Matt Jensen is looking forward to arriving at the start line of the 2021 International Rally of
Whangarei presented by Mark Cromie Motor Group on the 14th to the 16th of May. The key
difference for this event for the team is the step up to the Force Automotive built Mazda 2 AP4
rally car. Jensen said “At the end of 2020 we had time to reflect and while we were still
competitive in the older EVO 9, I could see the huge potential in stepping up to a modern
chassis”. At the start of 2021 Jensen had sold the Mitsubishi to a competitor in Australia and the
hunt began for a competitive replacement. “We considered a lot of different options, both locally
made and of R5 specification but I was really happy with the proven package Force Automotive
have built and developed with the Mazda 2 AP4” said Jensen. The Mazda represents a
significant increase in performance over the older production based Mitsubishi, “The increase in
suspension travel, along with the grip and confidence it gives is the biggest improvement over
the EVO” commented Jensen.
Jensen missed the first round of the Brain Green New Zealand Rally Championship in Otago
and recognises 2021 is a development year for the new car. Jensen said “The goal is to get
comfortable in the car, learn as much as we can and then steadily build on our pace”.
Jensen will once again be joined by Tyson Jemmett calling the notes in the navigator’s seat.
Jemmett said “I’m super excited about working with Matt once again and it’s going to be good
fun to get into an AP4 machine and compete in the NZRC”.
The 2021 International Rally of Whangarei presented by Mark Cromie Motor Group comprises
of two and a half days and 259 kilometers of competitive stages. The event starts on Friday
evening with the iconic Pohe Island Super Special Stage run twice under lights. The event then
heads north of Whangarei for 134 kilometers of action for the first full day. Finally, on Sunday the
crews will head South of Whangarei for a final 125 special stage kilometers before finishing
back at Semenoff Stadium in central Whangarei. Jensen has good experience of the event
having competed on it three times before, “I certainly enjoy competing on the roads around
Whangarei and having run here before makes it a great first event to settle into the Mazda” said
The Jensen Rallysport team acknowledge they wouldn’t be able to compete if it wasn’t for the
help of key partners. Panasonic have returned and with the help of their range of 18 Volt Power
Tools to keep the Mazda 2 AP4 maintained and running during the event. RH Motorsport has
come onboard this year as an advanced motorsport wiring specialist which is a critical
component for the performance and reliability for any race or rally car. Hyper Drive have also
joined the team and have New Zealand’s largest range of tyres online.
Jensen Rallysport thank the following supporters:
Panasonic, RH Motorsport, Hyper Drive, Hardkorr Lights, Dixcel Brakes, Gibbs Signs, Vertex
Oil, NZKW and Goosey’s 4×4 Customs.