Tauranga’s Andy Martin will return for his second shot at the Historic challenge, part of the 2015 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, kicking off this weekend at Rally Whangarei.
Martin made his championship debut in 2014 driving the immaculate NZ Forest leasing Mazda RX-3, completing a turbulent season that offered up a first round win as well as frustrating mechanical failures.
The off-season has seen the RX-3 freshened by the team at Palmside Automotive while also receiving a new rear end more commonly seen in Escorts in an effort to get the power from the Mazda’s 13B engine to the ground.
Last year, Martin made his championship debut on the roads around the Northland town and a steady run was rewarded with a podium finish. This year, Martin faces stiff opposition from defending Historic champion Marcus van Klink and two-time outright champion Brian Stokes, but with the developments to the car, is confident of taking the challenge to them.
The team have been busy testing the car to the limits of the rear end to ensure complete reliability across the championship, something that is critical in mounting a serious championship campaign.
“I’m really looking forward to getting underway at Whangarei. We’ve done a lot of work to the rear end of the car over the off-season as well as a complete freshen up,” says Martin. “It is certainly a very competitive field in the Historic class this year but we are certainly a lot better prepared than we were 12 months ago, so we’ll be giving it a good crack.”
Rally Whangarei gets underway with two super special stages on Friday April 17. The serious action begins the following day with eight high-speed special stages north of the host town, while Sunday sees a further six special stages before the finish at the Whangarei town basin.
Press Release by BB Media