Rally driver Nathan Tough from Hastings and co-driver Samantha Gray from Christchurch, finished 3rd in the Category 2 2WD class at last weekend’s Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel.
The rally was round four the Brain Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, this was the pairs first time entered in this class with it also being Nathan’s first NZRC event. There was 7 stages totalling 125km of rallying over stages that were predominantly gravel with some tarmac sections.
The podium finish wasn’t an easy task to achieve, the pair experienced multiple mechanical issues throughout the day including overheating and an oil fire, but Tough and Gray persevered and got the Honda CRX to the finish line.
“We had a challenging day, at the first service I thought it was all over but we managed to keep the car running and got to the finish, even with the mechanical problems and the car filling with smoke on stage 4, Nathan was putting out some great times and it was a real credit to him to get the car to the finish and on the podium” said Gray.
“With Gray attending both the Motorsport NZ Elite Motorsport academy and the Rally NZ Co-drivers academy, I felt very prepared for the event. I have been seeing a sport psychologist provided by the Elite academy leading up to this rally which helped me get into the right head space, and helped me cope with the pressures that are involved with competing in a national series” Said Gray.
“The Rally NZ academy helped me with pacenotes, regulations and general preparation for the event, there is a mega amount of behind the scenes preparation that goes into a rally from both the co-driver and the driver, therefore, everything I learnt at the academy helped me make sure that nothing goes wrong on the co-drivers side” Said Gray.
Nathan backed this up saying, “Sam was excellent on the notes, all day keeping a clear head, even continuing to read the pace notes while having an off road excursion!, to get on the podium of our first NZRC event was a great result”. Next year Nathan hopes to contest the entire championship with the goal of winning the Category 2 title.
The pair were very happy with this result considering their first time together and the problems they faced, they would not have been able to get this result without the huge amount of help from the service crew Jason King, Steve Gray, and Rebecca Tough, and to all our sponsors, Stadium Finance, Stadium Motorsport, Paddon Foundation, Elite Motorsport Academy, Rally NZ Co-drivers Academy, Mag and Tyre, Rose City Cars, Tomoana Warehousing, and GT Oils.