Ken Block - International Rally of Whangarei
Ken Block - International Rally of Whangarei

Happy New Year

I wanted to take a moment to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me and this site throughout 2015 – especially my wonderful wife Dee!  It was probably my best year from my point of view.  I don’t think the photos, or reports from me were anything special, but what made the year for me was the people I met in the stages, chatted to online, and had a beer with.

2015 has given me some really memorable moments.  So much so, that I’ve really struggled to know what photos to put up with this blog, but I knew I couldn’t go past his image of the “Munted Crew” from Otago Rally.  These guys (and girls!) really knew how to enjoy spectating at a rally.  I really hope I bump into you all again in 2016!

The Munted Crew - Otago Rally 2015
The Munted Crew – Otago Rally 2015

Another highlight for me was seeing Hayden Paddon competing in a BDA Escort at Otago.  It really was unreal.  His commitment and sheer bravery is breathtaking.  If you don’t believe me, check out his in-car footage of Kuri Bush!  Amazing!

Onboard from the final stage of Otago Rally – Kuri Bush. We apologise for the poor audio, it seems the camera doesn’t like the high revving BDA as much as we do. Enjoy!
Posted by Hayden Paddon on Sunday, May 10, 2015

I wish I had been able to get to more club events in 2015, but I have to say, finding out when and where they were was not as easy as previous years, and I’ve had many people mention the same thing to me.  Come on clubs – get in touch with me and let me spread the word about your events.

I would like to say a BIG thank you to Ross Teesdale for sending in some fantastic event reports, along with photos from Kevin Corin.  Thanks guys.  It’s been awesome to be able to have more content from the South Island, as I can’t afford to come down myself.  Great effort and very much appreciated not just by me, but by everyone who follows this site.

Speaking of which, for the second year running now I’ve managed to get over 4.5million hits on the site!  That blows me away as this is only a small rally website here in New Zealand, but shows it gets seen all over the world.

I was going to pick my Top 10 images from 2015, but it just became too hard!  I have so many that I like, not just because of the photo, but the memory that goes with it.  So instead I’m going to indulge myself and put some video up of me driving my Escort.  Hayden’s video above has definitely left me feeling inadequate behind the wheel, but considering the actual seat time I’ve had, I don’t go too bad for a photographer!  The last clip in the sequence was the moment things went wrong for me and the reason the car has been on stands for the last 18+months.  It also doesn’t help that Dee bought a new car on the Friday and my car died on the Sunday – so guess where the repair money went!  I’m hoping the Escort will be on the gravel later this month, and definitely plan to do more events in 2016.

Thanks to Chris at C.Rally for some of the footage used in this montage of clips.

So what’s new for 2016?
I’ve become heavily involved in a new event coming to New Zealand following a chance meeting at a fund raising dinner, where I bumped into Ron Dixon.  He shared with me his dream of bringing Rallycross to New Zealand.  I offered to help him by promoting the event with an article on this site.  As some of you have started to see, that offer has become way more.  I’m now heavily involved in helping Ron realise his dream.  I will be posting more about this during January, but to keep an eye on what’s going on, you can check out his website or like his Facebook page  I’ve had several people question me if the event will even happen.  Yes!  It will be happening!  We have some overseas drivers coming, along with heaps of interesting cars and drivers from Rallying and ORANZ.  I think it’s going to be an awesome event with 60 races over 2 days!  As far as I know, there’s already 8 cars from the South Island coming up to take part, which is awesome!

Don’t worry though, stage rallying is still a passion and I will definitely be back in the stages in 2016.  It would be nice to be able to cover every round of the NZRC and as many clubs events as time will allow.  Unfortunately I’m so busy at work, finding time is going to be difficult, but I will do the best I can!.

The NZRC will be very exciting in 2016, and I’m really looking forward to watching the new AP4 cars out in the stages.  Fingers crossed too that we get to see Richard and Sara Mason back out on the gravel as they’ve been sorely missed.

Thanks to each and every one of you that has helped and supported me throughout 2015 (especially Dee!).  It’s very much appreciated!

I hope you and your families had a great Christmas, and a very Happy New Year.

I look forward to doing it all again in 2016!



Here’s just a few images from 2015



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