Meet the Driver – Matt Summerfield

Matt Summerfield
Matt Summerfield

Name: Matt Summerfield
Age: 21
Motorsport class: NZRC 4WD
Current rally car: 2003 Subaru impreza STI

At what age were you when you first got involved in motorsport?
12.  I did my first local autocross in a front wheel drive corolla, managed not to come last!

Who was your biggest influence in rallying when growing up?
Dad (Les Summerfield). Went to every event he was competing in for years. He sat with me in my first rally at Hamner. I’m very lucky to have such a supportive family when it comes to rallying. Having my sister Nicole calling the notes is even better.  We know each other well and work well together.

What was your very first rally car?
1981 KP61 Starlet.  Its a fun car to drive which is still in the family.  Still do the odd event in it these days for a bit of fun.  Don’t want to sell it to anyone now!

What has been the most fun rally car you have owned?
I cant decide on this one! The Starlet , Skoda, and Subaru all have their qualities making them fun to drive.  Driving any of them is great fun!

What is the ultimate special stage / rally for you?
Kuri Bush has to be my favourite stage.  Not too sure why just is always the highlight of competing at Otago.  Canterbury is my favourite rally being a home event and I quite like the forestry roads they use.

What is your rally highlight to date?
Winning the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally in the Skoda was awesome and winning Canterbury in 2012 was great too.

What vehicle format would you recommend for young drivers entering motorsport. Front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or 4 wheel drive and why?
If they’re looking for fun Id say RWD otherwise FWD if they’re looking to progress in the sport as driving a FWD car teaches you good habits for driving a 4WD.

What advice could you give an up-and-coming driver looking for sponsorship?
Keep trying!  Sometimes looking for sponsorship can be very hard and its easy to get pretty down and out about it, but if you keep trying you never know who may turn up.

In your opinion who was the best rally driver of all time and why?
Loeb , super smooth and has had such a long run of success at the top level.

Other than rally what other things / work are you involved in?
I’m an apprentice electrician at the moment which keeps me busy during the week.  I play a bit of indoor sports with Richard Baddock funnily enough.  Helps keep me fit for Rallying

What do you like to do to relax when not rallying?
Don’t relax too much, its either at the workshop working on something or at home looking at stages.  Also spend a few hours on the simulator

Do you have any other talents that would surprise people(are you a budding artist / musician etc.)?
No not really unfortunately, being a pro golfer would sure help with going rallying, though putting all my eggs in one basket with Rallying.

What’s your goal for 2014?
Set some good times in NZRC. Work on my notes and would like to get on the NZRC podium that would be great!

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