It was always going to be a busy year but that turned out to be a bit of an understatement! It has certainly been a challenge working fulltime in my business specialising in motorsport engineering and also driving in the NZRC for the season.
There was a lot of added pressure being involved with other race teams (particularly Hayden Paddon’s NZ Hyundai team) and ensuring we were match fit ourselves. I have also been involved with some other exciting projects and with just a few days to spare before the rally I flew back from the USA where I was involved with Reg Cook’s World Speed Record in Bonnyville.
The Hyundai NZ 2018 Raglan Rally of the Coast was our home event and our farm is only 15 minutes from down town Raglan -how easy is that! The Hella/Hyundai spectator corner out on the Whanga Coast was a sight to behold. As we made our way around the stage on the first loop it was mind blowing to see so many spectators out there enjoying themselves. Steady now … showing off always ends badly!
Coming off our disappointment at Coromandel Rally, this rally was a great event. The car was handling well and we had no issue with tyre wear; running Dunlop tyres again this year was a pleasure, they wear exceedingly well when a car is setup correctly. Despite what the commentators were saying, our speed on the rally was not attributed to knowing these local roads – we are just starting to enjoy the Subaru speed!!
Our service team was absolutely awesome again this year. We had the benefit of adding Tom Gilmour (military trained) to the team mid-season. Mike and Jared (who know the car inside out) also come across from the Hyundai team to assist with some services – it worked quite well with timing as once they were finished with Hayden, they would pop next door and help out with our service – THANKS guys! Hayden had to question where Jared’s loyalties lay when he wore one of our well recognised team beanies during the Hyundai service and was filmed! Oops.
Best moment for the season: Getting our first top 10 stage time at North Canterbury
Worst moment: Jamming in 6th gear just 14kms into stage 1 at Coromandel
Overall a fantastic season; we won 1st in the Teams Championship. The Tortoise and the Hare came through – we clearly had a slight advantage teaming up with Hayden Paddon! – Thanks to Brenda for doing a fantastic job as co-driver and a big thanks to Glenn who often had to pick up the pieces and manage the technical side of things without me. Thanks to our sponsors: Handy Rentals Hamilton and WDE.
PS: We are still waiting on royalties from the MoBro team for taking our IP and using it for their advantage – everyone knows Moey ( Dad) has owned the rights to the moustache for more years than the MoBros have been capable of growing one – our lawyers are currently talking to theirs!
PSS: Might have time to get an end of season haircut now!