Settling into the seat and getting on the throttle was what it was all about at Whangarei. This was the second rally for us in the Subaru R4 and what a fantastic couple of days. We managed a top speed of 196 km/hour so we are making some progress!
As Category 1 competitors we were invited to compete in the International Event and this saw us run 19th on the road. With being placed higher on the road, we got a much clearer run.
With a bit more speed on stage now we have started to front/rear the tyres between services. This is where an Evo Corse hydraulic rally jack really comes in handy for a quick change with a small co-driver!
Hiccups for the rally: Yep there were a few
- Oh dear – sick co-driver on Friday evening just before the ceremonial start –we were advised we were not allowed to change once the rally started so Lisa Hudson kindly waited in the wings while we assessed the situation and made a decision.
- Coming out of Service B we had to push the car (that is physically) with a fuel related issue and after completing some quite extensive running repairs, we arrived at the start of SS7 25 minutes late, incurring a 4.10 minute penalty. We would have been excluded from the rally once we hit the 30 minute mark so pretty close!
- We had very limited visibility on SS10 on Sunday morning with the window fogging up. Our heated windscreen didn’t clear the window quite as well as expected. Luckily we came across a used Anti-Fog windscreen wipe between stages.
Fantastic to have one of Australia’s top rally drivers, Brendon Reeves, drop in and help us for the one hour service on Saturday night. Handy that we carry sandpaper in the service truck! Cass did a great job of doing some running repairs to my helmet’s sun visor also. To have Mike and Jarrod help our team during the two days was awesome as they both know our Subaru so well! Those guys rock!
We had our little Mascot Freddie on board with us for the first time – he gets strapped in high up on the roll cage and has a fantastic view of the road. He is wearing suitable Personal Protective gear until he gets the hang of things. Not sure that his footwear is FIA compliant though. Check out his photo!
To see so many kids standing on the side of the roads as we toured between stages makes it such a cool sport. Waving and tooting and seeing the smile on their faces is magic. I can remember setting up seats on our farm at Raglan watching the WRC drivers go by when I was a little fellow. That’s where the idea to be a rally driver starts!
Thanks to Brenda for pushing on when sick and co-driving so well over the weekend and for our amazing service crew who give so much To see all the familiar faces of the volunteers year after year is incredible – Thanks to each and everyone one of you. Big SHOUTOUT to Erika Hughes who helps her Dad directing traffic in the service area – what a STAR and we look forward to giving her a ride in the car as she is so passionate about motorsport.
Special thanks to our sponsors Handy Rentals Hamilton and Williamson Design and Engineering Ltd. Thanks to Hayden Paddon for his ongoing support and to the Hyundai Rally Team for their help and good times during the rally.