Historic Rally Challenge driver, Jeff Judd, is ready to tackle the third round of the New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) this weekend in his BNT Ford Escort at his home-event in Canterbury.
Held around the Ashley and Okuku Forests near Rangiora, Canterbury Rally is one of Judd’s favourite events though he says with almost 90 entries, it won’t be easy to get a good result.
“I’m really looking forward to this event and it’s great to see so many people have entered it. The roads are always fantastic, and although this is my home rally, I don’t have any real advantage. All of my competitors in the historic class are Christchurch locals too so it’s definitely going to be a challenging event,” explained Judd.
“The weather could play an important role in the outcome of this event too,” said Judd, “the recent rain and cold weather we’ve had will help with dust and tyre wear, meaning we have more tyre choices, and that could potentially be a performance leveller.”
Judd, and co-driver Grant Marra [Christchurch], currently sit second in the Historic Rally Challenge Championship points, behind multiple champion Marcus van Klink also from Christchurch.
In preparation for the one-day sprint, the BNT Ford Escort has undergone some maintenance work with a new clutch and new rear vented brakes fitted to it, along with a rebuilt gearbox.
“Our main aim is to be in a strong position for the final in August at Whitianga [Rally of Coromandel] and for the Silver Fern Rally in November, so in order to do that, we need to look after the car. Checking those crucial parts like the gearbox in between rounds is very important and over the weekend we’ll be trying to take it easy on the engine by restricting the revs,” explained Judd.
Canterbury Rally is also a family affair for Judd, with his eldest son Taylor also competing in a Toyota DX Corolla, and younger-son Harry joining wife Lisa as supporters throughout the weekend.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of my family. I’m very lucky to have family who are as passionate about rallying as I am,” said Judd.
Canterbury Rally gets underway on Sunday 5 June at Joe’s Garage in Rangiora before crews compete across 171 kilometres of closed special stages around the Ashley and Okuku Forests. The rally then finishes at Lone Star in Christchurch that evening.
The next round on the NZRC calendar is the Gisborne Rally, held on July 2nd, though Judd may have to skip the Gisborne event and aim for the finale in Coromandel.
Jeff Judd Rallysport’s campaign is supported by Magnum Compliance, BNT, VINZ, HDPS, John Jones Steel, Import Part Specialists and Springston Hotel.
Media release by Alana McIsaac (May 2016)