Well it was a great feeling to finish the Coromandel rally on Saturday. We had a very disappointing DNS at Gisborne due to a suspected issue with the gear box. It turned out to be the correct decision not to race that day as the problem was related to the final drive and wouldn’t have lasted the distance. As we were waiting on parts to be flown in, we completed the Tauranga Clubmans Rally with a standard gearbox complete with original diff. With Jim Williamson (Skippy) as a novice co-driver, we certainly had a lot of fun and managed to finish 10th overall. Jim was less interested in navigating and more interested in encouraging both car and driver to go faster … with a good result!
The Coromandel Rally went really well with our No 1 gearbox back in and it was interesting to compare stage times to last year. While we thought our main problem would be running out of tyres, it was actually the brakes overheating, particularly on the Tapu – Coroglen stage with a long downhill section. We had Marty and Len in car 54 pushing us along all day and we ended up with around six seconds between us over the day.
While it was a pity Bryn Smith wasn’t able to compete in the Coromandel Rally, it was great that he made it over to the rally with Sue and his team to support everyone. Some great results this season Bryn!
With the NZRC 2016 season now over, we are already planning modifications to improve speed for next year. The 2016 season has been a very enjoyable one and a big thanks to all the Rally NZ team and volunteers for all their effort.
A special thanks to our service crew who ran a very professional operation and to our sponsors: Handy Rentals, WDE Ltd and Automotive Technicians.