Alex Kelsey - Overall winner for the Mamaku Rally Sprint

Mamaku Rally Sprint

So it’s been a while since the event (3 weeks to be precise) but I’ve been pretty busy trying to get this new website up and running and encouraging people to get involved.  Please subscribe by clicking *Follow button on the bottom right hand side of the site if you’d like an email when there’s something new on the site.

I actually found writing an article on the day really difficult.  It didn’t come easy and took me a lot longer to do than expected, so please go easy on me when you read it 🙂

This event was really different for me and Jase (co-driver).  We were going to try using pace notes for the first time.  neither of us had any experience in using them and were feeling a little apprehensive.  Luckily we were parked next to Mitch James in the service park, and he had Venita Fabbro co-driving for him.  Venita co-drives for Phil Campbell at a National Level so is very experienced. Venita and Phil had also been responsible for writing the pace notes the day before.  As soon as we’d been giving the notes at the drivers briefing we went over and asked for some advice, which turns out to be the best thing we could have done. – Thanks Venita

I had purchased a new in-car camera for this event. The new Go-Pro 2 HD.  It was easy to set up and installed into the car. It even has an input for our intercom, but we choose not to use that this time.  The placement of the camera looked good but soon proved to be a right pain in the arse to set the unit recording due to the roll cage, seat and harnesses.  I hope they bring out the wi-fi remote in NZ soon!!  I new it was a wide angle camera, but didn’t expect it to be so wide that you’d be looking at the back of our heads!  I should have read the manual before putting it in the car (but who ever does that?!).  We could have set the camera to spot meter to allow for the bright light outside the car.  You’d have thought that between the two photographers in the car we’d have realised that!

So before long we were on the start line.  Camera and notes ready, time to focus …..

We soon learnt that corners marked 7 and 8’s are hard to see at speed (Venita had warned us this might be the case).  They just appear to be small kinks in a long straight.  Due to this we got lost in the notes a few times, but on the whole I think we did pretty good for a first attempt.  I certainly have total respect for ALL co-drivers now.  They have to pay attention to the notes, and be able to keep looking up to check we’re still on the notes, and have no control of the car!!  We managed one stage from start to finish on the notes.  It felt great to have done it.

The car was going great since the modifications that PF Auto did.  The car was responsive on the power where it had been lacking before.  The new tyres really helped too.  We started to push and did improve our times, but found after a while we couldn’t improve them any more.  I suspect I was trying too hard and over-driving, spending too much time sideways but I had the best time 🙂  My confidence in the car is definitely growing, I just need more time in the seat doing events like this one.  I used to say I wasn’t bothered by my times, but with Jase encouraging me I find myself looking at the times more and more.  I’m only ever there to compete against myself, but its good to keep pushing to beat my own times.

Alex Kelsey – Overall winner for the Mamaku Rally Sprint

It was great to see a good turn out and huge variety of cars and budgets. Alex Kelsey turned up in his Subaru WRX (what a weapon that is!) He was really fast, as expected.

The aftermath of Alex’s roll at Rally Otago – Photo from Otago Daily Times




It was amazing to see him at the event as it wasn’t that long ago that he had barrel rolled this car at over 180kph!  Good on ya Alex for having great spirit and determination!



Shane Wright had a great day doing extremely well in his Skyline.  1st in class in his R32 Skyline

Shane Wright – 1st in class at Mamaku Rally Sprint

Mitch James also did really well with a 1st in class and 3rd overall – Good job Mitch.

Mitch James – 1st in class and 3rd overall

The event ran really well thanks to all the hard work the organisers and marshals put in (well before the event and on the day)  Thanks everyone for making it such an enjoyable day out.

Here’s a compilation of all the footage we managed to get hold of from the spectator point.

If you have any photos, videos or stories from the day get in touch and share them here.

Until next time, keep it sideways and have fun



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