As you well know, 2014 has been an extremely busy year. We have wrapped up the year in good form which has left us in a great position to have a stab at next year. In the process we are National 2wd Champions and National FIA 2wd Champions. We also claim 2nd in the Rookie division. I am wrapped with this, as I came into the year with a new car, new co-driver and new championship, so to come out with some silverware is awesome!
The year started with a 2 day event in Whangarei. We loved the roads and really started to get in a rhythm, we suffered a flat tyre on day 2 but still managed to come out with a good result. Almost from one end of the country to the next, the next event was also a two day event in Otago. These roads were awesome, nothing like I have ever driven on! The rally went largely drama free and we finished up just out of the top 10 in the NZRC. Rally Canterbury followed, and my first taste of night stages. I loved the night stages, and ended up setting times in the top 10 overall! The rally was however very demanding, with patches of ice popping up throughout the day but we again made it to the finish.
Rally Wairarapa was the next in line, and this also had some great roads! This was the first time I felt like we had the car in a real rhythm, and again we bought it back unscratched. There was 2 months wait till the Coromandel Rally, so it took a bit to get back into it, but we struggled a bit on the tights twisty roads to keep the momentum up. The mighty Fiesta only puts out 160hp and even then we were canvasing tyres! The final round, but not the least, essentially compressing two days into one was the Daybreaker Rally. The 4am start only held the darkness for one stage, and after that we were into the heavily shingled roads. The fast flowing sections we set some really great times, but again we struggled on the narrow twisty sections. It was all about nursing the car to the end though, with some end of season teething problems coming through.
So all in all we set out to what we were aiming for, finishing every round, and by my calculations being one out of two in the NZRC that did so, got the hang of the car and its still in one piece! It was a great year and we really enjoyed the challenge, and look forward to next season. We did a small rallysprint a couple of weekends ago, and took the old man for a ride for the first time in 3 years! He made it to the end before swearing this time, but it was a great way to finish the year. We have started to pull apart the car now, giving it a good rebuilt and freshen up before next season.
So time for a couple of statistics for the year, we competed in over 1200km of competitive stages in 6 Rallies, 66 Stages and also two rallysprints. We featured in 8 televised episodes on TV3, with a total of over 217,000 viewers. We had a 100% finish rate. The service truck did over 8000km. We went through a daunting amount of tyres.
So a huge thanks goes to everybody who helped for the season, Trev Sandilands has spent many hours behind the scenes preparing the car and servicing at the rallies. Since he has been preparing our cars/codriven we have finished 16 out of 17 rallies, and only DNF’d because a small slip up on my half. Also thanks to everybody else that gave Trev a hand servicing, Dad, Steven, Denis, Norm, Pete. Phillip called awesome notes all season, we all learnt a lot off his professional approach to the sport, and he was the other half of the reason I kept it on the road so a big thanks goes to him. On that note, he has put in so much effort for us this year, but unfortunately is unable to continue next season due to other commitments, so keep your eyes peeled for a new face in the co-drivers seat.
Finally thanks to all the sponsors for the support, Farmlands, Gull, Freshmax, HB Aviation, VJ Distributors and John Bates, your backing really helps us and we appreciate it!