Gull Fuels will provide support to six young drivers competing in the 2014 New Zealand Rally Championship via the Gull Rally Scholarship initiative. The Gull Rally Scholarship which commenced in 2012 is aimed at supporting the development of up and coming talent in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, with drivers selected receiving a free entry to one of the six championship rounds, along with a Gull fuel package. The scholarship has helped many aspiring young rally drivers to succeed successfully at National and International level.
Ulrik Olsen, Commerical Manager of Gull New Zealand Limited says the company is passionate about motorsport and supporting the ambitions of young drivers. “Gull is extremely proud and excited to be part of the 2014 New Zealand Rally Championship. We wish everyone the best of luck,” commented Olsen on Gull’s involvement.
“At Gull, it’s always been our priority to offer Kiwi motorists the highest quality fuel for the best value and our partnership with the New Zealand Rally Championship is a true testament to the performance and quality of our fuel,” says Olsen.
Recipients of the Gull scholarship for 2014 are David Holder (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo – Tauranga), Lance Williams (Subaru Impreza – Te Aroha), Matt Summerfield (Subaru Impreza – Rangiora), Richard Baddock (Subaru Impreza – Canterbury), Max Bayley (Ford Fiesta R2 – Hawkesbay) and Hamish Anderson (Toyota Levin – Canterbury).
Holder will be making the step up to an ex-Hayden Paddon Evo 8 after a couple of impressive seasons in front wheel drive cars. Holder’s rally career is also being assisted via mentoring from National Champion Hayden Paddon. Lance Williams has only contested one season of rallying, but the 19 year old has shown great natural ability and pace. The talented rookie will make his debut in the NZRC, driving a Possum Bourne Motorsport prepared Subaru Impreza.
Matt Summerfield is a previous 2WD and 4WD open class national champion, and secured his first NZRC podium finish at the Daybreaker Rally last year. Fellow Canterbury driver Richard Baddock was one of the standout performers in his rookie season last year, and has started 2014 with a win at the Westland Rally last month.
Max Bayley will make his debut in the NZRC this year in a R2 spec Ford Fiesta. Bayley started his motorsport career in speedway before entering regional events in a Toyota Levin last year where a number of impressive performances have shown his talent. Hamish Anderson returns to defend the 2WD Open Class championship he secured last year in his Toyota Levin
Rally New Zealand Chairman Peter “PJ” Johnston recognises the assistance provided to young drivers in the championship. “The scholarship helps these guys compete at the top level of the sport in New Zealand, and it is a credit to Gull’s commitment to New Zealand motorsport that they provide this assistance. We also appreciate the continued support of the organisers of the individual National Championship events who provide a free entry to a scholarship recipient for their events,” commented PJ.
The successful Gull Rally Scholarship applicants have some obligations in return. “These include being available for promotional activities as part of the championship as well as carrying defined Gull livery on their cars. They also participate in mentoring sessions where our experienced Championship competitors will pass on some of their knowledge on anything from car setup to event preparation. It is a great recognition of the efforts each of these teams make to participate in the series, that they are selected for this support.”
The 2014 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ kicks off with the VINZ International Rally of Whangarei on 11-13 April, before travelling to Dunedin, Christchurch, Masterton, Whitianga and wrapping up in the Manawatu in late September.
Tauranga Driver and Gull scholarship recipient David Holder will graduate from the front wheel drive Fiesta campaigned in 2013, to an ex-Hayden Paddon Mitsubishi Evo 8. Photo credit: Euan Cameron
High flying Canterbury Subaru driver Richard Baddock was one of the standout rookie drivers in the 2013 Championship. Photo credit: Euan Cameron