Coromandel Rally 2015 feature Copyright Jason Byrne-1
Photo credit: Jason Byrne

Mahindra Goldrush Rally of Coromandel – Sideways event report

Well another rally done and I have to say, a very enjoyable one.

The Mahindra Goldrush Rally of Coromandel started with a carnival atmosphere in the town centre.  I was impressed with the number of people that had ventured out to see what all the fuss was about.  The cars looked impressive all lined up, with Shannon Chambers new Polo getting a lot of attention.

Lance Williams and Crunch BennettAs the it got closer to the ceremonial start time, the street was filled with fans, supporters, drivers and co-drivers, magicians, clowns, and even stilt walking fairies!  Not what I expected to see.  I did enjoy the trolley racing.  Seeing Crunch Bennett running/pushing Lance Williams up the street in a trolley whilst a transvestite in the opposing trolley smacked Lance in the face with a shopping bag was priceless!

Dee had come with me and was on a mission to see if she could get my stickers on peoples cars, and I have to say I was very impressed with how many she managed to get them on.  I would like to thank Dee for supporting and helping push my site and what I’m doing.  I also want to thank the following drivers who I saw sporting my stickers on their cars during the weekend (in no particular order):Coromandel Rally 2015 Copyright Jason Byrne-190

Phil Campbell
Marcus van Klink
Emma Gilmour
Brian Green
Sloan Cox
Paul Fraser
Brynley Smith
Max Bayley
Simon Bell
Tony Gosling
Matt Summerfield
Jack Williamson
Lance Williams
Jono Shapley
Anthony Jones (sorry Jonesy – Dee will straighten the crooked one next time we see you, preferably before she’s had a drink!)

There might have even been more (sorry if I missed you), but these are the ones I saw through the camera.  Thank you so much, your support is very much appreciated!

After the ceremonial start, it was time to head off to a pub for dinner.  Unfortunately the pub was full and only had seating outside.  It was a bit on the chilly side, but a most enjoyable evening with some friends, old and new, over a beer or two.

On rally day, we had decided to head into the junction in the 309, as it’s a great place to spectate with the Water Gardens close by for food and refreshments, parking, and toilets.  This year I hiked into the stage a ways, as I had been told of a possible jump.  The place had potential but it was gonna require a brave pill to stand there!  I managed the first few cars over the crest, but the speed Alex Kelsey’s MC2 came over, and where and how he landed, definitely made the brave pill wear off real quick, so I moved on.  Here’s some footage of Lance Williams later on, with a couple of spectators quickly finding out why no-one was stood there.

Ben Hunt was driving very clean and fast as usual, with Phil Campbell doing his best to not let Ben get too far ahead.   Lance Williams, who was celebrating his 21st birthday, was having a day full of moments he was lucky to get away with.  Several of which were caught by photographers / spectators. (See above).

Matt Summerfield was, as ever, fast and consistent despite trying to manage some overheating and tyre issues.  He is certainly well placed to get 3rd overall in the NZRC this year.  Emma Gilmour also showed some pace, although ultimately, a failed master switch stopped Emma from being able to challenge for a top spot.

It was good to see Dave Holder back and racing again.  I have to say he never looked overly quick past me, but he certainly had pace finishing in 3rd place.  Good on ya Dave!  Whilst I’m writing about Dave, he is selling a whole heap of rally tyres on Trademe to help him get to Rally Wairarapa – click on this link if you can help Dave out and buy some tyres.  I’m sure he’d really appreciate it.

It was great to see Sloan Cox and Dylan Turner put on a bit of a show for the large crowd spectating at the Tar Seal Super Special – it went down really well.  But I have to say Jonesy takes out the biggest cheer from the crowd as he came into the turn around point so fast, and so late on the brakes.  I’m glad I was there to see it – outstanding!

I also want to say how neat it was to see competitors from the South Island make it to the event.  I can’t afford to cover many events on the South Island, so always enjoy seeing them come North and competing (generally doing extremely well too!).  Thanks for making the effort teams and hope to see you again at Wairarapa!

I had a great weekend, although I have to admit was too tired to make it to prizegiving despite really wanting to go!  Dee wrote the following on her Facebook page, and I think it sums it up pretty well.

” This weekend we went to the Mahindra Coromandel Rally in Whitianga.  I’d just like to say how awesome it was. Thank you to everyone who helped organise it and put it all together. Without that kind of support, there wouldn’t be rallies in New Zealand.  And ALL of these people are volunteers!  And thank you too to the drivers, co-drivers, and support team.

You’re all an awesome bunch of people that Jason and I have met over the years, and have been made to feel very welcome, and a part of the rally community.

Bring on the next one!!! Woohoooooo!!!!!!! xx”

I couldn’t have summed it up any better!

Full gallery of over 300 photos now online here



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