|3 days ago||‘Relief’ as start of last year's postponed Targa NZ event now just days away|
|4 days ago||Rally of Canterbury published|
|6 days ago||Ari is really fast at Whangarei Rally|
|1 week ago||Targa NZ entries published|
|Gilmour heads overseas for McLaren duties after Rally Whangarei|
|Two from two in NZRC for Paddon and Kennard|
|10 days ago||International Rally of Whangarei: Start List for Leg 2 published|
|11 days ago||International Rally of Whangarei: Start List for Leg 1 Part 2 published|
|International Rally of Whangarei: Start List for Leg1 Start 1 published|
|Job Done for Bawden & Burborough at Rally Otago - Now it's Bring On Whangarei|
|Spark Sport confirms free-to-air broadcast partner for WRC and brand-new motorsport series|
|2 weeks ago||WRC rally greats celebrate 50 golden championship years|
|Ari has a good start at Otago Rally|
|Targa NZ published|
“Relief,” is the emotion Ultimate Rally Group owner and event director Peter Martin says he is feeling the most right now as he counts down the days, hours & minutes until the official start - at 7.00am next Wednesday, May 25 th in New Plymouth - of what, for all intents and purposes, is last year’s five-day Targa New Zealand event.
Having had to cancel completely what was to have been the 26th annual Targa NZ event in October 2020, Martin says he was adamant that the 2021 one would go ahead – ‘even if we have to postpone rather than cancel it completely for a second year in a row, and run it….sometime in May next year,’ he said during New Zealand’s third and longest COVID-19 Lockdown in early October last year.
Fast forward seven months and that is exactly what is happening, with what was originally planned to be a marathon five-day odyssey through the beating heart of the Central North Island, from one coast to the other over in the last week of October 2021, effectively re-booted.
It will still start in New Plymouth in Taranaki on the North Island’s west coast and finish five days and 2,000-odd km later in Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay, on the east coast, the only real difference the time of year and start (Wednesday May 25) and finish (Sunday May 25) days and dates.
“Due to there being less daylight hours (in May compared with October) we made the decision to remove the final stages on the first (Tarata) and third (Bushy Park) days, as well as the Motere stage on Day 5. Otherwise,” said Martin, “the event is as plotted to run in October last year, one of reasons we decided not to change the name.”
Though he has already run one successful event (the two-day, Hamilton-based, Targa Bambina on March 12 & 13) since the ‘incredibly difficult’ decision to have to postpone the 2001 Targa NZ event in early October last year, Martin says that one of the many reasons why ‘relief’ is the main emotion at the moment is because of the ‘sheer pleasure’ everyone involved derives from what has become known in local motorsport circles simply as ‘Main Targa.’
Martin is not just talking about the competitors, either.
“Absolutely not. “We’ve got volunteers who keep coming back year after year. Even a lot of the people we deal with at Councl level in terms of road closures and such have told me how much they enjoy it when ‘the Targa Rally comes to town.”
“So yes, I feel ‘relief’ that our big 2021 event is finally going ahead…..for everyone who gets a buzz out of it. I also feel relieved that so many of our seasoned Targa NZ regulars have seen fit to ‘keep the faith’ despite us not being able to run a full five-day Targa NZ event here since 2019.
“Finally,” says Martin, “I feel genuine relief that the country is now ‘open for business.’ Again, because as far as I am concerned, we are now in full-on catch-up; for the rest of this year a least and in all probability well into 2023 as well.” So, next week’s ‘2021’ Targa New Zealand tarmac motor rally starts in New Plymouth on Wednesday and is set to re-visit some of the most iconic stages in the now 26-year history of the event.
Just some of these include the super-long 42.7km Te Akau stage on the first morning of this year’s event, and the challenging Inglewood Jumps stage first thing the next morning then there-and-back runs to and back out from the self-styled Republic of Whangamomona in the afternoon of the second day.
For the first two nights the field returns to New Plymouth before heading south for a single night’s stopover in Whanganui then east to Hawke’s Bay where the event will be based for the final two nights – via Saturday stages using Fields Track in the morning and the mythical Gentle Annie Rd in the afternoon.
All-up, entrants face a beguiling mix of 760km of closed road special stages and 1240km of touring stages for a event total of 2000 km.
Incorporated into and set to run concurrently over the final two days with the full five-day ‘2021’ Targa New Zealand event is also a separately entered and scored - two-day - ‘2021’Targa NZ Regional tarmac motor rally.
Not only that but for the first time in the ‘Main Targa,’ both the five-day and the two-day regional events will also incorporate their own concurrently run but independently organised and scored VCC Time Trials run in conjunction with the Vintage Car Club of NZ, as well as concurrent but non-competitive Targa Tours.
There has been plenty of interest and indeed support for the addition of a Time Trial component to the existing Targa mix after an initial proof of concept run in 2018 and first successful open event effort in 2019. Numbers-wise, next week’s 2021 Targa NZ event has attracted 134 entries, 74 for the main five-day event (split 37-Main comp/27-Time Trial/10-Tour) and 60 across the three categories in the Two-Day Regional event.
Targa New Zealand events are organised by the Ultimate Rally Group with the support of sponsors AndrewSimms.co.nz, Chicane Racewear, Global Security, NZ Classic Car magazine, Race Brakes, Race4Life Trust, Racetech, TrackIt, Vital and Writeraze.
Young rally driver Ari Pettigrew (23) and his experienced navigator Jason Farmer (41) are quickly getting really fast in the NZ Rally Championship, with third outright result at the Whangarei Rally over the 13 – 15 May 2022.
The team impressed everyone with such a great result in his second rally in their first outright Brian Green Properties NZ Rally Championship season. Their result was only beaten by five time and current NZ Champion Hayden Paddon and twice NZ Champion Ben Hunt.
Ari commented “The Manukau Auto Centre owned Barina AP4 car went without an issue at round two in Whangarei. I love the roads up there, but I had no idea we could get onto the podium with Hayden and Ben so early in our move to the top class. There are so many other top drivers and cars, I am just blown away by our result. I need to thank Jason Farmer for his prefect course notes and a big thanks to my boss Hayden Paddon and his team at Paddon Rallysport for their support leading up to the event and throughout the weekend.”
Along with the championship trophies for the event Ari and Jason won the ‘Dunlop Drive of The Rally’ award. The Dunlop award is decided by a group of experts who consider the winners to have made the best drive of all the teams on this event. The prestige award provides four extra Dunlop rally tyres, along with the Dunlop trophy.
Ari and Jason started the season with seventh at Otago and got really racing in round two at Whangarei taking third - this makes them fourth in the championship so far. Given that there are 20 or more top class cars and experienced drivers, it is apparent Ari has the talent that can see him become NZ Champion in the future. Today Ari is easily leading the Junior Rally Championship class for under 25-year-old drivers.
Jason Farmer adds “Ari drove a mature drive, he did not get excited about his times, he stuck with our plan to keep a safe speed and we came through to the finish. I am really enjoying myself in the car, we work well together, and we also have a few laughs along the way. I am looking forward to how we can grow as a team. It is clear to me that Ari has a great future in the sport”
Ari is keen to point out that there is still a lot for the crew to learn as the season progresses. Things are going well with Jason Farmer calling the course notes and providing an older head. However, Ari is still learning to unlock speed in the Manukau Auto Centre owned 4WD Barina AP4 car. Ari commented “Jason and I are planning to continue a level-headed approach to the remaining rounds, being patient and letting the speed come naturally, as I build more experience and confidence.” There is more to come, as they say.
The old rally hands can see that Ari Pettigrew has great talent and it is quickly becoming obvious that Ari is among the front of the group of younger rally drivers. With Hayden Paddon having a mentoring role for Ari and experienced navigator Jason Farmer in the car, there is nothing to stop Ari going right to the top. Of course, rallying requires a high level of commercial support. If Ari can get the level of support some of his competitors have been able to attract, then it is easy to see Ari Pettigrew join Hayden Paddon and Ben Hunt as multi-NZ Rally Championship winners.
Ari and Jason thank the help from Manukau Auto Centre - Mitre 10 Trade - Winmax Brake Pads - Paddon Rallysport - The Flooring Warehouse - R&R Hiab Services - KeelowCraft Boats - Dunlop Tyres – Penrite Oil NZ - Guyton Reinforcing - Gilt Edge - Glasurit Ultra Paints – Universal Sign Co - Prolook - Turboshop
After an International Rally of Whangarei that didn’t go as planned this weekend, Emma Gilmour turns her focus to her McLaren Extreme E duties and heads overseas tomorrow.
She will attend a McLaren partner event in the United States before continuing onwards to the United Kingdom to test the global motorsport giant’s electric SUV. The revised Extreme E calendar means the Dunedin rally driver now has a double header round in Sardinia, racing from July 6-7 and then again from July 9-10.
“Unfortunately the new Extreme E dates mean that I won’t be able to return to New Zealand to drive my Vantage Windows & Doors Suzuki Swift AP4 at the NZRC’s third round in South Canterbury in mid-June,” Emma says.
The Whangarei-based second round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship was over for her and co-driver Mal Peden before it properly got going, with the pair only achieving clean runs through the two short Pohe Island (1.24km) stages on Friday night.
“We had done some work pre-event on the Suzuki’s engine but frustratingly we had a sensor problem leaving refuel on Saturday morning. When we tried rejoining later in the day, there were other problems from the rebuild that the team weren’t able to rectify,” Emma says.
“We tried to get going again this morning in the hope that we might have improved things but unfortunately it was still not sorted.”
After narrowly missing out on a podium finish at the Otago Rally, where a time penalty dropped her down the ranks before she fought back to fifth, Emma was disappointed to have mechanical problems this weekend. However, she has plenty to look forward to on the international front.
"It's been a long break since our first Extreme E round in Saudi Arabia in February, so I can't wait to be back with my McLaren team again and working towards a great result in Sardinia."
Top Kiwi rally pairing Hayden Paddon and John Kennard made it two wins from two starts in their Hyundai i20 AP4 rally car at the International Rally of Whangarei which took place 14 and 15 May as the second round of the 2022 New Zealand Rally Championship.
Paddon and his Cromwell-based Hyundai New Zealand Rally team delivered a near-perfect performance, with a clean sweep of fastest times through all 18 special stages and new stage records set for 14 of them.
Paddon praised his crew for their teamwork and strategy with tyre planning and management throughout the two-day rally. He was also happy with most of the small mechanical tweaks implemented on the Hyundai i20 AP4 car following the season opener in Otago in April, saying there were a couple of readjustments to be made.
The pair are preparing for their return to European rallying for the first time in more than two years. Their first European rally of 2022 has been confirmed as Rally di Alba on 24 and 25 June, a tarmac rally which is part of the Tour European Rally (TER) series and the Italian Rally Championship.
Paddon will be behind the wheel of a Hyundai i20 R5 rally car in Alba as part of his preparation for his first FIA World Rally Championship-2 event in Estonia in July where the Hyundai i20 N Rally 2 car will be run by the Hyundai New Zealand Rally team, marking a significant milestone for the New Zealand-based crew.
The preparation and effort by Paddon and the team have put in for the win in Whangarei is all part of getting into the best possible form for international competition. But the five-time New Zealand Rally Champion isn’t easing up on his goal of winning his sixth rally title – the Hyundai team will still be contesting the South Canterbury Rally on 18 June before flying out of New Zealand for Italy the next day.
Paddon’s quotes: “It was a good weekend and a step up collectively for us as a team in terms of how the car performed and our strategy and teamwork. We ticked a lot of boxes, particularly as we get ready to head back overseas, getting into the rhythm of this two-day event format where strategy, tyre planning and management are so important. These events offer different challenges to one-day rallies like the South Canterbury Rally coming up next on our schedule.
“In terms of a rundown for our offshore events, it was great with John and I working smoothly together in the car.
“The biggest challenge over the weekend was probably sweeping the roads, with a lot more gravel on the stages than we’ve been used to over past years. The morning stages were like driving on marbles and trying to generate a bit of grip where there was no grip. Once the roads were swept for the afternoon runs, things were a bit easier with a clearer line. But we really have no complaints; it’s good fun opening the roads and sliding around a bit more than usual.
“We have a few refinements to the car before South Canterbury which is a fast rally. We don’t have the most power out of all the competitors, that’s probably our Achilles heel, so we have some work to do. It’s important we do our best to collect maximum championship points again in Timaru.
“It was great to see lots of spectators out enjoying the rally action over the weekend in sunny conditions all weekend. Friday night at Pohe Island was particularly impressive to see so many people enjoying the rally action. There’s a whole Rally New Zealand vibe coming through which we all enjoyed.
“This win was a bit special for a different reason with my grandfather, Bruce Paddon, having passed away on Thursday, so this one was for Grandad.”
Paddon and Hyundai New Zealand Rally appreciate the support of Hyundai New Zealand, Mitre 10 Trade, Z Energy, Makita, Bailey Caravans, Ben Nevis Station, Winmax Brakes, Gravity Internet, Pak N’ Save, Bars Bugs, Pirelli, OMP/Racer Products, Mike Greer Homes, Bartercard, Accessman, Sign It Signs, Carters Tyre Service and Provident Insurance.
Todd Bawden and Paul (Barge) Burborough headed back north after an extremely satisfying and successful debut at last month’s Rally Otago – the opening round of the 2022 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC).
Both the Hamilton businessmen were head over heels – almost literally in Stage 8 (refer attached photo) – as they got their first competitive opportunity to experience the performance and potential of Chassis #46 of the M-Sport factory’s latest rally creations.
Their Ford Fiesta R5 MkII is M-Sport’s current weapon of choice in the second tier of the World Rally Championship (WRC2) and proved to be everything Todd and Barge hoped it would be as they blasted through the 14 rollercoaster stages north and then south-west of Dunedin.
“We went to Otago with a number of goals in mind,” said Todd. “First and most important was to finish and thereby gain as much seat-time as possible to learn how the car works and try to get somewhere close to getting the best out of it.”
“Next was for Barge and I to get in sync and up to speed again in the car [with the pace note calling], particularly as everything happens so much faster now. And with all the COVID lockdowns, it was almost nine months since we last did a rally.”
“Then of course it was vital for our awesome Service Crew to get their first real chance to work on a state-of-the-art car that’s brand new to them, and in the pressure cooker situation that inherently comes with time-constrained servicing,” said Barge. “But as we knew they would, everyone stepped up and we couldn’t have asked for more from them all.”
Todd commented, “By achieving all that, we got our [NZRC] championship campaign off to a solid start as well as the bonus of scoring well in the first of the two APRC Qualifier (the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship) rounds for the Final in Australia in November.”
The ONLINE CONTRACTORS Fiesta flew through the 14 stages and recorded Top Ten fastest times on all but one of them – one of only 3 crews in the 98 car field to do so.
Rally Otago is the fastest NZRC round, this year with an Average Speed for the 250 kilometres of almost 120kph, with some Top Speeds in excess of 200kph. Their Fiesta (Regn FORDR5) hit ‘only’ 187kph.
“The Fiesta isn’t designed or set up for outright top speeds,” said Barge. “It’s pace and performance comes through its handling, traction and corner speed, as evidenced by those two x 3rd fastest times coming on stages that had slower average speeds than most of the others..”
“So having used Otago as a prolonged high speed test session and familiarisation run for everyone, we are really looking forward to [the International Rally of] Whangarei this weekend [May 13 – 15],” said Todd.
“We’ve recently had the chance to do some more testing and have made some significant gains in improving the setup and handling which has given us a big boost in confidence.
“Most of the stages are also being run in the reverse direction this year and therefore previous knowledge might not be such an advantage to those crews who have done Whangarei for the last few years.
“So it will be awesome to let the car loose on the roads up north, with all the camber, and, as it’s the round with the lowest average speed [98kph], it will be very interesting to see how well we can go on those more technical stages,” he concluded.
Rally Otago Results and Series Points, along with comprehensive LIVE Results for Whangarei are available on www.chrissport.co.nz
TEAM ONLINE RACING would like to thank ONLINE CONTRACTORS, WINGER MOTORS, SALSA BAR AND GRILL PORT DOUGLAS and SRS HAMILTON for their ongoing support in making this project possible.
Spark Sport has announced today that Warner Bros. Discovery NZ will be the exclusive New Zealand free-to-air broadcast partner for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) when it returns to Aotearoa from 29 September to 2 October this year.
Up to 80 million fans in 150 countries globally will watch live coverage of the three-day WRC Repco Rally New Zealand event in and around Auckland. It will form round 11 of the 13-round WRC season and the first time back on New Zealand’s acclaimed gravel rally roads in a decade.
Every stage will be broadcast live on Spark Sport with the final stages on each of the three days of the event live on Three and Three Now.Additionally, Repco Rally New Zealand organisers are producing a brand-new motorsport series, “Pace Notes, the Road to Repco Rally New Zealand 2022” which will be available on Spark Sport.
Starting on Sunday 15 May, the new series will feature 12 shows hosted by motorsport commentator, Greg Rust with appearances from Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon and Rally New Zealand Marketing Director, Brendon White. The series will run fortnightly delving into the latest and greatest motorsport news from around the globe as it follows the 50th season of WRC, as well as insights into the New Zealand event.
Head of Spark Sport Jeff Latch says: “As the official New Zealand broadcaster of the FIA World Rally Championship, we’re delighted to be extending our partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery NZ to bring rally fans the highly anticipated Auckland edition of WRC both on our platform and through our free-to-air partner.
“There’ll be a real buzz at the Wynyard Quarter rally village come 29 September and we’re excited to bring that hype to screens all around the country both live and on-demand on Spark Sport and on Three.”
Senior Vice President of Warner Bros. Discovery, Australia and New Zealand, Glen Kyne says: "Having partnered with Spark to be the free-to-air broadcaster for the Rugby World Cup later this year, we're chuffed to be adding the World Rally Championship to the schedule. Motorsport fans will be thrilled to have this event back on our shores and available to watch live on Three and ThreeNow. I've no doubt Tāmaki Makaurau will turn on a spectacular event."
Philipp Maenner, WRC Promoter’s Senior Director Media Rights says: “The WRC has been away from New Zealand for 10 years and we’re thrilled to be coming back to Auckland this season. The scenery is stunning and the action will be hot - what’s not to like! We’re delighted that New Zealand fans can watch full coverage of all WRC rounds on Spark Sport, our official WRC broadcast partner, throughout the season, and to also have Warner Bros. Discovery NZ on board as our free-to-air TV partner for Repco Rally New Zealand.
Repco Rally New Zealand CEO, Michael Goldstein says broadcast partnerships with Spark Sport and Three Sport will bring the excitement of the FIA World Rally Championship into the living rooms of all New Zealanders.“Rallying is in our DNA. Not only will our event bring the best drivers and fastest rally cars to our famed roads, now the greatest show on gravel will be available for all Kiwis.
“We are thrilled to have both Spark Sport and Three Sport partnering with the WRC and Repco Rally New Zealand and look forward to working with all our partners to make this a truly special homecoming of the WRC to New Zealand.”
To catch all of the World Rally Championship action live and on-demand, sign up at https://www.sparksport.co.nz/.
• FIA World Rally Championship salutes glorious half century
• Vodafone Rally de Portugal to host 50th season festivities
• Legendary names to attend largest ever gathering of WRC champions
• Historic cars to parade through famous special stages
Munich, 10 May 2022 – The biggest ever gathering of FIA World Rally champions will celebrate the series’ half-century at a star-studded festival in Portugal next week.
Title-winning drivers, co-drivers and team managers will honour the WRC’s 50th season in Matosinhos during five days of celebrations at Vodafone Rally de Portugal (19 - 22 May), this year’s fourth round.
A host of historic cars will be displayed in the Exponor service park and fans will have a rare chance to see many in demonstration runs through special stages on all four rally days.
Champion drivers due to attend are Sébastien Loeb, Sébastien Ogier, Walter Röhrl, Ari Vatanen, Miki Biasion, Carlos Sainz, Marcus Grönholm, Petter Solberg and Ott Tänak. Between them they have amassed 28 titles.
FIA deputy president for sport Robert Reid, Luis Moya, Christian Geistdörfer, Tiziano Siviero, Timo Rautiainen, Derek Ringer, David Richards and Martin Järveoja are among the co-drivers due to appear.
The list is boosted by WRC Ladies’ Cup winners Louise-Aitken-Walker and Isolde Holderied, their co-drivers Tina Thörner, and Christine Driano. Michèle Mouton and Fabrizia Pons, the only female pairing to win a WRC event outright, will also be present.
Other guests include FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel and Carlos Barbosa, president of rally organiser Automóvel Club de Portugal.
Nearly 30 classic cars will chart the WRC’s history. They include an Alpine A110, the model which won the first WRC round at Rallye Monte-Carlo in the hands of Jean-Claude Andruet.
Also participating are fire-breathing Group B monsters including Audi Quattro S1, A1 and A2 models and a Lancia Delta S4. Other favourites include a Lancia Stratos, Ford Escort RS1800 and Opel Ascona 400, alongside the more recent Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i20.
Many are provided by the Slowly Sideways group, the organisation headed by WRC photographer Reinhard Klein.
The WRC was launched in 1973 and 35 countries have staged rounds since. Portugal was a host in the inaugural season and this year’s event marks the championship’s 619th round.
The celebrations kick off with a gala dinner in the service park on Wednesday 18 May. More than 200 WRC luminaries will attend.
On Thursday afternoon, historic cars will be displayed in the start city of Coimbra. Demonstration runs will take place through the evening’s super special stage. Further displays and parades will take place at Lousada on Friday evening and Saturday night’s Porto-Foz street stage.
Röhrl will head a group of cars driven through Sunday’s fabled Fafe stage between the two competitive passes. Fafe graced Portugal’s fixture in 1973 and the Pedra Sentada jump is among the championship’s most popular spectacles.
The celebration is organised by championship commercial rights holder WRC Promoter and motorsport’s governing body, the FIA.
“Everyone has their own memories of the thrills, spills and excitement from the WRC and this is a marvellous one-off opportunity for those who have helped make the championship so special,” said WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel.
“The list of WRC greats coming to Portugal, both human and mechanical, is mouth-watering and a reminder of what a wonderfulsport we have the great fortune to be involved in.
“But this is also for the fans. The sights and sounds of great cars from yesteryear being driven through the stages will evoke spine-tingling memories from those watching roadside.”
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “Since its inaugural season in 1973, the FIA World Rally Championship has delivered spectacular action for global audiences. It has featured the most iconic cars, historic locations and legendary drivers and co-drivers who have secured a special place in the annals of motorsport.
“The FIA has continuously driven evolution in a sporting and technical sense: this year is no exception as the WRC ushers in hybrid technology, sustainable fuel and advanced safety measures.
“As the championship enters its 50th year, it’s time to reflect on those remarkable accomplishments, celebrate past and present champions and look ahead to a bright future. I look forward to the upcoming festivities at Rally de Portugal, where the legends will be reunited.”
23-year-old rally driver Ari Pettigrew has made a great start to his first overall championship in the Brian Green Properties NZ Rally Championship. For the first time Ari is using a modern AP4 turbo 4WD car for the season and he also has the services of 2016 NZ Champion navigator Jason Farmer in the car with him. Ari quickly showed he deserves the move to the top group with a bunch of top 5 results including 2nd and 3rd results among them in the first few stages at Otago. A great start indeed.
Ari won the Open 2WD class in his older 1990’s BMW in the NZ Rally Championship in 2021. This year he is running against the best of New Zealand’s Rally Teams. Ari and Jason were planning to go a bit carefully in Otago while Ari learnt the Holden Barina AP4 that had previously rallied by Bathurst hero Greg Murphy. A safe ride to the finish was the plan, this was achieved and more. To his surprise Ari found he could mostly keep up with Kiwi teams at Otago, with exception of Hayden Paddon who as a professional WRC driver, at this stage no one can challenge. That leaves a group of around 20 other top-class teams who are fighting for their own win, as the fastest of the teams that have a usual job or business during the week. Ari has already shown he can run with the best of these teams.
“We were surprised how good our early times were, we were keeping it easy to ensure we got the Manukau Auto Centre owned Barina AP4 home, while I learn the cars capabilities” commented Ari. “I have always been able to get on the pace straight away from stage one, some others can need a few stages before they get up to full speed, so that helps me” he added.
Ari works for Paddon Rally Group in Cromwell spending his work hours building and maintaining Rally and Race cars for Paddon’s company. In his evenings he prepares the Manukau Auto Centre owned Barina AP4. Ari gets help with his crew team and extra help from his workmates at Paddon’s business, along with willing advice from Hayden Paddon himself. Stu Weeber of Christchurch has also put in a big effort to help get the car ready for this season.
Rally fans had already noticed Ari’s ability in his BMW. With navigator champion Jason Farmer joining the team and the help of Hayden Paddon and his crew, many expect the team to continue to increase their speed. Ari is already showing good speed in the highest class in the NZ Rally Championship.
Next event for the Manukau Auto Centre owned Barina AP4 is the International Rally of Whangarei, the Rally supported by Mark Cromie Motor Group. Ari and Jason are set to go, Ari commented “I can’t wait to head north to the awesome cambered roads of Whangarei, especially after our success there last year.” Ari won 2WD and 7th overall in 2021 Whangarei Rally in his old BMW and hopes 2022 will be even better for the team in their top class AP4 car. This event starts Friday evening 13th May and runs through Saturday and Sunday 14 & 15th.
Ari and Jason thank the help from Manukau Auto Centre – Mitre 10 Trade – Winmax Brake Pads – Paddon Rallysport – R&R Hiab Services – KeelowCraft Boats – Dunlop Tyres – Penrite Oil NZ - Guyton Reinforcing - Gilt Edge - Glasurit Ultra Paints – Universal Sign co – Prolook – Turboshop – The Flooring Centre. The team still have prominent logo and promotional opportunities to add more commercial supporters to join the team. Contact Ari at PaddonRallysport.co.nz
There’s no slowing down for Kiwi rally star Hayden Paddon as he and co-driver John Kennard line up as the top seeds at the second round of the New Zealand Rally Championship this weekend at the International Rally of Whangarei which takes place 13 to 15 May.
Running under the Hyundai New Zealand Rally banner this season, Paddon aims to make the most of every minute on the 253km of special stages of the Whangarei event as he and Kennard prepare to return to Europe and the intensity of competition in the FIA World Rally Championship-2 within the next two months.
The five-time New Zealand Rally Champion knows his own performance can only benefit from as much seat time as possible. To secure the win in Whangarei with maximum points for the current NZRC title, Paddon and his team will be working hard to ensure a trouble-free run in the Hyundai i20 AP4.
The Hyundai crew came away from the first NZRC round in Otago last month with the win and top points, as well as a few things they wanted to improve on the car. These tweaks and improvements have been done and Paddon is looking forward to getting into the action which starts on Friday evening with the Pohe Island super special stage in William Fraser Memorial Park near downtown Whangarei.
Paddon’s quotes: “A maximum point score is again the target and that puts a lot of emphasis on having a trouble-free event. There are stage records up for grabs, but we may have to balance challenging those depending on the conditions.
“Otago was a good warm-up for the season ahead, but it was exactly that – a warm-up. We know there is more in myself and the car, so we are focused on extracting that to put together a more polished performance.
“Any and all seat time before we go to Europe is absolutely vital, so this rally plays a key role in our preparation for WRC2.
“We have made several changes to the car. In Otago we essentially had all the right ingredients in the pot from pre-season testing, but we just didn’t have them in the right way. So, we have rectified a lot of that which should make the car easier to drive.”
Alongside his NZRC campaign, Paddon and Hyundai New Zealand Rally created a local community project, dubbed the Paddon Project, to support a deserving local in the regions where the NZRC events are held. Thanks to the support of Paddon’s official partners, people in the rally regions can nominate a deserving local to win a prize pack including $2000 cash, a $500 Mitre 10 voucher and more.
The Paddon Project got underway with the Otago Rally with two deserving families associated with New Zealand’s passionate rallying community. Paddon and the team headed along to St Peter Chanel school in Green Island, Dunedin to visit and deliver an array of prizes to motorsport-mad brothers Jensen and Ari West who lost their mother to cancer two years ago. Long-time motorsport official Mike Hosken has been through some financial challenges so it was an easy decision to present Mike with the $2000 cash prize for the Otago round of the Paddon Project.
A number of worthy applicants were put forward for the Whangarei round of the Paddon Project, with three being selected.
Paddon says: “The intention of this programme is to give back to the many communities we visit across New Zealand as part of the New Zealand Rally Championship. So, to offer both the $2,000 cash to Mike then to visit Jensen and Ari at St Peter Chanel school was heart-warming.
“We’re looking forward to meeting the three Paddon Project recipients we’ve selected from the Whangarei nominations and sharing the generous prizes from our commercial partners.”
More information on the Paddon Project is available here - https://paddonrallysport.co.nz/paddons-project/.
We are not sure about Hawkes Bay yet, so will keep it in. Yes we can talk about our new 6 part series of Driven airing on TV3 next Sunday, following our team behind the scenes on events in NZ and abroad
A third season of the popular, behind-the-scenes documentaries following Paddon and his team starts on Sunday, 15 May on Three's CRC Motorsport show. The six episode season following the team’s three different rally cars throughout the 2022 season.
Paddon and Hyundai New Zealand Rally appreciate the support of Hyundai New Zealand, Mitre 10 Trade, Z Energy, Makita, Bailey Caravans, Ben Nevis Station, Winmax Brakes, Gravity Internet, Pak N’ Save, Bars Bugs, Pirelli, OMP/Racer Products, Mike Greer Homes, Bartercard, Accessman, Sign It Signs, Carters Tyre Service and Provident Insurance.
|International Rally of Whangarei|
|17||Antony Te Rito||+22:14.0|
|APRC Qualifying Series|
|NZ Rally Championship|
|Mainland Rally Series|
|2||Marcus Van Klink||41|
|AASA Tarmac Championship|