees the talent present in a number of individuals and is passionate about seeing NZ rallying grow as a whole. He deserves every accolade he gets!

Where to now for David Holder? Is winning a second NZ title the focus now, or are you looking overseas for the next opportunity in your career?

Good question. Forward is the answer! The plan is to look at any opportunity around for me to get some overseas experience. It sounds straightforward enough, but as always budget is the contributing factor. I think for now the obvious place to start looking into is the Asia region for some one-off events and the like. I’d like to say I’ve got more on the table right now, but it’s early days since winning the title unfortunately, but obviously the end goal is to be World Champion, just as I know Hayden will be. The NZ Championship is still a major priority too, not that winning another championship is my main focus, but more around the experience side of things. I’m still very new to the whole game really (32 rallies total), so just being in the seat is an absolute must for me. That said, if we are doing the full NZ Championship we will be there to win it.

“If I’m honest, it feels like a long shot, but we’re having a crack regardless.” I’ve been lucky enough to have a small squirt in Andrew Hawkeswood’s Mazda, and I can say they are the real deal! Next year will see the introduction of at least two new AP4s, and I think perhaps even another two or three on top of that, so it’s great for the sport. Andrew deserves a lot of credit for the time and money he’s invested into making them a reality. For our 2017 NZ campaign, Jase and I are currently working hard, approaching manufacturers to see if we can make something happen. If I’m honest, it feels like a long shot, but we’re having a crack regardless. Worst case, I think I could probably convince the guys at Stadium Finance to

let me drive the Evo for another season though.

Who’ll be the next ‘big thing’ to come out of New Zealand rallying? That’s a hard one, as I’ve been too busy being selfish and concentrating on my own things, so here’s hoping it’s me (laughs). Jokes aside, I have a lot of time for Matt Summerfield, he’s someone that has clearly got some speed and is just an all round good guy, so that combination will surely hold him in good stead. Max Bailey is another who will be fast when he steps into a 4WD - just how fast is something no one knows? Perhaps he will blow us all away, but it’s difficult to judge as he’s never really been challenged in the 2WD categories (in similar machinery).  I also have a close eye on a couple of competitors who I’m sure will be big successes, although they are in the early stages of their careers.

AP4 is really starting to take off in New Zealand. Is that something you want to try?

Absolutely! These cars are seriously cool and will undoubtedly just get faster and faster as things are developed.




STEVE ASHTON: 1954 - 2016


teve Ashton discovered rallying while at Melbourne University studying architecture. He remained a member of the Melbourne University Car Club. Rosemary (Ro) Nixon became his codriver in 1979. They married in 1985 and continued to compete together regularly. Like many in those days, Steve started rallying his road going Datsun 1600, until he got serious, and moved into a very competitive “Datrally” built 1600. It was in this car that the pair came to prominence with a fine third outright in the 1982 Alpine, the final round of the ARC in that year. They latched onto the 4WD and Group N revolution, being one of the early punters of a Mazda Familia, followed by a Mitsubishi Galant VR4, Lancer Evo 3 and Evo 7, with its ‘pick-up-sticks’ paint job, and successfully shared ownership and driving with Chris Snell. With the progress of time, Steve was attracted to historic rallying and campaigned a 1972 Galant in a team with Dinta Officer. Steve honed his long distance rallying skills driving a back up vehicle for Ralliart in the Australian Safaris from 1987 to 1989. This involved piloting a Pajero long wheel base heavily laden with axles, gearboxes and other spares, swiftly, but not too swiftly, so as to not make it to the end of the day with both necessary spares and co-driver/mechanic onboard. He and Peter Gale finished first 2WD car in the very tough inaugural 1985 Safari. Steve and Ro had lots of podium results in major events, including third outright in the 1995 Round Australia Trial, and second outright in the 2009 and 2012 Classic Outback Trials. Steve rarely crashed as he knew exactly where his limitations were and never let ego take over and go for ‘boom or bust’. This may have appeared to not be the case in the 1993 London to Sydney Marathon, where they were

in third position on the third last day until caught out by a corner in the Flinders Ranges, and rolled some distance off the road. Bob Watson, the event road director, graciously admitted 20 years later, on revisiting the corner, that it should have been triple cautioned. There was a crowd of locals on hand, obviously expecting some carnage, so they got going again to finish 10th outright. Steve joined the CAMS National Rally Panel (as it was known then) in 1990, which was replaced by the skills based Australian Rally Commission (ARCom). Gary Connelly astutely recruited Steve for his business experience, strategic outlook and good understanding of grass roots rallying issues, and Rallycorp P/L was created in 1999 to manage the commercial side of CAMS rallying. In July 1995, Steve was appointed Deputy Chairman of ARCom, a position he held until December 2006 when he retired from ARCom and from Rallycorp in 2009. During that time he acted as chairman of the Rally of Canberra Organising Committee, and oversaw a successful period in Australian and Asia- Pacific rallying, including being an FIA Observer to a number of events from 2001 to 2007. For his contribution to motorsport, Steve was awarded Life Membership of CAMS in March this year. Outside rallying, Steve was a founding partner in Ashton Raggatt MacDougall Architecture, later to become ARM Architecture. The recent AIA Gold Medal awarded to the partners is a prestigious and rare honour, but their achievements can be seen in the many striking buildings around the country that they have designed, including: the National Museum, Canberra (2001), Geelong Library and Heritage Centre (2015), and RMIT Storey Hall, Melbourne (1996) where a memorial service will be held for Steve at 5pm, Monday, August 29. Steve succumbed to mesothelioma on July 25, likely to have been caused by exposure to brake dust. He is survived by wife Ro, and daughters Louisa and Kate. In order that something good emerges from this tragedy, Steve and Ro have used insurance money to establish a philanthropic fund to support architecture, medical research and environmental causes. Donations are welcome at: http://www.ashtonnixonbequest.com - ROSS RUNNALLS


BORDER RANGES RALLY ‘the best on the best’

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www.borderrangesrally.com.au AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 33


MAGIC MOTU New Zealand’s Motu Road gorge is widely regarded in world rallying as the toughest, most challenging stage in the world. The Motu is 47 kilometres of winding, narrow, twisty and challenging road that snakes its way from the coast at Opotiki (east of Rotorua), inland through the ranges to finish high in the hills at the small township of Motu. Photos: MARTIN HOLMES, GEOFF RIDDER The works Nissan 240RS enters a dry Motu river crossing during the 1983 Rally of New Zealand.


The Motu gained its fearsome reputation during the 1990s when it was an annual feature of the World Championship Rally of New Zealand event. Nearly every year the infamous piece of road helped to decide the outcome of the event. The world’s best drivers feared its awesome reputation, while Scotland’s

Colin McRae proved to be the master of the Motu, setting the stage record three years running on his way to victory. In 1993, McRae went from fifth place to first on this stage alone, setting up his, and Subaru’s, maiden WRC win. The stage returned in a round of the New Zealand Rally Championship in

Cody Crocker (multiple Australian and AsiaPacific Rally Champion)

Note: Cody was the stage winner back in 2006. In extremely wet and difficult conditions, he set a time of 41 minutes 03 seconds. “I was lucky enough to have a chance to tackle the Motu in 2006 while running in Rally Rotorua with Les Walkden Rallying. This was my first attempt at the APRC and my first time rallying around Rotorua. This stage stands out for many reasons, one of which is that it’s one of the few stages around the world where there are almost two pages of pacenotes per kilometre - normally it’s around one page per kilometre. With an average speed around 70 km/h, my co-driver, Ben Atkinson, had his work cut out - he read a page of notes every 20 seconds or so! On recce we were allowed two passes and all seemed well, our notes were good, the river crossing was one metre wide, 10cm deep and the sun was out. Rain between Thursday recce and the actual stage on Saturday morning meant that a 50 metre wide lake had appeared where there was meant to be a trickle of water in a dip. We got through unscathed and managed to set a good time and were able to break the 70km/h average speed barrier. I remember heading into the stage Mats Jonsson negotiates the Motu in his Opel Kadett GSi in 1989.

2015, and will be part of the country’s WRC test event in 2017 – much to the delight of fans, but perhaps not for drivers! In 2015, the NZ Rally Championship asked many of the sport’s leading players to give their thoughts on the Motu. Following are some of those recollections. 1983 Rally of New Zealand service area in the Motu hills.

and as we headed up hill, every corner seemed tighter than the previous, our notes started with lots of 8s and 9s (5th gear corners), then became 7s and 6s, then eventually down to 2s and 1s, incredibly tight and narrow. Add to that

plenty of drops and unforgiving rock faces sticking out at you, and you knew that one step out of line and you were toast. There’s small comfort from the reflector posts poised between the edge of the road and the big drop on the other side. It was hard to know which posts to cut, because some were plastic and others were timber. I think the plastic ones were replacements after the likes of Colin McRae and Possum Bourne had made their paths through the stage. Like many New Zealand roads, the cambers and high grip levels make driving rewarding, but what sets the Motu apart is that everything is combined into the one stage. It’s 40km of reasons why you go rallying, and it’s hard to beat the feeling of coming out the other side knowing you’ve completed one of the world’s most amazing rally stages.”

Emma Gilmour (NZ’s fastest female)

“I have a few memorable moments AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 35

FAMOUS STAGES: THE MOTU Ross Dunkerton splashes his way through the Motu in the 1991 WRC round.

from the Motu! The first one is the fact it was my very first competitive rally stage. After having a go at zero car in Otago in 2002 we decided to enter Rally Rotorua as my first rally. I kept catching the Japanese driver in front, but I was hugely relieved to make the finish line of the Motu. I think it was the following year when, nearing the end of the stage, the newly painted front wheels had a bad vibration. We stopped to check and as we did the front wheel carried on along the road and disappeared over a bank. My co-driver, Glenn Macneall, said he’d jump in the boot of the Evo 3 to relieve the weight off the front and told me to drive out of the stage slowly. As I took off and was about to hook third gear there was a lot of banging on the roof - in my inexperience I didn’t know what slow was!! We ended up retiring at the end of the stage anyway as we couldn’t get the studs out of the hub. The following year I broke the steering on my Evo 6 when my turned wheel clipped a hidden outcrop of rock not too far from the finish.”

Peter Whitten (Editor, RallySport Magazine)

“As iconic as the Col de Turini in Monte Carlo and Ouninpohja in Finland, New Zealand’s Motu stage conjures up memories of some of the best rally drivers in the world, on the best rally roads in the world. Aside from Colin McRae’s dominance 36 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

Glenn Macneall takes in the Motu from the boot of Emma Gilmour’s Lancer in the 2002 Rotorua Rally.

of the stage, my favourite memory of the Motu comes from 1994 when the great Ari Vatanen was driving the Ford Escort RS Cosworth. While Colin McRae dominated the stage, Vatanen had the power steering fail on his Escort, and had to drive the majority of the stage unassisted, and the strain was clearly evident. Typically, it was a freezing cold morning as we waited at the end of the marathon 44.80km stage, but as the Flying Finn arrived at the finish control, it was clear that everything was not well

inside the Escort. The windows had begun to fog up, and as Ari opened the door to talk to journalists, I can clearly remember the steam rising from his steaming driving gloves as he battled to catch his breath and recover from what must surely have been a superhuman effort. Ari’s time was slow, but his effort to get the car to finish control rates, in my mind, just as impressively as Colin’s. Later that day I drove the stage in a hire car, marvelling at the number of corners and the unique camber of the

road. After heavy rain, just keeping the hire car on the road was a challenge - I could only imagine what it must have been like at speed. Eventually, we reached the midstage water splash where we were eagerly awaiting the second running of the stage, only for it to be cancelled because the road conditions had deteriorated so much since the morning’s running of the Motu. My own efforts in the hire car had, it seemed, been almost as impressive as those of Ari and Colin - at least in my mind …..”

Ari Vatanen battled power steering failure in his Ford Escort Cosworth through the Motu in 1994.

John Kennard (co-driver to Hayden Paddon)

“I think my abiding memory of any time I competed on it was that it seemed, no matter what car you were in, you never seemed to have the right gear ratios in it! I remember Malcolm Stewart cursing almost all the way up it in the Group A Audi Quattro in the pouring rain in the 1988 Rally NZ, as each time he managed to grab a higher gear and gain a fraction of speed, it ran out of revs and he had to bang it back down for the next demented twist in the road, which seemed to go on forever. Probably the funniest story though, came while checking the 1990 Silver Fern route pre rally with Brent Rawstron, when a large hare ran almost 4km down the road in front of us, able to stay ahead because the tightness of the twists and turns. He was far better suited to getting down it quickly than we were, even having time to stop and grab a breath occasionally, until we caught up!”

Ed Ordynski

“Coming from South Australia, where the roads are generally flat and high speed, it’s hard to imagine a more fearsome and extreme stage than Motu. It was difficult even on recce! Motu has every element that a true rally competitor craves. It’s an enormous challenge, a feat just to make it through unscathed. It was daunting and a huge test of mental toughness for both driver and co-driver. I doubt if anyone could ever say they’ve had a clean run through Motu. In Group N cars, which thrived on fast, flowing roads, and required a smooth, raceline, driving style, Motu’s relentless, tight corners and changes of surface meant you just had to take one corner at a time and hope you got most of it right. If you fooled yourself for a moment you’d got into a good rhythm, something unseen would tip you the wrong way for the next corner.

The other big issue with Motu was that Whakarau, a fast open stage, followed it with little liaison time between. I always planned to try for a good time on Motu (even as I write this I realise what a ridiculous statement that is), but keep the car nice for a blistering run on Whakarau (even more ridiculous). I think I only managed that

once! I did try to keep momentum up in a Group N car, using as much of the road as possible, letting it slide out to the edges and so on. Since retiring from rallying I’ve taken a road car over Motu and stopped to look at things closely where we used to push the limits. I would advise anyone still competing,


FAMOUS STAGES: THE MOTU not to do that! What’s out of sight on Motu is more daunting than what you can see!”

Jim Scott

“In 1977 Ari Vatanen and I headed into the Motu stage after passing all three works Fiats in the stage prior. Once we started it’s right, left, right, left and after a couple of kilometres Ari says: ‘Jim, forget about the notes, you will never keep up in here.’ A couple of corners later and the front of the Escort is hanging over a bank and I’m out pushing. Back on the road and we set off again and Ari shouts out: ‘You better get back on those notes Jim.’”

Neil Allport

“You either love it to bits and you think that you’re a Colin McRae, but most other people love it and hate it all in the same sentence, and I think that is a pretty fair summary of the place, you never know if you’ve liked it until you got to the end of it.

At the time it is always a nightmare. The last time I did it was in the Silver Fern in the Escort and I sort of looked forward to it, but after getting 6km in and clobbering a rock, I was hating every damn kilometre to the end, and I think that’s what that stage is about. If you chance your arm in there, it’s got everything you could ever want in a stage, it’s just one of those iconic pieces of road I suppose. To sum up, I don’t know whether I like it or hate it, there is something challenging about it for certain. It’s a bucket-lister, a road you need to travel down in your rallying career. Some of the journeys have been fantastic and some have been terrible. They’ve had everything on that stage. The first year I did it in 1983 we got stopped when Bettega was parked on top of a cow or something in a Lancia 037. I’ll always remember the stage for that and I suppose the biggest memory of that stage, not actually driving it, was watching Ari Vatanen come out of there in 1977 in the international, that’s probably what inspired me to go rallying and it just so happened it was on that stage. Memories from driving it are certainly good and bad, I don’t know if the good outnumber the bad, but it’s always been challenging and that’s an understatement too. I’ve never done that well on that stage, not that it really matters. Well, I guess it always matters, but it’s not something that you feel you need to have done in your life (win the stage), just getting through it with four wheels on the car and no dented panels is a big enough achievement.”

Tony Sircombe (international co-driver)

“The name still sits with respect when I hear or read the name Motu. My journeys up and down the road from 1989 through 1995 during Rally New Zealand are relative good memories, considering the epic challenge the road presents to teams. Only once did I get 38 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

to watch the rest of the rally pass by, when Rod Millen and I DNF’ed on Motu 1 in 1990 with turbo failure. During the lead up to any rally, recce gave you a good idea on how you will attack a stage, but Motu was quite different from most and always stood out as a possible turning point in the rally. Colin McRae used this stage to stamp his place in Rally New Zealand history with some incredible stage times. Recce for Motu was a huge task as the return journey down the Waioeka Road made just one pass through the stage about a three hour trip. With the early rallies we had open recce, which to Rod and I meant a minimum of four passes, to Possum it was more like seven! Some of you may have seen the clip of an in-car video from 1995 of Possum and I. That year I had 80 pages of notes for the 45km stage. I barely had a moment to take a breath and would need to physically and mentally prepare for the challenge of 39 minutes of intense concentration. Back then a couple of bottles of Lucozade helped me get into the frame! To make it more of a challenge that year, we ran Motu up in the morning and down in the afternoon…. There was always big unanswered questions going through your head on the start line of Motu in those days prior to gravel crews and mobile phones (not that you got any cell coverage in there!). Thoughts of how deep the water would be at the ford, and therefore how fast to hit it, was the road wet and thus slippery, would there be ice at the top of the ridge or in the shade? Rod Millen and I ended way up a bank because of an icy road just before you get to the top, which spoiled an incredible run up to that point. I was able to get out and push us back onto the road, so not all was lost.”



irst used on the inaugural Shell Silver Fern Rally in 1969, the Motu caused so many problems that the organisers annulled the time for the entire section. Until 1983 the absence of restrictions on the length of stages allowed it to be used in full, with drivers such as Andrew Cowan, Colin Bond, Fulvio Bucchelli and Michele Mouton setting fastest times. In 1975, local Colin Taylor became the first New Zealander to win the stage, recording a time of just under 51 minutes in a Mk1 Escort. The introduction of a 30km limit for world championship stages saw the Motu shortened, or split in two, from 1988 to 1992. The re-uniting of the Motu as a single stage in 1993 brought a new challenge. Winners of one or both parts of the stage included Tony Teesdale, Ingvar Carlsson, Carlos Sainz and Didier Auriol. It was (and still is?) the longest (in terms of time) and slowest stage in any WRC event. The world’s best drivers struggled to average 70kmh through its slippery twists and turns.

In 1993, the new master was Colin McRae, who took the Rally New Zealand lead on the Motu, beating Didier Auriol by seven seconds. The next year he smashed his previous record by beating Auriol by 25 seconds. But more was to come the following year, with McRae again beating Auriol by a staggering 35 seconds. McRae, unlike Auriol, had no special love for the Motu. “It’s really, really long and very hard work. The only good thing about it is the times I managed to achieve in there,” McRae said. “Over the years we have evolved a method of driving that stage which is to drive as if it was a tarmac stage, braking early and turning in early, only after I have taken my foot off the brakes. I use the throttle very gently and try not to let the car go sideways at all. “It’s a very narrow road, so it is of real importance to be absolutely precise. “The oddest thing about the stage is that because it is so slow it is hard to gain a feeling of how you are going. “In 1995, for example, we went slower

than the year before because it was so wet and slippery. I would have been surprised if anyone had beaten me, but I never expected to pull 35 seconds over the rest of the field on one stage alone!” Source: :The New Zealand Rally celebrating 25 years”. Thomson/Holmes

Colin McRae was virtually unbeatable on the Motu stage. AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 39




are they now



ayne Bell is widely regarded as the greatest rally driver never to have won the Australian Rally Championship. The Newcastle native got his big break when he was selected to drive for the factory Marlboro Holden Dealer Team in the 1980s, and spent many years driving a selection of Geminis in the Australian Rally Championship. He was part of the Holden Dealer Team in the 1979 Repco


You’re widely regarded as the best driver never to win the Australian Rally Championship. How does that sit with you?

Yes, I have that honour, if you can call it that. It does not worry me so much, although it would have been nice to have that title. I was actually Australian and AsiaPacific Champion in Formula 2 (F2) and won WRC events in the class of vehicle I was driving. However, in the overall scheme of things ... big deal! I am satisfied that I was respected by my competitors, and spectators enjoyed my driving style. I am satisfied

Round Australia Reliability Trial, and later joined forces with Hyundai and ran the Korean company’s first official rally team, contesting the ARC, the APRC and the WRC. Now 64, Bell tells RallySport Magazine of his greatest memories in the sport, how he wasn’t allowed to drive the final days of the ’79 Repco Trial, and his experiences with Hyundai, including being welcomed back to the team at the 2014 Rally of Portugal.

that my career lasted around 30 years, either driving factory cars or fullysupported teams. I never considered myself to be anything special or better than my competitors. Driving came easy to me, I did not have to work at it, and just got in and did my thing. George (Shepheard – Holden Dealer Team boss) never said anything to me as far as my ability was concerned, except once in testing the Gemini for the first time. He said to his wife Marie, who was there at the time: “You have got to go for a ride with Wayne, it is really something else”. I took that as a compliment. The only person to ever really comment was Fred Gocentas when Bell and navigator George Shepheard and the factory Gemini in the 1977 Southern Cross Rally.

we were testing in the Fiat. Fred said: “F^%& me, I am pleased you never had a BDA”. I also took that as a compliment, and once Neal Bates said after a test session in Canberra (in a Hyundai Coupe): “S@#t, do you usually drive that hard?”. Also, Murry Coote just reckoned I was crazy. Anyway, to answer your question, no it does not bother me that much.

What was your best year in the ARC, and how close did you come to winning the championship?

I am hopeless on dates, however, I finished second in the ARC twice I think, for sure once behind Greg Carr. Having my team, Japanese Connection, withdraw halfway through the championship, and some poor decisions on my behalf after that, cost me the championship that year. I only needed to finish the Alpine Rally ahead of Greg’s Alfa, and with the 323 Mazda that should have been a stroll in the park. But no, not me ... I clipped a bank on the first stage and broke the rear suspension. We had no parts, so completed the event with a patched up car held together with wire. I made the mistake of modifying the Mazda to Group A, but should have left it standard - it was fast enough to win.

You drove for the factory Holden Dealer Team for many years, largely in what were considered uncompetitive cars (Geminis) against the factory Ford and Datsun teams. Was it a frustrating period, or one where you felt you were punching above your weight? It was a huge honour to be selected for the Dealer Team. Who would not 40 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

The MHDT Gemini in the Endrust Rally in South Australia, and in a Castrol International Rally (below)

“In hindsight I should have waited. I wanted to drive for Mitsubishi.” jump at the chance? In hindsight I should have waited. I wanted to drive for Mitsubishi and I think had I not driven for MHDT, then that would have happened. No regrets though, I just loved driving and, to be frank, I did not care what I drove, as long as I was having fun and getting the best out of the machinery I had at that time. I was not getting paid, but it was not costing me to do what I loved either. The Turbo Gemini was a disaster at that time. Technology was not around like it is today. The turbo lag was tremendous, although funnily enough, it suited my style. I liked to be on the throttle early and this simply meant I had to be on it even earlier. The thing was quick when it was going, and we often had quickest stage times.

Tell us a bit about the experience of the 1979 Round Australia Trial with Holden?

This was something special. I had been testing the old silver Commodore for 12 months prior to this event. George (Shepheard) did a fantastic job setting up the team for the Round Australia. To achieve a 1-2-3 for Holden was unbelievable. It is history now that Brocky and I were having a right tussle and George did not interfere, saying they would sort it out. Before Townsville, in car 17, we had

decided to back off and let Brocky go and we would cruise to a comfortable second. We figured GM could get better publicity from Brocky winning than us. However, there was a big team meeting in Townsville that I was not privy to. I was stuffed and needed sleep. After Townsville I never got to drive the car again. I had to ask Fergy (Barry Ferguson) to let me drive into Newcastle, my home town, and he reluctantly agreed. I don’t know what went down in Townsville to this day, but I am pretty sure instructions were for Brock to win, and I don’t think the big brass at GM trusted me to let that happen. I don’t know what I did, but from that day on I was out of favour with GMH management. Years later I got an email from GM asking if I would drive a Calibra in Targa Tasmania. I replied that I would love to, and jokingly said “No second place this time”. 

I never heard back, and next thing I know Ed Ordynski was driving it. Such is life! I do thank George for having the belief in me as a driver, and together we had a lot of fun times. We had a great team, if not the most competitive car. Still, we achieved some outstanding results in the little Twin Cam Gemini.

When four-wheel drive came along, you drove a very fast Mazda 323. What was the change from rear-wheel drive to four-wheel drive like?

As I said earlier, Japanese Connection withdrew their support so I was without a drive. Lovell Springs were the main sponsor and Robert Lovell (an absolute gentleman) said “go and buy another car”. Problem solved! Andrew Murfett had a 323 for sale, his old rally car that he had just taken all the rally gear out of and converted it back to a road car. I got him to chuck all the parts in the boot and send it to me. It arrived three weeks before the SA AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 41


“They were as keen as mustard, but had no idea what it was all about.”

Wayne Bell in his super fast Toyota Sprinter.

round of the championship. My friends and I screwed the thing back together, stuck it on a trailer and headed for SA. We lined up at the start of the first stage, never having driven the car, and away we went. It was pouring rain and Greg (Carr) was car one, we were second on the road. Greg’s lines were perfect, out wide, clip the apex then drift out wide again. On the other hand, I was all over the road. Wherever the wheels were pointing when you hit the throttle, that was where this bloody thing went! I was up the inside of corners, literally all over the road. The stage was some 16km long and when we got to the end Dave Boddy just looked at me and said: “That was bloody terrible”. I replied, “Yep, not so good, eh!”. As he was walking back from the control table he was shaking his head and laughing. He got in and said “guess what?” I just shrugged. “We were 16 seconds faster then Greg!” I said “You are f*+&$# kidding”. I did get the hang of it as the rally progressed, and we ended up winning by some margin, if I remember correctly. When mastered with left-foot braking and getting into how to drive these things, they were bloody quick. Completely different to anything I had ever driven.

Moving forward, you were the first driver to bring Hyundai to rallying, and had a successful program in Australia, the AsiaPacific region and in the World Championship. 42 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

I had exactly three weeks to build two F2 Coupes for Rally New Zealand. Fortunately, I hade assumed they would approve the budget and went ahead and got the homologation and some parts designed and built. If they did not go ahead, I was financially up the creek big time. My car only did one stage and had no oil pressure, but Bob Nicoli managed to finish the event. Despite the time constraints we got the cars sorted and had some success in Asia with the Coupe. Highlights? Well, the Hong Kong Beijing Rally was unbelievable, and winning our class in that was fantastic. A feature story in an old Chequered Flag magazine.

What were the highlights during the formation and the running of this program? I guess bringing a brand new manufacturer into the sport, they were as keen as mustard, but had no idea what it was all about. The cars were fairly standard and were super strong. We competed in 24 events before we had a retirement, finished no worse then second in class. I do believe that it gave Hyundai Korea the impression that they could win the WRC, that this rallying was easy. Korea always made the decision to compete at the last moment. With Group N this was not such a problem, however, the move to Group A was something else. I could never make them understand that I needed approval and budget well in advance of the proposed competition date. 

Also, when Greg Carr drove our second car in Rally Australia and the cars finished first and second in class. Being treated like a king in Korea was amazing. I went into a shop to buy some Nike shoes, as they were super cheap in Korea, and the little guy in the store just stopped in his tracks. “Mr Wayne Bell,” he mumbled. “Please, please sit down.” My wife just looked at me and made some smart comment! Even to this day I have Facebook friends in Korea.  Yes, they were the good days for sure. Hyundai are a great company and I have some life long friends in Korea.

Your fourth place in Formula 2 in Portugal must have been the one of the best moments in your career?

The highlight of that event was at the start when Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen, Colin McRae and several of the top drivers came over to me and said: “Welcome to Europe, Wayne, you should have been here years ago”. I will never forget that moment. As for the event, it could have gone better. Whilst the car I drove was actually one I had built here in Australia, the Poms had had it all apart and it was never the same. It was over-fuelling to buggery and was way down on power. We finished fourth in F2 against some very good competition, so I was pleased with that. Just to compete in Portugal was a fantastic experience. The crowds and the famous jump were incredible. Mr G.H Choi (current President of Hyundai Motor Sport) came over and said, “Thanks Wayne, you saved our arse again”.

You retired in 2001, but have made the occasional appearance in rallying since then. What draws you back to the sport and keeps your interest?

Yes, I had a couple of guest drives for fun and enjoyed that. I think I am pretty much over it now as I know I can’t drive like I used to, and it’s too expensive these days even to just go out and have some fun. I was very temped to ask G.H. Choi for a steer of the WRC i20, just to see how I would go. But with commonsense, and to save myself some serious embarrassment, I decided not to. Hyundai’s participation has rekindled my passion and I watch closely what is going on in the team and how the drivers and cars are going.

Who were the drivers your respected most throughout your career and who were the hardest to beat?

Do you want a long list?? There were many of them. I would have to say Greg Carr in Canberra was unbeatable. I did manage to beat him once, but that is all.  Let me see, there’s Greg Carr, George Fury, Colin Bond, Geoff Portman, Hugh Bell, Ed Ordynski, Ross Dunko, just to name a few.

What do you think of the current state of rallying on a world scale, and in Australia?

The WRC has heaps of potential. When Toyota come back it will be very interesting. There is also a potential for other manufacturers to compete. At the moment there is not enough depth in the field at the top end. In the ARC, I have been watching the progress of Harry (Bates) and Molly (Taylor), and it’s great to see Simon (Evans) back - he is very talented.

“I know I can’t drive like I used to ... and to save myself some major embarrassment, I decided not to.” I reckon the R5 class could be the way to go in Australia. It’s still not cheap, but it’s a level playing field with potential for manufacturer involvement The ARC lacks depth at the moment. I would like to see the more open NZ regulations, however, modern cars still need to win the championship if the sport is to regain its heyday. Sure, there can be a classic class with their own championship or whatever, however for an importer or manufacturer to be interested it has to be modern cars. That is why I like the

Top: Bell and Dave Boddy in their Mazda 323 in an Alpine Rally, and (above) looking a little worse for wear with navigator George Shepheard.

R5 regulations.

How does Wayne Bell fill in his days now?

Still working for the Government, involved in the automotive services section for Fair Trading. I’m doing some outback travel with the Land Cruiser and camper trailer. Catching up with old friends, pestering people on Facebook and just generally taking it easy. I am 64 and rising. It seems like only yesterday when I took the first MHDT Gemini home and NBN 3 (local TV station) were there waiting to interview me as the local kid made good. Also, there was the local neighbour who used to always complain to my parents about my driving. Mate, I couldn’t help it if he lived on a gravel street with a square left uphill. Even he was pleased for me! AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 43



ol Trinder is the main in charge of the Australian Rally Commission, perhaps the most misunderstood organisation in rallying. While many are quick to blame them for some of the directions rallying is taking, very few people actually know how the commission works, and what role they play. RallySport Magazine decided to seek the answers from the man right at the head of the sport.

RSM: What is the Australian Rally Commission’s role in the sport? Col Trinder: I can completely

understand why people who are not entirely familiar with the way responsibility is divided up in CAMS between a national office and each state, might not understand exactly what the Australian Rally Commission (ARCom) is responsible for. ARCom is responsible for policy advice – so has limited hands-on influence regarding what happens on the ground at your local rally. ARCom is just a panel of 10 volunteers drawn from the wider rally community to provided policy advice about rallying to the CAMS Board. Things that happen on the ground, such as the organisation of a State Championship, or an event, are delivered through state councils (and their subordinate panels), car clubs and event organisers. The CAMS Board actually issues what is known as a ‘Standing Order’ to all the appointed commissions. ARCom’s Standing Order describes what it is responsible for and how it must operate. ARCom’s responsibilities are not necessarily exclusive, but include advising on various sporting aspects, technical regulation and strategic direction, as well as contributing the rally portfolio view to other wider CAMS policies and direction. It is important to appreciate that the CAMS Board also takes advice from the other Commissions, State Councils, entities connected to, or part of CAMS, such as AIMSS, the CAMS administration itself, as well as responding to government, regulators, 44 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

insurers, legal and commercial interests. A typical ARCom meeting will be devoted to considering proposals arising from submissions from State Rally Panels, competitors, organisers, commissioners and CAMS itself. These generally cover a wide range of topics relating to rallies, including proposals to make changes to technical rules and regulations, as well as reviewing developments at all levels in the sport and considering any incidents. One of ARCom’s specific functions, delegated by the Board of CAMS, is to ensure the Australian Rally Championship is conducted - so ARCom does have this ‘operational’ role

“2007 was a critical time with a great deal of turmoil during a major transition in the sport.” with regard to the ARC. This function is delivered through a working group headed by David Waldon – and before him, Scott Pedder. This ARC working group is responsible for the overall ‘championship’ functions and it works with organisers, media and sponsors to knit together the arrangements needed to run and promote the championship. Since this involves commercial contracts, a company structure, wholly owned by CAMS, is in place to ensure these arrangements can work administratively. This is the entity that

some would know as Rallycorp.

How long have you been on ARCom?

I responded to Garry Connolly’s invitation to nominate for a position on ARCom back in 2001. I took over from Ed Ordynski in the role of Chairman in 2007. Before succeeding Ed in the role as Chairman I had been deputy chairman of the Commission. 2007 was a critical time with a great deal of turmoil during a major transition in the sport. This particularly impacted the ARC level of the sport and my appointment as Chairman was a baptism of fire. With long-term interest of manufacturers in rallying at both national and international level on the wane, arrangements for the television rights up for review, and significant commercial challenges arsing from the contraction of sponsorship spending and then the GFC, there were many large pieces of this jigsaw whirling around our heads at high speed. The immediate challenge was to address the impact of this big change of circumstances on all the commercial aspects of the ARC – which was

PHOTO: Geoff Ridder


something entirely outside of my experience or expertise. The sport was very fortunate to have Ben Rainsford’s commercial and business skills, as well as his drive and passion, to keep the ARC going on essentially a zero budget through this time. It was a very difficult time for everyone involved.

ARCom’s role includes keeping a watch over rallying at all levels of the sport.

Do you enjoy it?

Like most things that are personal and professional challenges, leading a group like ARCom can be very rewarding, as well as very demanding. It is the sort of role where the number of competing interests you are trying to juggle to get some kind of balance means that almost no one is ever entirely satisfied. Recognising an idea with merit and potential and pushing for it to be taken

“Leading a group like ARCom can be very rewarding, as well as very demanding.” up, and seeing it grow over time, is very satisfying. The adoption of RallySafe is an example I could point to. But it is also true that we have had our share of epic failures where good intentions and seemingly sensible ideas just don’t take root. So as well as the



inc Postage

good ideas that people soon forget, you wear the consequences of the failures that they instantly recall – and rightly remind you of. It’s certainly not the kind of job where you would expect to be universally thanked.

What is the biggest challenge ARCom has to deal with at the moment?

The same as it always has been – simply trying to balance the competing interests within the sport is a constant challenge. The task is to balance the expectations of Government, the FIA, CAMS, insurers, competitors, organisers, sponsors, volunteers, state councils, rally panels and all the other stakeholders. There is an over-riding obligation to protect the interests of our volunteer base which requires constant vigilance. From time to time ARCom sees ideas that sound logical at first blush, but

when scrutinised actually represent shifting of some risk from a competitor to a volunteer or organiser. Many of the necessary rules around safety and apparel illustrate this point. Not only do we need to manage the risk of some unlikely eventuality, we also have to manage the perception of that risk by others outside of rallying. I am always concerned about the risk that a volunteer or organiser might be held accountable in the event that a decision or action by a competitor goes wrong. Many of our policies that competitors probably regard as overly precautionary exist because we have had to deal with this circumstance.

What is ARCom doing to get newcomers into rallying in Australia?

The focus of ARCom’s efforts in building the profile of the sport to attract potential newcomers revolves around maintaining a high level of

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INTERVIEW: COL TRINDER Aussie Chris Atkinson made it all the way to the WRC, but it’s not an easy path to follow.

visibility for our sport in the community. We achieve this by creating the environment where it is possible to host major events such as Rally Australia, IROQ (Rally of Queensland) and the ARC. ARCom also puts in place rules and regulations that it thinks might make it easier to encourage newcomers to the sport through the efforts of others at state and local club levels. Simplified rules around entry level events like rallysprints, entry level vehicle eligibility, safety approaches commensurate with the degree of risk are all things that ARCom continues to work at. Not everyone thinks the mix or balance is always correct, but we are always happy to receive well-argued cases to make change. Our over-riding responsibility though is to ensure that change does not just suit one person or group, or move the risk from the competitor to an organiser or volunteer.

What is ARCom doing to retain competitors?

We do what we can to try to keep costs down, for instance, by allowing additional freedoms in some areas of vehicle eligibility. For example, we introduced some very basic rules to recognise eligibility for our Club Rally Car category. We have also introduced a rolling eligibility date for Classic Rally Cars that means those with older cars can transition directly from PRC into the classic fraternity without changing their 46 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

“I think we will see a number of new cars such as AP4, latest spec FIA R-categories, PRC and G4.” vehicle, if they wish to do so. I do accept that there have been other cost pressures on competitors, particularly on the safety side, that have contributed to increased costs, such as the adoption of strict requirements around helmets, frontal head restraints and apparel standards, but these are also examples of the kind of mitigation we have to accommodate to address the risk shifting I mentioned earlier.

What do you think will be different about rallying in Australia in 10 years?

I doubt that, in society where everything is changing at an accelerating rate, anyone can foresee with much clarity what might happen in 10 years time. What I can say is that my vision would be that we continue to run the best WRC round in the world, that our efforts to reshape the APRC bear fruit in the form of increased international participation, that our ARC competition remains a strong and commercially viable showcase for the sport, and that the mainstay of competition in the country – those state and club level events - have willing and capable

organisers and a thriving competitor base. I think in the next five years or so we will see a number of new generation rally cars such as the AP4 (a specification we share with NZ), mixing it with some of the latest spec FIA R-categories, as well a some PRC and G4 cars for outright honours in our rallies. I think the interest in classic rally cars is going to continue to grow and, who knows, we may even see the first allelectric rally cars emerging.

Do you see a clear pathway for an up-andcoming Australian driver to head overseas and make it into the WRC?

It is always a difficult task but we have seen pioneers like Chris Atkinson, and NZ has Haydon Paddon, who have had the capacity and ability to crack the WRC. I doubt there is a single pathway that automatically leads to success. I’d think that once the apprenticeship has been served and the necessary skills acquired in club and state level events, a young competitor should aim to be seen in our national and international series events, and have a crack at some events overseas in an FIA category car such as R2 – where they can demonstrate their talent against others doing the same thing in similar machinery. Molly Taylor and Brendan Reeves have both been down this path, but despite talent by the bucket-load, are yet to crack it in the WRC league.

Why have we gone back to 4WD for the

ARC this year, and now have the AP4 and G4 regulations, and not the two-wheel drive regs?

The move to a 2WD championship a few years back was hoped to attract additional manufacturers and sponsors into the sport, and initially there was a lot of interest. Honda came on board and was running the Civic and then Jazz cars, but the format did not capture people’s imagination. The development of the AP4 specification cars with NZ, as the southern hemisphere’s more affordable version of the FIA R5, opened up a pathway for a regional car that would be exciting to see and to drive, and importantly, it would be eligible for international competition. With a successor identified for our old Group N and PRC cars, an opportunity to recast the ARC as an open competition with 4WD and 2WD cars eligible was seen as a sensible progression.

Many say that ARCom is only interested in WRC, APRC and ARC. What is ARCom doing for grass roots rallying in Australia?

Many might say that, but it doesn’t make it true. It’s one of those great myths in our sport. I’ve sat around the ARCom table for a great many meetings over the years. I can say with some authority that the succession of commissioners who have served on ARCom have always been intensely focused on what the effect of some decision or other might be on the young person starting out, or on the club organiser, or state competitor. I think this perception arises because ARCom collectively does not

deliver events on the ground that people can identify with (though curiously, everyone on the commission does so as an individual). Rather, many of its policies are delivered through State Councils and State Rally Panels or through the CAMS administration. To my mind, the state bodies are the main mechanism to deliver grass roots motorsport, and are much closer to the specific needs of competitors at the local level than ARCom’s panel of volunteers drawn from across the country can. Nevertheless, ARCom is always looking for opportunities to improve the sport at all levels and does not have a mortgage on all the best ideas. I’ve often asked those who say “we should do something to improve the grassroots”, what it is that we should try to do differently? More often than not the response is a blank look. We are happy to consider good ideas wherever they come from, and we routinely look at submissions from individuals, clubs and State Panels, as well as from the CAMS administration itself. My suggestion is that if you have a good idea, work it up into an actual proposal – run it by as many people

ARCom keep a close eye on club rallying through the various state rally panels.

as you think might be interested to identify the rub points (because that is what we will do with it), and submit it to ARCom. It will always get a fair hearing from a jury of your peers. The only proviso is that you can’t shift risk from a competitor to a volunteer.

What is the difference between what ARCom does and what the ARC, chaired by David Waldron, does?

ARCom and the ARC often get confused, probably because of the similarity in the acronyms. ARCom is the panel of volunteers that advise CAMS about rallying, whereas the ARC is the panel of volunteers that run the sporting and commercial elements of the Australian Rally Championship. I chair the ARCom meetings, and David Waldon is Chairman of the ARC.

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lsterman Kris Meeke became the first British driver to win the Neste Rally Finland, winning his second WRC event this year at the wheel of an ex-works Citroen DS3 WRC. Championship leaders Volkswagen had a disastrous event apart from second place for Jari-Matti Latvala (winner the past two years), while M-Sport brought only one car home in the top 10 places.  After suffering a run of uncharacteristic off-road excursions, this was the first rally for four years that VW’s Sebastien Ogier had finished a rally without scoring Drivers’ championship points.  Hyundai had an unhappy event with their drivers never confident with their cars, although they scored the highest total of Manufacturer points.   It was a very special event for the Irish with Meeke and Craig Breen both on the podium, while the saddest driver was Ott Tanak, who was spectacularly fast with his DMack tyres, but who went off the road on the final day when chasing a podium place after earlier delays.  The event saw renewed controversy as to the effect of continued running order rules, and the implications of a second victory this year for the part-time Abu Dhabi Total team of


Rally Radio personality, Colin Clark, captured this great photo of Henri Toivonen’s brother, Harri, on the 30th anniversary of Henri’s death. Harri drove a Group B Lancia Delta S4 around the street stage in Jyvaskyla.

old Citroen cars competing against regular championship drivers, who are governed by special rules. There were runaway wins in the categories for the Finnish WRC2 driver Esapekka Lappi, for the Norwegian Ole Christian Veiby in WRC3, and for Max Vatanen (son of World Champion Ari) in the DMack Fiesta Trophy. It was a popular win for Meeke, the

oldest top driver in the event, whose winning speed (126.61km/h) was the highest ever recorded in the world championship. His car was built four years ago, and  had never previously won a rally in Europe.


When the start list was published showing the Portugal winner Meeke was to run eighth on the road and Ott

Tanak (a pace maker in Poland) seventh, on another event where road opening was a severe disadvantage, the writing was on the wall for Sebastien Ogier and his fellow VW driver and Poland Rally winner, Andreas Mikkelsen. They were due to run first and second, and the situation was none too promising for third runner Hayden Paddon.  And so it was.  Meeke took the lead, which he held from stage two to the end of the rally.  Tanak chased Meeke until he spun (on a straight road!) and then suffered punctures.  Ogier impressively persevered in adversity until the middle of the first afternoon when he slipped off the road in the middle of a hairpin, losing a quarter hour when lying third.   Mikkelsen had an horrendous time, especially on the second day, and eventually struggled to finish seventh overall.  VW’s hopes therefore rested with Latvala, whose fortunes were thwarted by a puncture on the Friday, but through determination held on to second place after Tanak fell back.  There was a sense of relief for VW at the end of the event to discover that notwithstanding all their problems, their drivers were now holding the top three places in the Drivers’

Thierry Neuville amongst some Finnish sunflowers.

championship. It was hard to put Citroen’s success into true perspective.  It was a mighty effort for both Kris Meeke and Craig Breen, but Abu Dhabi Total are not a registered team, meaning their cars run under different rules.  That is one thing, but also because of their lack of accumulated championship points, their drivers enjoyed favourable running order positions, as they also had when Meeke won in Portugal.  

And victories in qualifying rounds of a championship based on manufacturer participation can throw doubts as to the value of regularly competing in the WRC.  Or so the argument goes!  Then, over at M-Sport ( the team similarly does not carry the Ford name), their team continued unsuccessfully to evaluate their true performance level, hoping that Ott Tanak, whose DMack-entered car was in the same specification as the M-Sport’s registered

Hayden Paddon battled set-up problems, but still managed 5th place.


RALLY FINLAND - WRC 8 Another roll ended 2015 champ Ben Hunt’s rally prematurely.

Eric Camilli’s battered Fiesta after his big roll on day two.

team, would give encouragement. Tanak, however, was running DMack’s tyres, the latest version of which were specially designed for performance on two specific events, Poland and Finland.  Again Tanak showed consistent stage winning pace between frustrations by punctures, and then in Finland by an Craig Breen finished on the podium for the first time at a WRC round.

accident on the final morning. Eric Camilli continued to improve his pace until he also had to retire when he crashed, leaving Mads Ostberg once again the provider of championship points for the team.  For now the hero was Meeke, who had another golden chance of success

and enjoyed the opportunity in full measure. Nothing seemed to go very well in the Hyundai camp.  Drivers were complaining endlessly about lack of grip and lack of confidence, but it was spectacular to see Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon finish 1-2 on the Power Stage at the end of the event.  Third Hyundai driver, Kevin Abbring (substituting for the recuperating Dani Sordo), had minor difficulties, but gained Drivers’ championship points for the first time with his ninth place overall.  Neuville finished 2.3 seconds ahead of Paddon in fourth and fifth positions, a good result after all the problems, on an event where any problem will usually end hope of success.   The next three events in the WRC this season will be run exclusively on asphalt, when a new set of challenges will doubtless emerge!


Last year’s WRC2 winner, Esapekka Lappi, led the category from start to finish, fending off challenges from both Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen. 



Lappi’s official Skoda teammate, Pontus Tidemand, fought hard to take second place, but on the Power Stage when he was first on the road, he crashed. There was strong competition expected with six of the top eight ranking drivers having selected this as a points scoring event for them.  There was mystery at the non appearance of the official Peugeot Rally Academy driver Jose Suarez (208 T16 Evo), giving rise to rumours that the team was having problems with the new model, especially when Quentin Giordano also non-started his new model Peugeot.   Henning Solberg was given a waiver to change from a World Rally Car, in which he had entered, to an R5, his first rally in an R5.  Lappi took off, leading firstly Evans, who first had a pop off valve problem and also power steering trouble and a sticking throttle, which dropped him to sixth.  Evans overtook Solberg and Karl Kruuda, who went off the road and lost two minutes stuck in a ditch, and who later crashed.   Skoda maintained their 1-2-3 in the category going into the final day when, with the retirement of Tidemand, Evans’ Fiesta finished third behind Suninen.  Emil Bergkvist missed stages after sliding irretrievably into a ditch, while Pierre-Louis Loubet hit a tree.   Hiroki Arai retired after stage 21 with a broken damper, Marius Aasen was sixth despite a broken driveshaft, Henning Solberg survived power steering trouble to finish fourth.  The best six scores out of seven results can be retained.  Evans (6 starts) continues to hold his lead, now down to two points from Suninen (5), with Lappi (4), 38 points behind Evans, now up to fourth ahead of teammate Tidemand (4).   Finland ranked as a qualifying event for both the Junior WRC and the WRC3.  WRC3 series leader, Michel Fabre, had tactically selected not to enter this event, but nine Junior drivers were present.  Ole Christian Veiby led from the start from Simone Tempestini, and then the 19 year old prize drive winner, Juuso Nordgren.  The Drive DMack Fiesta Trophy category was won for only the second time in four years by Max Vatanen, after a battle with the current series leader, Osian Pryce, who was one of many who went off the road.  Pryce still leads the series, five points clear of Vatanen, with rounds in Germany, followed by a double round in Spain to go.  



ustralia’s international rally stars, Scott Pedder and Dale Moscatt, headed to the incredible roads of Rally Finland to continue their hunt for success in the WRC2 category of the World Rally Championship. Friday’s opening leg saw the crew suffer a time loss after a slow spin into a ditch, but Pedder made determined progress over Saturday’s eight stages, shrugging off a second spin to end the day 10th in WRC2 and a very respectable 20th outright. That second Leg in Finland featured the event’s signature roller-coaster stage, the 33km ‘Ouninpohja’. With Italian Lorenzo Bertelli crashing heavily on the stage in his Fiesta RS WRC car, the remaining crews were awarded a default time after it was frustratingly downgraded. Despite battling an ill handling Skoda Fabia R5 during Friday’s leg, Pedder set about rebuilding his confidence, setting the ninth fastest WRC2 time on Päijälä, and then going faster again with the seventh quickest time on Pihlajakoski. The Pedders Team’s great turn of speed came to a sudden halt on stage 16 with a half spin, that dropped 24 seconds to the fastest WRC2 driver. “The very last corner of the stage, I basically just had the pacenote wrong. I looked back at the video from recce and each time we went

through there was either traffic or dust,” Pedder said. “I spun, ended up 180-degrees the wrong way, and had to drive backwards down the stage to try to get it back around.” With the morning loop repeated in the afternoon, Pedder started cautiously, but managed three top10 WRC2 stage times. On day three, four relatively short stages awaited the Aussie crew, and Pedder went back to the drawing board overnight, making wholesale suspension changes to his Skoda Fabia R5, resulting in a string of top six fastest WRC2 stage times. Pedder reviewed his performance on the event: “Today showed what we can do, running comfortably with the top five or six guys. “In hindsight, this weekend went much the same way as our previous events, by Sunday we’re showing what we’re capable of. Unfortunately, we need to be doing that from the very first stage on Friday, not by the very last stage on Sunday. “To come to Finland, the spiritual home of rallying, on only our second time and finish within the top 20 outright on both occasions is actually quite remarkable,” beamed Scott. Pedder’s Australian fans will be able to see the mighty Skoda Fabia R5 in action during the Kennards Hire Rally Australia in November. - TOM SMITH

For more details call Dominic on 0499 981 188 or email dominic@rallysportmag.com.au AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 51





ris Meeke won the 2016 Neste Rally Finland at an average speed of 126.61km/h, the fastest WRC rally ever, and Sebastien Ogier won stage 19 at an average speed of 134.6km/h. Long forgotten are the wise words from previous leaders of the FIA about the need for restraint with the heady lust for speed.  Speed on stages was a lively topic at Jyvaskyla, not only with this year’s rally in mind, but increasing unease at the prospect that speeds in 2017 with the new cars are going to get faster still.  And also for another memorable reason altogether.  July 29, 2016 was the 70th birthday of Stig Blomqvist.  On August 4, 1983, Blomqvist completed the first stage of Rally Argentina at an average speed of 189km/h, a feat which has (thankfully) never been bettered in the WRC.  Thinking about the evergreen Blomqvist, I bet he wouldn’t be that much slower these days, but I doubt if he would want to go halfway down

Story: MARTIN HOLMES Argentina to prove the point. Anyway, happy birthday, Stig, truly the fastest driver in the WRC of all time!      he Finland speed story has led to thoughts about whether the whole speed issue is still officially considered a serious matter.  It is interesting to note that the organisers only erected one chicane all rally (used twice), and that was on a super special stage that was the slowest stage of the rally, Harju, in downtown Jyvaskyla. But would chicanes improve the safety issues?  You can’t have chicanes along every fast stretch.  Pretty much the whole of every stage on the event is excessively fast.   The Harju stage had already witnessed a fatal spectator accident exactly 20 years earlier, in circumstances officially declared to


have been safe, and being in the centre of the biggest town in Central Finland, it was a security focal point.   Finland has had serious thoughts about the speed issue in the past, egged on in earlier years by the worried bosses at the FIA.  The only solution that will appease the sporting authorities on high average speed issues is to use narrower stages, which are on roads of reduced strength, which break up very easily and detract from the delight and popularity of the event.   Happily, they took all the necessary measures to make this a happy and safe weekend.  For this year.


eptember 27 is the date when much of the immediate future of the sport will be spelled out, the day we will rush to see what the World Motor Sport Council communiqué announces, and what its authors consider are the relevant decisions that we should be allowed to know about.  The problem is that we are not

JOY AND SADNESS FOR BREEN IN FINLAND Craig Breen was the Irish Republic’s first driver on a WRC podium, 31 years after Billy Coleman came fourth on the Tour de Corse, in the days before the FIA created such a major event of the podium presentation at the end of every round of the championship. Many people wondered why Craig was so


emotional at the end of the event, forgetting how he had set out on his professional career alongside his friend Gareth Roberts, who died when he and Craig went off the road on the IRC Targa Florio in 2012. How quickly we forget things in the sport, but never by Craig.

“Blomqvist completed the stage at an average speed of 189km/h!”

allowed to know everything! One by one, the organisers of individual world championship rallies conclude agreements with the WRC Promoter, but that is secret.  We should be able to piece together the structure of the following year’s calendars, but unless the organisers concerned make an announcement about such an agreement, we won’t know.  We cannot work out the 2017 WRC calendar like finishing off a jigsaw puzzle.   Increasingly, one wonders why this is the case?  Is this some form of power game in which the Federation does not want to be governed by whatever commercial arrangements their Promoter conclude?  Sometimes the

Stig Blomqvist and his Audi Quattro arriving at the end of the first stage in Argentina 1983.

best intentions of the promoter are overridden by the FIA.   Whatever came of the much vaunted Final Stage ShootOut plan heavily promoted by the Promoter?  That plan suddenly disappeared without warning – or regret.  I hope this is a game only between the FIA and the Promoter - and that keeping us in the dark is not part of another power struggle, in which the media has to be kept firmly in its place.  I don’t want this magazine to become yet another press release billboard.  Issues on which urgent decisions are awaited concerns the 2017 WRC Calendar, as well as on how the 2017 World Rally Cars can be run. 

Everything is inter-related with each other. The other major ongoing debate for 2017 concerns which drivers can compete in these new superperformant rally cars.  This is a manyfaceted discussion, involving issues such as providing alternative top-level opportunities for disenfranchised drivers – maybe overruling the current policy of not offering sporting incentives to private drivers - not to mention safety concerns.  As things stand, there is already a severe medical shortfall in the sport - witness the worrying increase in the number of drivers suffering back injuries, even with the current level of World Rally Car performance.



he move in the second part of the season from gravel-based to asphalt-based special stages in the world championship is going to be far more pronounced than in previous years, not the least because there are now going to be nine solid days of championship rallying on asphalt before the return to gravel on the first day in Spain. There are five events which are more-or-less asphalt rallies. Monte Carlo is a winter event for mixed predictability, Spain has two days asphalt and one on gravel, while only Germany, China and Corsica are exclusively asphalt.  Then the fun and games start in the WRC2 and WRC3 support championships.  In both these series registered drivers can only nominate themselves for points eligibility on seven of the 14 qualifying rounds, from which the best six scores will be counted.  Potential championship winners in these categories

might never compete against their rivals in action.  In fact this isn’t happening this year, but when the entry list for Germany appeared and only two of the top placed drivers were shown, it told a tale.  One driver who has been playing a splendid game in the WRC3 series is the 61-year old Michel Fabre, who by intelligent selection of the events this year, has been leading the series all year so far!  He decided to enter the Swedish, Mexico and Argentina, where each time he was the only WRC3 registered driver and scored maximum points.   WRC3 is an especially curious series because the subsidiary Junior WRC competitors score points for the full WRC3 series as well.   Even if Fabre wakes up before the end of the season and his ultimate dream of a title fades away, he will still have quite a story to tell about keeping the sport’s young drivers at bay!  AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 53



Winner Vaughan Edie (above) mastered the icy conditions better than Bert Murray and his Mazda RX7.


Several NZ Championship teams contested the Catlins Coast Rally near the bottom of the South Island on August 6. Heavy snow and ice made the opening two stages treacherous for the front runners, allowing 20th seed Vaughan Edie to take the win. The Lancer Evo 8 driver won ahead of the Evo 3 of Andrew Graves, and Derek Ayson’s Ford Escort, while in only his second rally, 17-year old Ari Pettigrew was fourth in a BMW 318Ti.

Usually rivals in the Historic NZRC class, Regan Ross and Marcus van Klink were the first NZRC crew home in sixth place, driving Ross’s Escort RS1800, 1.7 seconds ahead of Ben Hunt and Dylan Thomson. Hunt traded in his latest Subaru WRX STI for the event and got behind the wheel of a GC8 Impreza, running an H6 3.0 non turbo motor. Tony Gosling and Blair Read drove a DX Corolla to fourth in Class B, while Matt and Nicole Summerfield in a Ari Pettigrew (left) was fourth, while Regan Ross and Marcus van Klink teamed up to finish sixth in an Escort.

GUGU ZULU DIES South African rally driver, Gugu Zulu, died unexpectedly during an expedition with his wife, climbing Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro. He reportedly experienced breathing troubles. Zulu was best known in rallying as an official driver in VW’s national South African championship team. 54 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

Subaru Legacy and Phil Collins and Tracy Spark in their Audi Quattro both left the road.

Ben Hunt was seventh in his older Subaru.


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BANG FOR YOUR BU Choosing your first rally car can be complicated, but Hyundai’s reliable little Excel is a good option


etting started as a competitor in rallying is no easy task, and one of the more difficult decisions is deciding what car to build or buy. Once you have made the choice and parted with your hard-earned money, you then need to work out how much the car is going to cost you to run in each event, how expensive the spare parts are, and whether the car is going to retain any on-sale value in the future. Since 2006, competitors in Victoria and New South Wales have had the


option of competing in a one-make series for Hyundai Excels that has not only provided crews with value for money, but has also been used as a stepping stone for drivers to launch successful careers higher up the rallying tree. While the cars may not be super fast or sound all that inspiring from the outside, a well set up Excel can be incredibly fun and rewarding to drive, and can be the perfect way to hone your rally driving skills.



Photos: John Doutch, Peter Whitten

Ged Blum pushes his Excel hard during Rally Victoria in 2013. AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 57


FUN FACTS:  You can get 250km competitive to a tank of fuel (45 litres)  In my experience, 6 tyres will last a whole season easily.  I ran standard rear brake shoes and never had a problem  Front disc rotors are $30 each, brand new.  Running fully synthetic brake fluid is essential. Anything with a boiling point under 300 degrees is a waste of time. The fluid boils and gives a spongy pedal.

Despite a lack of power in standard trim, the Excel can be thrown around and is great fun to drive.


Ged says ... “Excels are slow, there’s no denying that, but it actually works in your favour. Because the power isn’t there, you have to make up speed in every possible section, hold it flat on blind crests, carry more speed through corners, and avoid doing anything that will slow you down, like getting too sideways or braking too much. Any bad driving loses time. They’re heaps of fun, and it’s a great feeling to beat a WRX in a standard ‘girl’s car’. People soon shut up about them being slow. I came third outright in a VRC stage in 2013, four seconds behind the stage winner. That was the best feeling I’ve ever had in a car, and it was with a 220,000km engine too.“

Light pod, side protection skirts and neat interior makes the Excel look like a proper rally car.

Young Victorian, Ged Blum, is one such driver who has progressed through the sport from a young age, and after an ill-fated start to his career in an old rear-wheel drive Mitsubishi Lancer, he proceeded to build himself the first of two Excels, and hasn’t regretted it for a moment. The level playing field and the evenness of the competition provided by the one-make series allows drivers to really show their skills, all the while requiring them to be easy on the machinery and smooth in their execution. “I’ve had great fun driving both the Excels that I’ve owned, and I’d recommend it as a starting point for anyone making their way in the sport,” Blum says. “And even for more experienced competitors who just want to get out there and compete, without spending a fortune.” The Excels run in standard production trim, meaning extras such as stronger suspension and roll cages are allowed, but mechanically the cars must be kept standard – even the drum brake rear end has to be maintained. If building your own car from scratch is your preferred option, then finding a bodyshell to start with won’t be a problem – and won’t break the bank. “I bought my first Excel for $1500 and that was cheap back then,” Blum adds. “Now you can get a complete unregistered car for under $500.” Cars eligible for the one-make series must be manufactured between July 1994 and June 2000, including all GX, GL, GLX and Sprint models, in three, four and five door variants. Either the 1495cc double overhead

camshaft, or single overhead camshaft engines can be used, and run in standard form with the factory ECU. “The engine in my current car had done 130,000km when I bought it for $150, and the gearbox cost about the same – it really is cheap.” He says that the purchase of a steel roll cage will cost in the vicinity of $800, or a qualified welder could easily weld one up, get it checked and log-booked. “Suspension is the biggest cost,” he adds. “Budget set-ups are about $1500, and while they’re perfect for beginners, these units struggle once you start pushing hard. “A good quality suspension setup will set you back around $3000, or you can spend up to $5000 for custom-made units from some of the suspension specialists.” Adding all the under body protection, light bars/pods and safety equipment shouldn’t cost you any more than for other rally cars, ensuring that you finish up with one of the most costeffective cars in the event. Sure, it won’t throw you back in the seat like an Impreza WRX or Lancer Evo, and it doesn’t sound like a BDG Escort or a grunty Datsun 1600, but then again, it won’t cost you anywhere near as much. And that’s where rallying is unique. While everyone competes in the same event, there are classes within each rally, meaning that, in reality, while a Hyundai Excel might follow a WRX onto the stages, it’s only competing against those in its class. It’s that class set up that makes rallying so popular. For fun, grassroots rallying in a reliable car and, at a budget price, it’s hard to go past the Hyundai Excel.





Lassi Lampi in the Starion 4WD on the 1984 Lombard RAC Rally.


ack in the early to mid 80s, European manufacturers were battling for dominance at the highest level of world championship rallying – Group B. Of the Japanese manufacturers seriously competing in world rallying, only Toyota looked to be closing the gap, but the powerful 2WD turbo Celica was not able to match the pace of the hugely powerful 4WD machines out of the factories of Audi, Lancia, Peugeot, Ford and MG. Nissan, with its 240RS, had a vehicle that was strong and capable in longer distance events, but lacked the outright capabilities of the 4WD turbocharged competition. Mitsubishi then took a decision to step up, and followed the proven route of adapting a current performance vehicle in the form of their existing Starion turbo, proving itself at the time in various race and rally competitions in various markets. RallySport Magazine has uncovered details of this stillborn rally weapon, that was conceived in the early 80s as a rally winner, but was never homologated, as Group B was banned and the rally world moved on. Before Mitsubishi unleashed the unforgettable Galant VR4 and the subsequent series of incredibly successful Lancer Evolutions, there was the Starion. The factory decided that the Starion would form the basis of


“Before Mitsubishi unleased the unforgettable Galant VR4, there was the Starion.” their Group B challenger. With a successful competition history to emulate, the Japanese home office set out with the goal of winning in Group B. Andrew Cowan’s British-based Ralliart Team was given the task of developing a 4WD, 350 horsepower

version of the Mitsubishi Starion for Group B competition. Scotsman Cowan had many notable successes with both the Rootes Group and subsequently Mitsubishi, for whom he signed in 1972. Cowan was notable as a long-distance driver, winning the first two London to Sydney Marathons and incredibly, five consecutive Southern Cross Rallies in Australia. He was also competitive in the Safari Rally, where he recorded a top four finish four times in five years, and in the Paris-Dakar Rally where his best result was second overall, in 1985. In 1983, Mitsubishi Motors asked him to establish a European base for their motorsport activities, and so he founded Andrew Cowan Motorsports (ACMS). It would evolve into Mitsubishi Ralliart Europe, and his cars eventually took Tommi Makinen to four consecutive WRC Drivers’ titles from 1996 to 1999, as well as winning Mitsubishi their only Manufacturers’ crown, in 1998. The Cowan team included engineer Alan Wilkinson, whose rallying credentials were second to none. He came to Ralliart with a history in Ford’s competition department, Toyota Team Europe and Audi Sport UK, where he fettled their very successful Quattro. Wilkinson’s job was to develop the mechanical specification and competition configuration of the Starion 4WD rally car that could then be

used for the 200 evolutionary models the company needed to build to gain Group B homologation. Official Group B homologation of the Starion Rally was planned to enable the team to make its debut in world championship rallying with a two car entry on the Lombard RAC Rally in November 1986. In response to a number of tragic accidents, the outcry over the enormous speed and questions over the safety of the Group B cars, homologation never occurred when Group B was banned mid-way through 1986, and coming into effect after the 1986 season. In its early development, the Starion used a version of Mitsubishi’s twolitre turbo engine, with intercooler and computer controlled fuel injection system. The factory had a plan to use the Sirius Dash engine that Mitsubishi announced at the 1983 Tokyo Motor Show, with a targeted output of 350bhp. That engine featured a three-valves per cylinder head with two inlet valves for each cylinder, with one operating all the time and the other being electronically controlled to come into operation when the engine reached more than 2500rpm. Fuel injection was handled by a Bosch EFI computer. Interestingly, power was transferred through a twin plate clutch to the same 5-speed transmission as the rearwheel drive Starion, but with stronger internals and a transfer case from the 4WD Pajero. That took the drive sideways to a second propshaft, that went forward to the front wheels. The torque split was permanently 50/50 front to rear, and at the time considerable effort would have been required to design an alternate system for what was regarded to be only

While not still born, the Starion 4WD had a short competition life.

marginal benefits of adjustable torque split. The front axle line ran under the number two cylinder, which resulted in the engine sitting higher in the chassis. As a result, the crank centerline was actually about six degrees from the horizontal. While the project had been conceived as a converted rear-wheel drive car, the car was still front-end heavy. The wheelbase of the Starion 4WD was the same as the standard car, but overall the car was about 150mm shorter. The most obvious change to the body profile was to shorten the front overhang, a simple operation because new, lightweight front panels had to be designed in any case. The flip up headlights were replaced by more

traditional sealed beam units of the day. Weight was always a very important focus for the design and development of the car, and amazingly for 1985, the car used carbon-fibre reinforced plastics for the propshafts, sumpguard and lower control arms of the McPherson strut suspension. Virtually all the exterior body panels were fibreglass and plastic (carbon and Kevlar on Evolution models): bonnet, tailgate, door skins, wings, bumpers and spoilers. The resulting weight of the car was an incredible 1050kg. RallySport Magazine understands that only five cars were produced, and amazingly, three of those are thought to still exist – two in Japan and one in the UK. In an era of fragile, space-framed bodies and incredible power outputs, Mitsubishi took a simplistic approach to the task of building a rally winner, but sadly this innovative vehicle did not reach the successful heights to which the company aimed. The car competed in numerous events, including the Milles Piste Rally in 1984 and the Hong Kong-Beijing Rally of 1986, amongst others. The Starion turbo in 2WD configuration enjoyed a successful era in Australian rallying, in the hands of David ‘Dinta’ Officer. While the model qualifies for the Classic Rally category, none is regularly competing at this time. Would a rare Group B prototype 4WD replica possibly be considered for local competition? Sometimes, it’s only when these cars come to light that someone takes the time to investigate the possibilities?

Click here to see the Group B Starion 4WD in action. AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 61


‘FEATHERS’ CLAIMS RALLYSPRINT TITLE Story: STEVE RUSSELL Graham Featherstone took out New Zealand’s Northern Rallysprint Series for the third consecutive season, although on this occasion he really had to work extremely hard, being pushed every inch of the way by fellow Thames Valley Car Club member Carl Davies. “Feathers” in his ex-Andrew Hawkeswood Lancer Evo, and Davies in his ex-Ben Hunt Subaru, had a real ‘ding dong battle’ throughout the season. There were other serious contenders along the way, but as with any other sporting championship, it is consistency that pays off and as the others fell by the wayside, it was Feathers and Davies who kept the pedal to the metal more than most. Warwick Redfern (Lancer Evo), a past triple champion, took third overall and equal third in Class E with Shannon Chambers in his VW Polo. Chambers was in his first rallysprint series and was on a learning curve, so he will definitely be one to watch for the 2017 series. Forty-three drivers were registered this season, with 23 co-drivers register for the Co-Drivers Championship. Six classes catered for all cars, including the ever increasing Classic Class. All six rounds were on gravel, five of them on ultra-smooth closed public roads, with the sixth being in the Maramarua Forest complex. With six car clubs putting on the events and all clubs representing the ‘Top of the North Island’ from the Waikato to Northland, the variation of roads offer the competitors a very challenging series. Many of the roads are past WRC or Rally New Zealand roads. All are totally different, from the rolling farmland type roads in Matamata, to the lush, tight and twisty valleys of Pirongia, to the fast, daunting ridge tops of Ruarangi Road. It really is a superb clubman’s championship, and records prove this, with the series just completing its 30th season.

Class E (4WD) Graham Featherstone. Class H (Classics) Barry Gibbs, MK2 Escort. Top 2WD, Grant Liston and Dave Strong tied and were a very creditable fifth overall in the standings. “Listo’s star of the series”, an award for outstanding speed and commitment, went to Barry Gibbs. Dave Devonport, co-driver to Graham


Some small tweaks to rules, regulations and point scoring are also being addressed ahead of the 2017 championship.

Graham Featherstone took out the Northern Rallysprint Series in his Lancer Evo Evo.

Shannon Chambers slides his VW Polo to third place.

Class winners were:

Class A champion (0-1300cc) was Mark Bradly in his pocket rocket giant killing Datsun 1200. Class B (1301-1600cc) was Russell Jenkins in a very tidy Starlet. Class C, (1601-2000cc) was Grant Liston, Honda Integra. Class D (over 2000cc) Dave Strong, Honda Civic.

Featherstone, took the Co-Driver’s Championship. Plans are well under way for the 2017 season, and a new website will be online soon. The series Facebook page has updates as well.

Mark Bradley’s giantkilling Datsun 1200 won Class A.


New super lightweight race suit from Chicane Racewear Auckland-based motorsport clothing specialists Chicane Racewear have developed a new, super lightweight two-layer race suit, called the M-6, specifically for New Zealand and Australian conditions. The new Chicane M-6 suits feature new holographic ‘destruct on removal’ labels which carry a unique serial number for each suit, a system introduced by the FIA in 2013 to help prevent counterfeit suits being sold as FIA-approved on the global market. Chicane Racewear’s director and triple New Zealand motor racing champion, Shane Drake, says the Chicane M-6 suit features the very latest in two-layer technology from France. The outer layer is a flameresistant Nomex® fabric, extremely breathable with a sheen finish. It is designed for the conditions competitors typically face in Australia, New Zealand and numerous Asian countriest. The M-6 two-layer race suits, approved to FIA standard 8856-2000, are now available in any size from XXS to 3XL as well as custom sizes, and in any colour combination and design. Customers can request personalised

embroidery on their suits, as well as the addition of extra pockets for co-drivers. The suits also come with a shoulder gussett and NASCAR bootleg cuff. The Chicane Racewear website, www.chicaneracewear.co.nz, has a free-

to-use online suit designer that allows competitors to customise their own race suit and submit the design for a quote to be provided. The Chicane M-6 suits start at NZ$1845


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Advertise your business from $100 per issue in our Retail Directory. Contact Dominic on 0499 981 188 for more information. AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 63



Manfred Stohl won the China Rally in a Citroen DS3 R5.



on-championship competitor, Manfred Stohl, comfortably won the APRC China Rally Zhangye at the wheel of a locally entered Citroen DS3 R5 Championship leader, second placed Gaurav Gill (Team MRF Skoda Fabia R5), took the points for winning.   Based at the faraway city of Zhangye, close to the border with Mongolia, the event used stages on the edge of the Gobi desert, a location recently inspected by the FIA, but rejected, for the newly revived China world championship rally.  “It’s been a great event for us, something completely new, with very fast stages in the desert, and very hot,” Gill said. “The car went well, the tyres as well. Maximum points in the kitty, three out of three rallies, so couldn’t be better.” Gill’s teammate, Fabian Kreim, missed stages when the turbocharger failed.  Kreim came back fighting on day two to be fastest APRC driver of the day, plus with new rules that allow missed stages to accumulate 60 minutes each of added time, Kreim is still classified as a finisher, allowing him to still score second place APRC driver points. A notable entry was APRC class leader, Mike Young, who drove a BYD 64 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

BUT AUSSIES IMPRESS! Dream Team Qin hybrid car in place of his usual Subaru. Chris Atkinson won the supporting national championship event, which attracted over 100 entries, in his special VW Golf.  It has now been three years since Skoda did not win an APRC championship rally.  The world championship China Rally Huairou will be run close to Beijing next month.

Kiwi Mike Young in the hybrid BYD Qin. Photos: Asia Pacific Sports Media and TV

The next event in the APRC calendar is Rally Hokkaido, Japan 24-25 September.


1. Manfred Stohl/Bernhard Ettel (A) Citroën DS3 R5, 2:12.22,3 2. Gaurav Gill/Glenn Macneall (IND/ AUS) Skoda Fabia R5, +5.04,0 3. Wang Hua/Pang Jiadong (CHN) Citroën DS3 R5, +13.00,3 4. Eli Evans/Glen Weston (AUS)

Citroën DS3 R3T, +17.26,2 5. Hitoshi Takayama/Tomoyuki Nakagawa (J) Subaru Impreza WRX STI, +23.57,9 6. Mike Young/Zhang Longxi (NZ/CHN) BYD Qin, +44.42,1 APRC points after Zhangye after round three: 1. Gill 115, 2. Kreim 68, 3. Young 50, 4. Takayama 29, 5. 20 Takale. Atkinson and Moscatt won the Chinese championship event. Aussies Eli Evans and Glen Weston were fourth. Gaurav Gill maintained his APRC lead in barren Chinese countryside.

BACK TO THE FUTURE AT IRONBARK TOUR It really was “Back to the future” in the central Victorian forests on August 6 when the sons of two rally legends teamed up to win the HRA’s “Magical Ironbark Tour”. Steuart Snooks, son of Tom (director of high profile events like the Southern Cross and Dulux Rallies), teamed up with Matt deVaus, son of Peter (who was a competitor in the 1979 Repco Reliability Trial and is a life member of the Peugeot Club), to win both divisions in a standard (and automatic!) Peugeot 505 sedan. In fact, no less than 13 crews were running this event in standard cars as part of the Resto Country Standard Car Series, in cars ranging from a Morris 1100, to Mazda 323 to Volvao 240s. The event was a 200km navigational tour in the old style on forest and

shire roads, with the addition of a motorkhana and a closed road competitive stage in each division, where competitors could engage in spirited driving. Afterwards, they returned to the business of navigating their way around old railway reserves and forest roads, before taking on the tricky Heathcote forest after dark. DeVaus/Snooks had a clean run in the two daylight tour sections, took second fastest on the closed road stage and were equal quickest in the motorkhana, giving them a nine point lead going into the evening division. Next best was Upton/Laidlay in a Skyline, who missed a via late in the day to place them second, just ahead of Wallis/Ward, with an extra missed via. - ALAN BAKER

1st: Snooks and De Vaus. (Photos: John Doutch)

2nd: Upton and Laidlay. AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 65

BORDER RANGES RALLY Mal Keough’s high-flying Audi Quattro S1 replica will be a feature of the Border Ranges Rally. (Photo: PETER WHITTEN)

QUALITY FIELD FOR BORDER RANGES RALLY T he theme of “Best on the Best” in the Brakes Direct Border Ranges Rally will see a return to the popular format of classics running first on the road when crews face the starter on Saturday, August 27. The rally, based in the northern New South Wales town of Kyogle, is shaping up as the rally of the year. Run as Round 4 of the MRF Tyres Queensland Rally Championship, the event is attracting entrants from both states to do battle over some of the best shire roads in the country. The Zupp Property Group Classic Rally Challenge ‘event within the event’ boasts a strong of field of Classic rally cars with confirmed starters, Jack Monkhouse/Tom Ryan in a V8 powered Opel Manta, and New Zealand’s Derek Ayson, with Cate Kelly calling the corners in a Group 4 Ford Escort. They’ll have to overcome the awesome Group B Audi Quattro of Mal Keough/Pip Bennett. This fire breathing monster will be joined by another Group B crowd favourite in the Matt Love/Josh Love Mazda RX-7, Clay Badenoch and Erin Kelly in a Group 4 Toyota RA40 Celica, and the rapid Allan Photos: Red MAGAZINE Bull Content | RALLYSPORT 66 - AUGUSTPool 2016

Griffin/Brad Smith Datsun Stanza. Included in the Classics front of field category will be the Rallytorque Escort Rally Challenge, where Ayson will be joined by the Mk 2 Escorts of Keith Fackrell Tony Best, Matt Linning/ Craig Morrison, Thomas Dermody/Eoin Moynihan, and the Mk1 of Rob and Jen Clark. Immediately following the Classics, the MRF Tyres Queensland Rally Championship, currently led by Kent Lawrence/James Wilson (Evo 8), sits only two points ahead of rival Rob Bishop/ Neil Wooley (Evo 6). Marius Swart, with Alan Stean, in the screaming VW Polo S2000 will keep them honest, but perhaps their biggest challenge may come from New South Wales speedster Peter Roberts/ Andrew Cowley (Evo 6). Roberts is no stranger to this event, and the battle for top honours on swept roads open to reconnaissance will be intense. Not far behind, the MRF Tyres Queensland Clubman Championship will be a close tussle between Shaun Dragona/Annette Dragona, Steve Allmark/Chris Miller and Peter Kahler/ Claire Buccini.

Also new to this event, on the Friday evening before the start, a special Rally Forum will be held at the Kyogle Bowls Club, across the road from Rally Headquarters. Starting just after 8:00pm, the panel format will be hosted by rally legend Ed Mulligan. urrent Subaru works driver, Molly Taylor, will be joined by Jack Monkhouse and Derek Ayson, where Mulligan is expected to use his special gift of extracting the “real” story behind the story – with a few laughs as well. Spectators will again be treated to the sensational Hillyards Stage, once a feature of the Australian round of the World Championship. Spectating will also be available at Toonumbar, and cars will run two stages through the Kyogle Showgrounds under lights to complete the event. Further information and entry updates on the Brakes Direct Border Ranges Rally can be found at http:// www.borderrangesrally.com.au or go to the Facebook Page https://www. facebook.com/BorderRangesRally/ - DOMINIC CORKERON



RED HOT QUATTRO The life and times of Dick Boardman’s Audi Quattro came to an abrupt and terrifying end in the 1991 Cooloola Classic Rally. The event was round one of the Queensland Rally Championship that year, and Boardman’s Quattro burst into flames on stage 17. Despite the best efforts of the crew and onlookers, the car burnt to the ground. Archive photos: Bob Powell





Stewards for running an underweight car. Final positions: 1. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL)/ Jarosław Baran (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, 2h01m37.1s 2. Bryan Bouffier (FRA)/Xavier Panseri (FRA) Citroën DS3 R5, +46.0s 3. Grzegorz Grzyb (POL)/Robert Hundla (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, +3m37.6s 4. Łukasz Habaj (POL)/Piotr Woś (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, +4m04.1s 5. Jakub Brzeziński (POL)/Jakub Gerber (POL) ŠKODA Fabia R5,


+4m19.4s 6. Tomasz Kasperczyk (POL)/Damian Syty (EST) Ford Fiesta R5, +5m06.1s

Wojiech Chuchala, Subaru

Bryan Bouffier, Citroen

Mick Jones, the famous senior mechanic with the Ford Competition Department in Boreham in the 1960s and 1970s, passed away early in August. Jones was well remembered for the days of Roger Clark and the famous WRC programme in 1979, when Ford won the world manufacturers’ title and Bjorn Waldegard was drivers’ champion. Rally fans who enjoyed many of the rally films from the 1970s will remember Mick Jones well. In the photo above, he is pictured (left) with Hannu Mikkola.

Photo: Martin Holmes

espite leading this year’s series, the Fiesta driver and reigning European Rally Champion, Kajetan Kajetanowicz, has finally scored his first outright victory of the season, after a long series of podium results. After an early battle with Citroen DS3 driver Bryan Bouffier, Kajetanowicz won the all asphalt Rajd Rzeszow, held in the south eastern corner of his native Poland.   The withdrawal from the championship of the Russian, Alexey Lukyanuk, reduced the fight for the lead to the Polish and the French drivers, but there were early challengers.    Bouffier lost touch with Kajetanowicz when he spun on stage six, and finished very nervously when he had a radiator leak two stages before the finish.  Third placed Lukasz Habaj lost nearly three minutes off the road on the second stage, and only finally pulled back to fourth on the final stage of the event.  Zbigniew Gabrys rolled on stage four, also when lying third. From midday on the first full day to the end, third place was held by Grzegorz Grzyb.    R5 cars took the top six places (all Fiestas apart from Bouffier’s car), while seventh was the Subaru car of ERC2 winner Wojciech Chuchala.  ERC3 winner was Nikolay Gryazin’s Peugeot R2, though the similar car of Dariusz Polonski won the class on the rally.  There was a curious incident when Hungarian Fiesta R5 driver, David Botka, retired with alternator problems, then found that he was excluded by the

Kajetan Kajetanowicz

For more details call Dominic on 0499 981 188



Dwyer has now won at Robertstown three times, having previously won in 2005 and 2012.

Story & Photos: JOHN LEMM


he Copyworld Walky 100 Rally at Robertstown in South Australia’s mid-north has always thrown up a few surprises, and this year’s 32nd running was no exception. Held on August 6, Robertstown generally uses the same great stages each year, with only a few variations, which makes it very popular with competitors and spectators alike. The rally won the 2015 award for the best CAMS event in South Australia and the Northern Territory. This year there were six separate courses with two runs of each. After a battle with round 1 winners James Rodda and Dave Langfield (Mitsubishi Evo IX) for nine of the 12 stages, Declan Dwyer and Craig Adams (Evo VI) came out on top, with fastest time in eleven stages. Rodda retired on the tenth stage, Hill Big One 2, with a broken rear diff. Finishing nearly four minutes behind Dwyer was the Datsun 180B of Neville Whittenbury and Kate Catford, just 23 seconds in front of Andrew Gleeson and Mike Dale’s Datsun Stanza. Whittenbury had overhauled Gleeson with three stages to go. A number of early front-runners struck trouble, with some being unable to resume.

A great drive from Whittenbury saw him score a personal best of second place. (Inset) Another third place from Geehan sees him leading the Championship.

Aaron Bowering and Nathan Lowe’s Subaru WRX STi, overheating from the first stage, retired after the third with a blown head gasket. Zayne Admiraal and Matthew Heywood had a terrifying moment on SS2 (Scrubby Hills 1) when a uni joint on the steering column of their Subaru WRX came loose at around 200 km/h. They managed to stop and carry out repairs and carry on to finish fourth. Rather than ruing what may have been second spot, Admiraal was just relieved that the incident didn’t have more serious consequences. Matt Selley and Hamish McKendrick’s 2.4 litre Escort Mk II lost time on SS1 (Pipeline 1) with an HT lead problem, the following succession of rapid times coming to nought when they struck a large rock on SS6 (Long Dips 2) damaging a wheel and bending the diff. Lucky to finish eighth was Wayne Mason and Damien Reed’s similar Escort BDG which also stopped with a loose coil lead on SS5 (Scrubby Hills 2), losing around four minutes.

Eventually finishing 17th, Carwyn Harries and Matthew Henderson’s Gemini lost around 15 minutes with a broken rotor button on SS4 (Pipeline 2) before running out of brakes on SS10 (Hill Big One 2). One position further back was the father and daughter team of Neil and Andrea Gehan (WRX STi RA), who had been as high as third before breaking a rear axle on SS7 (Hill Big One 1) and missing two stages. Gehan had won the rally 22 years ago in a Ford Laser TX3. Two third-places now sees Geehan leading the championship. Round 3 is the Lightforce Rally SA on September 10-11.


1. Declan Dwyer/Craig Adams (Mitsubishi Evo VI) 1.04.53 2. Neville Whittenbury/Kate Catford (Datsun 180B) 1.08.40 3. Andrew Gleeson/Mike Dale (Datsun Stanza) 1.09.03 4. Zayne Admiraal/Matthew Heywood (Subaru WRX) 1.10.17 5. Mark Povey/Brendan Dearman (Datsun Stanza) 1.11.52 6. Marc Butler/Peter Sims (Honda Civic) 1.12.16




Scott Pedder / Dale Moscatt, 2016 Rally Finland. (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool)


15 YEARS AGO .... AUGUST 2001


Australian rallying appeared on the verge of its most successful period yet, with brilliant performances by experienced and young drivers. In Group N reigning champ Cody Crocker and long-time frontrunner Ed Ordynski were locked together after three fast-paced and hard fought rounds, but their mantle as the production category’s quickest drivers was being challenged. In South Australia and Queensland no less than six drivers took a Group N stage victory, and on at least three occasions, that meant a stage victory ahead of the World Rally Cars of Possum Bourne and Neal Bates.

Championship with the announcement of a major sponsor and a significant prize pool of $15,000 for 2002. Clarion Car Audio signed on as a major sponsor for two years.


$5.50 including GST



Ordynski and Crocker lock horns as the batt le for the ARC Group N crown livens up

Everything was We ride with Kenneth in new in Rally South Greece! Australia - the event, $15,000 FOR ONE MAKE SERIES the roads and the Proton Cars Australia confirmed its support for the Proton ● QLD & SA ARC reports conditions. But ● World title reports Rally Trophy one make rally series in the Australian Rally ● All the latest news almost predictably, Possum Possum Bourne slides to Bourne rose to the occasion to victory in South Australia. extend his championship lead. (Photo: Troy Amos)

AUGUST 2001 Vol. 12 No.


Germany's bid for the WRC


Up north, Bourne didn’t hold back at the Falken Tyres Rally Queensland, winning both heats. But team-mate Cody Crocker had to share the Group N honours with Mitsubishi’s Ed Ordynski.


In the WRC, Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz had a second consecutive Ford 1-2 in the bag on the Acropolis Rally, until the Spaniard’s engine failed 30km from the finish. Again, Peugeot had a miserable rally as McRae took victory.


 RallySafe - an Aussie success story

Including ...  Famous stages: Bunnings  Rally South Australia  Coromandel Rally  WRC Germany


at www.rallysportmag.com.au or www.issuu.com 72 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

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RallySport Magazine August 2016  

The August 2016 issue of RallySport Magazine is now available, and includes: Latest news: * Dowel backs rallycross to be bigger than V8 Su...

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