Round 1 Tangoio Road Rallysprint
Jackson Clendon & Andrew Brooks Ford Fiesta ST Car #17
Sunday February 21st 2021
The Central Reigion Sprint Series is a series of rally sprints based in the lower north island of New Zealand. There are always hard fought battles in all classes but Round 1 of this year’s Series proved to be battled between classes.
Rally Sprinting is a totally different format to rallying, which see’s competitors battle it out with runs on the same road over and over (generally consisting of 1 Practice Run & 3 timed official runs).
I myself am returning to the series this year at selected events with Jackson as the defending winning Co-Driver of the series in 2020.
On Sunday we were greeted by a typical Hawkes Bay Summer’s Day, Hot, Sunny & not a breath of wind to Tackle Hawkes Bay Car Clubs annual running on their iconic Tangoio Rd Rallysprint. This year however, it was to be run in the opposite direction, running down the hill. At 5.2kms in length it had a bit of everything, tight & technical down the hill and finishing fast and flowing.
Our Practice run consisted of a three quarter pace run to check our pacenotes in preparation for our 1st official timed run. We posted a decent time of 3.48.60 placing us in 5th spot with no real adjustment needed to our notes.
Official Run 1
Our 1st run in 100% anger saw us have a very smooth and consistent run with plenty of commitment by Jackson to the notes I was supplying and we managed to stop the clock at 3.34.88, 2nd only to Wayne Pittams in his Semog Bravo Cross Cart by 7 tenths of a second and ahead of the more fancied 4wd Turbo machines of 4 times series champion Daniel Feck and Tangoio Rd Master Garath Mclachlan. Our little 2wd, 4 cylinder machine was giving away over 200hp in power but was running like a dream.
Official Run 2
The light went Green, and we were gone in a cloud of dust, Driver, Co-Driver and Car were at one with each other. Another committed effort between Driver & Notes saw us shave a further 1 second per km off our previous best, scorching through the 5kms in an impressive 3.30.11. Unfortunately so did our competitors, pulling all the stops and not wanting to get beaten by our 2wd Fiesta. We were now in 4th overall and less than 3 seconds off the leaders time, Unfortunately that is where we would end up, a fellow competitor going through a fence and catching fire bringing a premature end to the event.
Final Standings saw us 1st in Class D by 23 seconds and 4th overall, with the point structure unique to our series we sit equal 1st in the series.
We are totally thrilled with the result, we gelled in the car really well together and we are looking forward to the huge NZRC commitment that lies ahead.
A huge THANKYOU to our valued sponsors that make this Possible and of course to the event organisers and volunteers for choking on our dust, in hot conditions.
by Andrew Brooks