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A SUNMEDIA PUBLICATION

Friday 30 August 2013

Friday 30 August 2013

The Bay ’s largest circulating, most read newspaper.

64,180 copies

Loaded question: Fiat Ducato See page 4

From storage boxes to pallets, commercial transport driver Arron Conn sees if the Fiat Ducato measures up for the task.

Friday 30 August 2013


Page 2

Friday 30 August 2013

Friday 30 August 2013

Weekend Sun Friday 30 AugustThe 2013

Bay Driver

Bookings and enquiries contact Tracey Taylor on 07 578 0030 email: tracey@thesun.co.nz For editorial and news tips email: hamish@thesun.co.nz

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The Weekend Sun

Bay Driver Friday 30 August 2013

Friday 30 August 2013

Off-road adventurer Tauranga motoring nut Ben Thomasen laughs about his hectic racing schedule, but he is definitely not complaining. Tied up with commitments to sponsors, and to himself, he has been giving his best to the off-road and rallying competition circuits – and will soon be returning his attention to defending the national hill climb title he won in March. “It definitely keeps most weekends tied up and a lot of work in the evenings getting them ready. I’m loving it and I’m at a good stage where I’m getting a lot of help, so I might as well carry on and make the most of it.” After trying his hand in a few minor off-road racing events, Ben has been turning heads with his dominance of the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) class in the national off-road series since his impressive debut in April when he won the class in the first round of the New Zealand Off-road Racing Champs in Meremere. Ben’s winning form continued in Hawkes Bay earlier this month, when he once again won the category at round two of the national championship series at the Best Forysth Gwavas 200 enduro event. What really had people sitting up and taking notice of the young Tauranga driver in his Polaris RZR was his success claiming the overall race title, making New Zealand off-road racing history to become the first UTV-class competitor to do so. “It definitely felt very good. Admit-

Ben Thomasen, well-known for his rallying and hillclimb prowess, has been turning heads in his ATV ‘weed-sprayer’ in the national off-road series. Photo by Bruce Barnard tedly, the conditions down there suited me, it nudge, and will be alternating driving during the two days with good friend and rising was really wet weather and the Polaris was just in its element and was handling everything that Tauranga rally star Phil Campbell, who also coI threw at it.” drove with him on last season’s hill climb series. The top result earned him the North Island After missing a few Extreme Rally events this season, due to clashes, Ben is determined championship title, and has his him in the box seat to round out the national series on to squeeze a few of the remaining events in, top if he maintains his form at the final event including the Possum Bourne Rally on September 7. in Hamilton on October 26-27. But Ben’s immediate focus is the upcoming Taupo 1000 Ben believes his mixed motorsport experience in mid-September, a 1000km race held during has been a major benefit in off-roading, saying two days on rugged terrain, which he describes his rallying helps with car control while his experience of picking a good line on the motoras the pinnacle event of the season. “Off-roading is my main focus right now with bike is helping him on the ATV. But while the ATVs are “turning a lot of heads” he says a lot the full sponsorship deal I’ve got with Polaris, of traditionalists don’t like them. but I’m also going to try to defend my hill climb title this year in the rally car, and a couple “Some people are calling them the more rallies I want to do too – I’ve got my ‘weed-sprayers’, but a lot of others really like sponsors there that I want to keep happy too.” them because they are helping make it more By Hamish Carter Ben is determined to give Taupo a good accessible.”

Friday 30 August 2013

Page 3

Tough test Organisers are picking the toughest Taupo 1000 event ever when the checkered flag drops on the marathon off-road event in a fortnight. The two-day 1000km event has attracted record entries, with more than 140 pre-race ‘intent’ registrations from race cars, trucks and all-terrain vehicles putting their hand-up for the event – including a handful of international drivers from the US, Canada and Europe. Competitors from the wider Western Bay area who are lining up for the biennial event include Tauranga drivers Dale Shannon, Michael Small, Steven Pacey and Ben Thomasen. Te Puke’s Rex Croskery, Mount Maunganui’s Jason Delahunty and Waihi’s Trevor Cooper also intend on participating. Event spokesperson Tony Saelman says the endurance race, which has been the flagship New Zealand off-road racing event since 1992, has taken a major step forward this year by attracting television coverage and major sponsor ENZED. Run during three days in September, the Taupo 1000 is the longest, toughest, fastest off-road race in the southern hemisphere, with participants completing 1000 km during two days – or the equivalent of a Bathurst 1000 track race without once running on sealed roads. The event has been plotted over a new course based around a 50 km lap on new roads never used for the race in its 20-year history, with a new pit and prologue area on rolling farmland just 12 km from Taupo. The 2013 ENZED Taupo 1000 begins with practice and qualifying on Friday, September 13. Race days are September 14 and 15. Event information is available online at: www.taupo1000.co.nz or at: www.facebook.com/EnzedTaupo1000

In partnership with

Mount Maunganui


Page 4

Friday 30 August 2013

Friday 30 August 2013

Weekend Sun Friday 30 AugustThe 2013

Ducato

Bay Driver

– it’s Fiatalian for commercial workhorse

The Fiat Ducato van drives just like a car with clear windscreen vision, comfortable seating and simple controls at your fingertips. Photo by Bruce Barnard.

When a van is your workhorse you want to know it saddles up well for the job and can carry a heavy load in the wagon. This is when you want a Ducato in the stable, a solid dependable beast sired from tough sturdy stock. While the Fiat badge is renowned for style and performance in its cars, when it comes to the commercial fleet the brand’s promise is all about dependability and offering just what commercial drivers need. But when it comes to reviewing a commercial van, there is little point getting the opinion of someone who drives an everyday car – it’s comparing apples with oranges. So after picking up the van from Farmer Motor Group, where Mr Everyday Car Driver was surprised at just how easy it actually was to drive (“just remember it’s a van” says Warren Carter as he farewells me), I took the Ducato for a short jaunt. Sitting in the cabin it’s surprisingly simple for Mr Everyday Car Driver to get into the swing of driving the light commercial. The controls are simple – no fancy gear system, with the six-gear manual transmission offering the flexibility to cover all needs without confusing the uninitiated. And, it has a surprisingly small turning circle that makes manoeuvrability surprisingly easy. Just like a car. Back at the transit point, experienced commercial driver Arron Conn from Go Cool Transport slips

behind the steering wheel to give the Ducato a professional driver’s assessment As with all commercial vehicles it is the load space that earns the money, so this is critical in all van and truck choices. The van’s hold gets the first once over by Arron, who rates it among the best vans he has seen. In particular, the combination of the high roof (ideal for tall pallets), high and wide doors (offering easy access for a forklift to load pallets, and ability to use the full roof space for cargo), good lighting in rear (for loading), and cargo anchors (for securing loads), all combine to provide a top cargo vehicle. The doors – both rear and side – were also light and easy to open and close. Step inside the roomy rear – with ample space for pallets and overhead room for anyone except a giant – and you quickly understand why the Ducato is also Europe’s most popular campervan. Back inside the cab, Arron echoes my assessment of it being “a very comfortable vehicle to drive like a car”. The instant warmth from the heater made it appealing for winter driving, while the extensive seat adjustment options added to the comfort – and made it easy for a new driver to adjust to fit them. Good arm rests also made driving long hours less of a chore. Dash displays are easy to read, with economy – a key measure for any transport operator – being easy to keep on top of with the dashboard gauge. The stereo also had a good sound, with steering wheel

controls making it easy to control while keeping your eyes on the road. The cab offered lots of space for the driver along with great forward visibility and large mirrors for back and side vision. A USB dock for GPS, 180 watts power-plus and Bluetooth offered all drivers the chance to tailor controls to their needs, while the MP3 compatible audio system offers the chance to listen to your favourite tunes. A variety of headlight settings offered something for all different conditions, while safety was also paramount with multiple airbags and the van’s crumple zone designed to protect the driver. On the road, Arron describes the van as great to drive, with smooth gear changes and the six-gear transmission

SPECuS cato

ssionaol rsD epower Fiat Pr.3ofe litre, 130 h

Engine: 2 : options. Transmission ual or dual logic auto an Six-speed m 1612-2009 Capacity: y): Payload d o b d ar d n Medium (sta 3 loading volume. 9 kg, m kg, 10-11.5 ded body): Payload 195 en xt (e Heavy ing volume. 13 m3 load ) $62,990. Price: 9,990, (auto 6,990. 5 $ ) al u an Medium (m al) $63,990, (auto) $6 u Heavy (man am Cameron h ra G : ct ta illage.co.nz Con rmerAutoV 2947418 fa @ n 27 gcamero 0 78 6017 or Phone 07 5

well-spaced for revs, with no big gaps between gears avoiding unnecessary speed or power loss. Arron was also impressed with the overall power, saying the Ducato was responsive, offered a good cruise speed, and retained its power even in sixth gear. Smart engineering means the Ducato spends more time on the road and less in the workshop being serviced, with services every 45,000km or 12 months. This also translates to significant cost savings – which Aaron estimates could come to $800 per month for a delivery or freight business. On top of this, the Ducato is covered with a three year/200,000 km warranty. But enough about work. Kick off the Ducato’s sturdy boots and hardworking attire – and with a little imagination it offers a great holiday home on wheels. Where to next? By Hamish Carter and Arron Conn


ALL 4ALL THE4 PERFORMANCE. THE PERFORMANCE. THE SAFETY. THE SAFETY. THE RETAINED THE RETAINED VALUE. VALUE.

SITSSITS LOW,LOW, BETTER BETTER HANDLING HANDLING

TRACTION TRACTION AND AND CONTROL CONTROL

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Bay Driver Friday 30 August 2013

The Weekend Sun

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Page 5

Friday 30 August 2013 EMERGENCY EMERGENCYASSISTANCE ASSISTANCE

NO.1 NO.1FOR FORSAFETY SAFETY

BRAKING BRAKINGCONTROL CONTROL

CONTROL CONTROL VEHICLE VEHICLEDYNAMICS DYNAMICS

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NEWNEW ZEALAND ZEALAND NEWNEW

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from

from $45,990

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rSP driveaway* NEW NEWZEALAND ZEALAND NEW NEW

3 3YEAR YEARUNLIMITED UNLIMITED KMKMWARRANTY WARRANTY

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3 YEAR 3 YEAR 3 YEAR UNLIMITED UNLIMITED UNLIMITED KMKM WARRANTY KM WARRANTY WARRANTY

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WE’VE WE’VE WE’VE PLANNED PLANNED PLANNED EVERYTHING EVERYTHING EVERYTHING FOR FOR FOR YOU. YOU. YOU. BUILDING BUILDING BUILDING ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE AND AND AND PASSIVE PASSIVE PASSIVE SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY INTO INTO INTO EVERY EVERY EVERY SUBARU SUBARU SUBARU WITH WITH WITH 5-STAR 5-STAR 5-STAR SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY ACROSS ACROSS ACROSS THE THE THE ENTIRE ENTIRE ENTIRE RANGE. RANGE. RANGE.

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We have a small selection of 2013 BRAKING BRAKING CONTROL CONTROL EMERGENCY EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE ASSISTANCE NO.1NO.1 FOR FOR SAFETY SAFETY outback models available at the best prices of the year - but for september etails. only. colours anD moDels are limiteD,

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Smokin’ success for drifters

Tauranga drift king Cole Armstrong celebrates his win at the NAC National Drift Championship on Saturday, with Gary Whiter (second) and Nico Reid (third). Photo by Apex Photography.

Following his mixed fortunes competing at the World Drift Series in China’s Tianjin, Tauranga drift racer Cole Armstrong has stamped his mark once again on the motorsport by winning the NAC National Drift Championship at Te Kauwhata’s Hampton Downs Motorsport Park on Saturday. Cole, 25, who has been based in Perth since March, flew into Auckland an hour before sign-on to meet sponsor obligations and connect with fans before competing in the 500kw V Energy RB30 Skyline in front of 3000 drift fans. His success, taking top honours after a final battle against former three-time D1NZ champion Gary Whiter, was made easier with top fellow D1NZ contenders

such as ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett and ‘gun’ Nico Reid and out of competition due to mechanical issues. “Luck definitely fell on our side this weekend – and in competitive situations in drifting so much is about luck – and what you do with that luck makes all the difference,” says Cole. “The win definitely feels good – and the team has a good thing going.” Close behind Cole was fellow Tauranga drifter Drew Donovan, who just missed a podium finish when he was knocked out by New Zealand-based Californian Andrew Redward in a battle for third spot. Drew’s partner Jodie Verhulst says along with her success – which saw her finish in fifth position – the Team DMNZ pair is pleased with their overall success. The D1NZ summer series starts late October, with both teams using the next two months to make major changes to their cars. By Hamish Carter

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Friday 30 August 2013

Safer rural schools Student safety at Pyes Pa and Pahoia schools is being targeted with a trial of speed signs outside the schools set to begin next month. The two schools are taking part in a nationwide trial aiming to reduce the speed limit on the adjoining main road during school hours – with the section of SH36 past Pyes Pa School to be halved from 80km/h to 40km/h, and an area near Pahoia School on SH2 reducing from 100km/h to 70km/h. Electronic signs will be installed either side of the schools’ entrance advising of the reduced speed limit. The aim of the trial is to reduce the risk of high-severity crashes involving vehicles turning into or out of the schools. It will also provide a safer road environment for any pedestrians or cyclists using the road outside the school grounds. A NZTA statement says an evaluation, of the first trial schools, shows the variable speed limits have reduced vehicle speeds during school drop-off and pick-up times, and help improve driver behaviour around rural schools. The signs will be installed in September for a trial which is expected to be last two years. If successful, the system may be rolled out to other rural schools with traffic speed problems.

Friday 30 August 2013

The 2013 Weekend Sun Friday 30 August

Bay Driver

Malaysian victory for Bay driver Young in action during day two of the Malaysian Rally.

Photos by Asia Pacific Sports Media.

Bay of Plenty rally driver Michael Young has claimed his maiden Asia Pacific Rally Championship title in what is believed to be a new record for the youngest winning driver. Michael, 20, who got a taste for rallying on the roads around Opotiki, cruised to victory at the Malaysian Rally during the weekend after a consistent and steady drive on the toughest roads around Johor Bahru. “It’s great, we’re absolutely stoked. I’m going to saviour this moment for a long time,” says Michael. “We just drove our own rally and didn’t look at anyone else’s stage times just to make sure we didn’t push and make any mistakes.” The team’s conservative approach to the

car breaking stages in the Tai Tak plantations paid off, while his rivals all retired with mechanical failures or off-road excursions. It is a reversal of fortunes for Michael, who had come into the event determined to have greater success than the last round at International Rally of Queensland in July, where tricky road conditions forced him to end his rally early after ending upside down in a ditch. “I’m now only 12 points behind Gill who leads the entire championship, so our campaign is definitely back on track for overall, and for two-wheel-drive and junior cup. I just need to keep doing what I did here in Malaysia to make sure it stays that way.” Michael told Bay Driver he is determined to achieve his season goals of winning the 2WD and Junior Cup championships in

the APRC; and is feeling more confident after this weekend’s result. “This result is great for our championship fight, but the next round in Japan is also important for us as it’s both Cusco’s and Toyota’s home rally.” Michael, who drives a Cusco TRD Toyota Vitz, now sits second in the Asia Cup championship after finishing the Malaysian Rally second overall, behind eventual rally winner and Cusco team-mate, Shuhei Muta (who was not competing as a registered APRC driver). The Asia Cup battle continues at the next APRC round in Japan (September 28-29), followed by Thailand in November. Michael now sits fourth in the APRC drivers’ championship standings, only 12.5 points behind championship leader Gaurav Gill.


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