Catlins Rally – third time lucky?

We’ve only done Catlins twice – even though I’m a Southlander of 35 years now in Christchurch, but I’m not a Cantabrian.

Our 1st attempt of the Catlins Rally in the WRX went well, chasing Derek Ayson all day. With only 20 seconds behind him, going into the long stage we caught and followed a car for a few kilometres.  We managed to pull back 10 seconds, leaving us in a comfortable 4th overall.  The final 1.5 kilometre super special was just a formality, when brain fade took control and saw us clipping a rut on the outside of the only corner in the stage and flipping us over.  This was the 1st roll in a rally in 25 years in the sport. Rally rules kicked in, and we got slowest time and finished 6th overall. But we still managed 1st in the pre 96 class.

Last year we entered in an EVO IV, full of confidence with a new car and ready to do better.  Near the end of the second stage, and after a lot of ice and snow, a crest facing north with no snow but packed ice caught us off guard and over we went.  The most entertaining part was the ice and snow coming in the roof vent as we slid down the road on our roof.

This year it looks like snow again. Both Steve and I have had a blast the last few years and we’re not going to let this rally beat us!

David Clearwater


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