Sun, 9 Aug 2020 - Summerfield wins Catlins Coast Rally 

Matt Summerfield of Christchurch drove superbly to win the twentieth edition of the Catlins Coast Rally in his Mitsubishi Mirage AP4 on Saturday.  

Summerfield won four of the six Special Stages, taking the lead after the third, and building a gap of 52 seconds before Gore driver Andrew Graves won the final stage, cutting the margin to 38.8 seconds at the finish. “We had a really good day, you have to drive pretty hard to beat Duggie (Graves)”, said Summerfield. “We had a spin in the first stage and I had to change what I was doing but the day went pretty smoothly. It was a good battle and it is a great event. Duggie really kept the pressure on. This makes up for the last two years. In 2018 we were going well and had a problem and last year we went off the road. I have to thank everyone behind the effort, even my sister Nicole who vacated the co-driver seat to let my sponsor and friend Jared Christofferson sit with me. Jared and I had driven together for those last two years and I got him on board again because we were going to get this bloody thing.”  

Four-time winner Graves, with son Hayden co-driving, finished second in his ageing Mitsubishi EVO 3 after winning the first and last stages of the event. He paid tribute to an “exceptional” drive by Summerfield. “Credit to Matt, he did very well. We are happy with second and Hayden and everyone who helped me did a great job.”  

Kaikoura driver Regan Ross, a late entry into the event, was third almost three minutes behind Graves in a new Ford Fiesta R5 which he had only got running on Monday night. “We exceeded expectations, we had only just driven up and down the road at home before coming here. We did heaps of learning in the car today.”  

Three-time winner, Dean Bond of Balclutha, was fourth and took the Kerry O’Donohue Memorial Trophy along with co-driver Scott Milne for the first South Otago crew home in their Mitsubishi EVO 6.5. Canterbury’s Josh Marston in his first start at Catlins in fifteen years was fifth after going into the final stage third. “It was a hell of an experience. We had fun, the car went well and I enjoyed the roads. I need to come back with more knowledge. I was disappointed to lose a couple of places in the last stage but it was insanely fast with crests. The regulars knew where the roads go.” Marston had come south to set a pace and keep to it in search of Mainland Rally Series points and that is exactly what he did.  

Deane Buist was the first 2-wheel-drive competitor home in sixth place with fellow Cantabrians Matthew Wright, last year’s winner Garet Thomas, Marcus Van Klink and David Clearwater completing the top ten with New Zealand Champion Ben Hunt of Auckland eleventh in a normally aspirated Subaru Impreza H6.

Richie Chadwick of Dunedin in his Toyota Levin won the Glen Shirlaw Memorial Trophy as the first Otago Sports Car Club driver home in fourteenth place and along with co-driver and wife Rachel also took the Custom Build Engineering Ltd Class B laurels.  

Several competitors struck problems including Hayden Paddon, who while not competing was using the event as a test session, in his Hyundai i20 AP4. Unfortunately, Paddon had to park the car after just two stages.  

Both Robbie Stokes and Sean Haggarty, seeded inside the top ten, were well placed early on only to suffer problems. Stokes was third after two stages but retired with an oil leak while Haggarty was fourth at that point but trouble struck.  He continued and ended the day twelfth. Barry Mills of Balclutha was another casualty with a water leak, only the third time in twenty years he has not finished the rally. Tenth seed John Giltrap and sixteenth seed Mark McMillan were others not to finish. Sixty-two of the eighty-one starters made it to the end.  

With the top three placegetters ineligible for class honours it was Dean Bond who took the Valley Coachlines 4-wheel-drive Class D from Marston and Thomas while Buist took the Ritchies 1601cc & over Class C from Van Klink. Matthew Wright took the Stadium Finance Class E Pre 1996 4WD class from Tom Bond (Dunedin) and Murray Marshall (Kaitangata).  

Chadwick took Class B 1301-1600cc from Tim Smith of Christchurch while New Zealand Champion Ben Hunt won the Magnum Motorsport Class H. Winton drivers took the two classic classes with Brendon Mitchell winning the Balclutha Auto Electrics 0-1700cc Class F and Stephen Gill the Derek Ayson PGG Wrightson Real Estate Class G (1701cc & over).  

Harri Judd of Christchurch won the Balclutha Auto Electrics Class A from Marty Roestenburg of Auckland.  

The Advance Agriculture Novice driver prizes went to Tim Mackersy and Peter Bowden respectively with Robert Burrows and Chris Pinches taking the co-driver honours.    

The Eastern Southland Car Club is delighted to have the support of the Clutha Licensing Trust through their Rosebank Lodge Balclutha establishment, plus  Southroads, Owaka Motors, Yuasa Batteries and Stadium Finance. The club is also especially grateful to Rayonier Matariki Forests, the Clutha District Council and the McNab Family for their assistance with the event.  

Fri, 7 Aug 2020 - Twenty years of Catlins, Graves, Mills and Ayson

It is a special year for the Catlins Coast Rally this year as the Eastern Southland Car Club hold the 20th edition of the event on Saturday 8 August.  

Amongst the eighty-four entries are two drivers, Andrew Graves of Gore and Barry Mills of BaIclutha, who have competed in every single one – with a fair degree of success to boot. There is another as well, Derek Ayson, who did the first eighteen before helping the club by performing Zero Car duties for the last two years.  

Graves has both driven and co-driven in the event and has experienced wins in both roles. As co-driver for Derek Ayson, the duo won the event in 2005 before Graves took the wheel himself. He remembers the 2007 event well, because he rolled, but after stepping into his Mitsubishi EVO 3 Graves took wins in the event in both 2010 and 2013 before returning to the co-driver seat alongside Tony Quinn in 2014 and 2015. He returned to the driver seat, once again in his EVO 3, before winning in 2017 and 2018. Last year he grabbed the lead early and was cruising with a comfortable lead only to slide off the road in Stage 5 after a wheel parted company with the car.  

“I really enjoy the rally. I look forward to it every year. I am looking forward to it this year. It is a tough field including Josh Marston of Christchurch.” Graves has co-driven for three seasons with Marston in a Holden Barina as they campaigned in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship where they finished runner-up last season. While Graves has co-driven for Marston, “this will be the first time I have gone head to head with Josh.”

 “He is an impressive driver,” says Andrew reflecting on his time alongside Marston. “I have done more Catlins rallies though but his car is the latest technology so it should be good fun. Whatever happens we will still have a beer together at the end of the day.”  

Asking for a favourite Catlins memory proves a struggle for Graves. “I guess the first win was good. I realised we were at that top level then. It was pretty awesome. Winning with my previous co-driver Jared Leebody was great and it is good now to have my son Hayden aboard. He is seventeen and Graves says it would be “great for Hayden to drive in the event one day, maybe with me as co-driver, when he can afford to pay the bills,” he jokes.  

Barry Mills from Balclutha is the other driver to have done every Catlins. He too, has done exceptionally well over the years. Driving an elderly 2-wheel-drive Hillman Avenger, Mills has defied the age of the car to bring it home in the top ten more than ten times in the nineteen Catlins Coast Rally’s he has done to date, most recently last year when he finished tenth. Between 1999 and 2016 Mills finished every Catlins Rally but his record took a hit in 2017 when he did not finish after a mechanical problem and then again in 2018 when he rolled the car in Stage 1 of the event. He bounced back to record his latest top ten result last year. Pressed for a favourite memory he nominates the first Catlins Rally all the way back in 1999 when he finished third equal.  

Like Graves, Mills has his son Daniel in the co-driver’s seat and says, “Daniel wants to drive but I haven’t given up yet!” Like most of the drivers in the event this year with lockdown and cancellations of events Mills has done little of late. “I did the Circle Hill Rallysprint and finished eleventh and won my class but that is the only outing for quite a long time.”  

Ayson did eighteen straight Catlins Rally’s finishing all bar one, when he had an engine problem which forced him out. For the last two years he has assisted the club by performing Zero Car duties in his Ford Ranger, meaning he has driven the roads in those two years as well. While it is not the same Ayson says, “it is nice to be behind the wheel. I enjoy the camaraderie and it is still good to drive the roads.”  

The highlight for Ayson was his win in 2005, the other enduring memory from that day his battle with Hayden Paddon who went on to become the only kiwi to date to win a World Rally Championship event while he also won the 2011 Production World Rally Championship.  

“We knew he was going to go far, even at that stage and he took a bit out of us in the first stage and we were clawing our way back. I think he had gearbox issues but we both remember that battle.”  

The rally will commence at 10.00am on Saturday 8 August adjacent to Owaka Motors and will feature approximately 153 km of high-speed Special Stages at Puaho, Catlins Valley, McNab’s Farm, Tawanui, Cannibal Bay and Romahapa.   The event will conclude at Owaka at 3,40pm that afternoon.  

The Eastern Southland Car Club is delighted to have the support of the Clutha Licensing Trust through their Rosebank Lodge Balclutha establishment, plus  Southroads, Owaka Motors, Yuasa Batteries and Stadium Finance. The club is also especially grateful to Rayonier Matariki Forests, the Clutha District Council and the McNab Family for their assistance with the event.  

Fri, 7 Aug 2020 - Fantastic field for twentieth Catlins Coast Rally

The Catlins Coast Rally celebrates twenty years of action this Saturday and the spectacular entry list of more than eighty competitors is appropriate for such a momentous occasion.  

Spectators will see some of the biggest names in New Zealand rallying with no less a driver than Hayden Paddon running at the head of the field, not competing, but testing his Hyundai i20 AP4. It is an amazing opportunity for local motorsport fans to see the only kiwi to win a World Rally Championship event, a former Production World Rally Champion and four-time New Zealand Rally Champion in action. Paddon will run with notes to prepare for upcoming events, something the actual rally participants will not be able to use.  

Four-time Catlins Coast Rally winner Andrew Graves with son Hayden in the co-driver’s seat is the top seed in his ageing but fast Mitsubishi EVO 3. Graves was well on target for win number five last year only to lose a wheel and go off the road on the penultimate stage while leading by over three minutes.  

At two and three are top New Zealand Rally Championship contenders Matt Summerfield and Josh Marston respectively. Both have been extremely prominent in the New Zealand Rally Championship over the past few years with Summerfield, who will pilot his Mitsubishi Mirage, seldom out of the top four in recent years and Marston in his Holden Barina AP4 claiming third and second in the last two championships.  

Robbie Stokes of Waikuku, runner-up in the FIA Category 2-wheel-drive class of the NZ Rally Championship last year, will start at four in his Ford Fiesta AP4.   At five is last year’s winner Garet Thomas in his father-in-law Dave Ollis’ Subaru WRX Sti, the car he won the event in last year after entering the final stage in third place but advancing as other cars fell by the wayside. Thomas is also the current Mainland Rally Series Champion.  

Three-time winner Dean Bond of Balclutha who finished third last year is seeded at six this year in his EVO 6.5.   Two-time New Zealand Rally Champion, Ben Hunt of Auckland, who is the reigning national champion will also contest the event in a Subaru Impreza H6.  

The battles throughout the many classes will also be hard fought as always.   For locals, a six-page rally guide is included in The Ensign this week and copies of these are available from the ODT office in Dunedin, The Clutha Leader office in Balclutha, The Ensign office in Gore, or at the Southland Express office in Invercargill. The event will be livestreamed on the Catlins Coast Rally facebook page with results live on chrisport.co.nz  

The rally will commence at 10.00am on Saturday 8 August from Campbell Street, adjacent to Owaka Motors in Owaka and will feature approximately 153 km of high-speed Special Stages before concluding back in Owaka just after 3.30pm that afternoon. Servicing will be held throughout the event in Owaka.  

The Eastern Southland Car Club is delighted to have the support of the Clutha Licensing Trust through their Rosebank Lodge Balclutha establishment, plus  Southroads, Owaka Motors, Yuasa Batteries and Stadium Finance. The club is also especially grateful to Rayonier Matariki Forests, the Clutha District Council and the McNab Family for their assistance with the event.  

Wed, 5 Aug 2020 - Paddon appearance a treat for rally spectators

Spectators at this year’s Catlins Coast Rally on Saturday will get a rare treat as Hayden Paddon makes an appearance at the event at the wheel of his Hyundai i20 AP4.  

Paddon is the only kiwi driver to ever win a World Rally Championship event having won 2016 Rally Argentina. He was the 2011 Production World Rally Champion and has won the New Zealand Rally Championship four times, in 2008, 2009, 2013 and in 2018. He currently resides in Cromwell where he operates Paddon Rallysport.  

Paddon will be running as a lead car in the event, not actually competing as he treats the day as a test day. He will run with notes which none of the competitors in the event will have as Catlins is a blind rally.  

“There have been no rallies for quite a while,” explains Paddon, “so it is a test session and time in the seat. I was last at Catlins fifteen years ago and it will be nice to do it,” he says. “The Eastern Southland Car Club have been helpful in allowing me to do it. I haven’t done a blind rally for about fifteen years either so there was not much point testing without notes.”  

Paddon will be running pretty hard over the stages though. “We want to test a few things and try a few things and to get the best out of these cars you have to push them. We need to get the best information we can from the test so we have to replicate rally conditions.”  

Paddon did Catlins in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and has great memories of the 2005 event in particular. “We had a good rally and a good battle with Derek Ayson who was the man to beat. We beat him on the first Special Stage which we enjoyed as his ex-girlfriend used to live on the stage so he knew it well. He had the last laugh though. We blew the clutch on Stage 5.”  

While there has not been any rallying of late Paddon is exceptionally busy. I have a lot of projects on the go he says. “We have the EV rally car that we are working on, we have several motorsport events coming up and we are working on a few more customer vehicles. There is a nice variety of hillclimbs, rallies and races coming up and we are cherry picking what we will be doing. We are making up lost ground.”  

What does Paddon remember about Catlins? “My memory is a bit vague on it now, but I remember the roads were nice and flowing. There were some fast stages and I enjoy them. I am sure my test will serve as a good reminder.”   The rally will commence at 10.00am on Saturday 8 August from Campbell Street, adjacent to Owaka Motors in Owaka and will feature approximately 153 km of high-speed Special Stages before concluding back in Owaka just after 3.30pm that afternoon. Servicing will be held throughout the event in Owaka.  

The Eastern Southland Car Club is delighted to have the support of the Clutha Licensing Trust through their Rosebank Lodge Balclutha establishment, plus  Southroads, Owaka Motors, Yuasa Batteries and Stadium Finance. The club is also especially grateful to Rayonier Matariki Forests, the Clutha District Council and the McNab Family for their assistance with the event.  

Lindsay Beer   On behalf of the Eastern Southland Car Club   021 351 499  

Wed, 5 Aug 2020 - Marston come south for Mainland Rally Series tilt

The cancellation of the New Zealand Rally Championship for 2020 due to Covid-19 looks to have had an upside for the 20th Catlins Coast Rally this Saturday (8 August).  

Josh Marston, a leading competitor at National level with finishes of third and second in the 2018 and 2019 New Zealand Rally Championship respectively, will bring his MRF Tyres/Rubber Developments Ltd Holden Barina AP4 south for the event as he changes his focus to this year’s Mainland Rally Series of which Catlins is Round 2.  

Marston took both his and Holden’s first NZ Rally Championship win in Rally Canterbury in 2018, 19 years after his father Leigh won the same event. ”Winning Canterbury was a real highlight,” he says. Other career highlights include topping the Motorsport NZ Elite Motorsport Academy in 2009 pipping the likes of Simon and Mitch Evans and winning the NZRC 2-wheel-drive class in 2013. Another is co-driving with his father in the Silver Fern Rally and winning their class on two occasions – a different class each time.  

“2020 has been frustrating,” says Marston, “but you do have to remember that in the bigger picture, sport is not critical. We had made our biggest gain in development of the car in the off season and had good pace at Westland (before lockdown). Things were going really well, we had good development and my driving of the car was improving. It is a very different car to drive.”  

“What happened after that is unfortunate but we are very fortunate we are able to get out and compete again. The Mainland Series is our target this year, it is just a bummer it has been shortened.”  

Since that impressive start to the year back in March, Marston has “not done a single thing since. “I haven’t competed in over four months,” he says.  

Marston’s last start at Catlins was about fifteen years ago in a Toyota Starlet. “I haven’t been there since then so I will go down to have a fun weekend and score some points. I will set a pace and stick to it.”  

One of the best of the locals, Andrew Graves of Gore, has co-driven with Marston at National Championship level and rates his driving highly. However, Marston says with Catlins being a blind rally he doesn’t remember the roads from all those years ago. I do know a lot of corners are named after drivers that went off after blind crests,” he says. While Graves is keen to go head to head with Marston, Josh says “Andrew Google is better than Google Maps” and we will let Andrew, who is a talented driver, set the pace out front and just enjoy our event.”  

The rally will commence at 10.00am on Saturday 8 August from Campbell Street, adjacent to Owaka Motors in Owaka and will feature approximately 153 km of high-speed Special Stages before concluding back in Owaka just after 3.30pm that afternoon. Servicing will be held throughout the event in Owaka.  

The Eastern Southland Car Club is delighted to have the support of the Clutha Licensing Trust through their Rosebank Lodge Balclutha establishment, plus  Southroads, Owaka Motors, Yuasa Batteries and Stadium Finance. The club is also especially grateful to Rayonier Matariki Forests, the Clutha District Council and the McNab Family for their assistance with the event.  

Lindsay Beer   On behalf of the Catlins Coast Rally   021 351 499  

Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - Summerfield keen to give Catlins a nudge

This year’s Catlins Coast Rally which takes place on Saturday 8 August will see one of the best fields in the history of the event as many of New Zealand’s top drivers line up for the 20th Anniversary of the rally.  

One such driver is Matt Summerfield of Christchurch who will drive his Mitsubishi Mirage AP4 in the event. Summerfield has been at the pointy end of the New Zealand Rally Championship for many years with a best result of second overall in 2017 and has seldom been out of the top four since 2014.  

Summerfield has done the Catlins event several times before and was in contention last year, battling with Andrew Graves until he went off the road in his Subaru in Stage 4 of the event.  

“I would love another battle with “Duggie” (Graves), but he is fast down there. It would be good to get one over him at home, we will have a nudge at it in the Mirage.”  

Like many in this year’s event Summerfield says, “it’s a bit odd. We have never had such a big break during the season. It is pretty exciting, Catlins will be my first big rally of the year. The West Coast in March was a shakedown.”   Summerfield has entered three sprints since the sport got up and running again. “I did Circle Hill in Otago, it was good to get some miles and get used to the car again, it is relatively new and it takes quite a while to get used to it.”   Summerfield says he loves the Catlins Coast Rally. “It is a nice rally to do. Cannibal Bay is a favourite – it is good fun.”

With the New Zealand Rally Championship cancelled for 2020, Summerfield says he is keen to do well in the Mainland Rally Series. “It would be nice to get something for the mantlepiece,” he says.  

The rally will commence at 10.00am on Saturday 8 August adjacent to Owaka Motors and will feature approximately 153 km of high-speed Special Stages at Puaho, Catlins Valley, McNab’s Farm, Tawanui, Cannibal Bay and Romahapa.   The event will conclude at Owaka at 3.40pm that afternoon.  

The Eastern Southland Car Club is delighted to have the support of the Clutha Licensing Trust through their Rosebank Lodge Balclutha establishment, plus  Southroads, Owaka Motors, Yuasa Batteries and Stadium Finance. The club is also especially grateful to Rayonier Matariki Forests, the Clutha District Council and the McNab Family for their assistance with the event.  

Lindsay Beer   Publicity Officer   Catlins Coast Rally   021 351 499   

Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - Fifty years of rallying for Rabbidge

Carl Rabbidge of Timaru has done it all in New Zealand motorsport. Racing, rallying, officiating – you name it. His first rally was the 1970 Silver Fern Rally and now in 2020 he will celebrate fifty years of rallying as the Catlins Coast Rally celebrates its own twenty-year milestone on Saturday 8 August.  

Rabbidge can’t recall the exact date of the 1970 Silver Fern but he says if Catlins isn’t 50 years to the day it is very, very close.   In the ensuing fifty years since his first rally Rabbidge has driven, co-driven, service crewed and been an official. “It’s been a bit of fun,” he says with a hint of understatement.  

He says there are various things you remember from over the years. “That first event is one of them”, but one he really singles out is the 1973 Heatway International Rally. “It was inspirational. No one who competed in it will ever forget it. It covered both the North and South Island and number one son, Andrew - his co-driver at Catlins, was born in the middle of it.”  

“It was a bit of a surprise, he was two weeks early,” explains Rabbidge. “With no cellphone communication in those days we were on the Interisland Ferry ready to leave Lyttelton. They held the sailing up for twenty minutes to find me and tell me. I fell off the road the next morning. I caught Reg Cook at the end of a stage and he went round the corner and I didn’t.” With Andrew arriving in the middle of one of the biggest international rallies ever seen in this country, it is little wonder that he got involved in the sport. “Dad was very keen on motorsport,’ says Carl. “He was a foundation member of the Marlborough Car Club when we lived up there when I was a kid. I followed on and enjoyed it. I was never going to be a world class cricketer or an All Black but I could do this. My wife Eileen has been involved too. She has been a big part of the South Canterbury Car Club with events. The kids followed on and now the grandsons are too.”  

Carl has seen many changes in fifty years. “Back then it was all about endurance, now it is a sprint. The technology in vehicles has obviously got better too. They are a bloody sight quicker nowadays but that is the growth of the sport as it should be.”  

There is no doubting that pleasure of winning. “We won the first NZ Group One  Championship, in 1976 with the Mazda RX3 and that was special, as was winning our class in the 1975 Rally NZ with our Twin Cam Escort and later winning the Mainland Series back to back in 1981-82 with the RS2000 and the Datsun. Competing in the Philippines was another adventure plus I had a total new experience when I spent many years co-driving for the Owen Brothers.”  

“It is the calibre of people you meet too. It is bloody special. I have not met anyone in the sport that I stayed pissed off with for long.”  

So, fifty years on Rabbidge lines up for Catlins. “I have done a few Catlins but my first time through there was the 1976 International Rally. I used many variations of some of the stages when I was organising the NZ Silver Fern Rally years later.      

I have quite an affinity for the area. My mother was born in Tahakopa and lived in Maclennan. I was born in Wyndham, my grandfather had a farm which is still in the family at Glenham. For some years Ian Begg, Barry Robinson and I were amongst the head of the field in South Island rallying and all were from Wyndham even if we did leave early. Barry and I share a common Great Aunt and Uncle and in Glenham, Rabbidge Road and Robinson Road run side by side off Stouts Rd.”  

What does he think of the Catlins Coast Rally? “It is excellent, brilliant. It should be on the programme for everyone. So should South Canterbury and Otago too for that matter. If you haven’t done the Catlins Coast Rally you haven’t done rallying in New Zealand.”  

The rally will commence at 10.00am on Saturday 8 August adjacent to Owaka Motors and will feature approximately 153 km of high-speed Special Stages at Puaho, Catlins Valley, McNab’s Farm, Tawanui, Cannibal Bay and Romahapa.  

The event will conclude at Owaka at 3,40pm that afternoon.  

The Eastern Southland Car Club is delighted to have the support of the Clutha Licensing Trust through their Rosebank Lodge Balclutha establishment, plus  Southroads, Owaka Motors, Yuasa Batteries and Stadium Finance. The club is also especially grateful to Rayonier Matariki Forests, the Clutha District Council and the McNab Family for their assistance with the event.  

Lindsay Beer  

Publicity Officer   Catlins Coast Rally   021 351 499   

Tue, 28 Jul 2020 - Reigning New Zealand champion to compete at Catlins

New Zealand Rally Champion, Ben Hunt of Auckland, will take to the roads of the Catlins when the twentieth anniversary Catlins Coast Rally takes place on Saturday 8 August.  

This is the second time Hunt has come to Catlins as the reigning New Zealand Champion. After he won his first national title in 2015, he competed at Catlins the following year in a Subaru Impreza H6 loaned to him by Jeff Judd, finishing seventh in a year plagued by icy, snowy, conditions.  

Hunt has fashioned an outstanding record at the pinnacle of New Zealand rallying since his last Catlins appearance. He had a horror run in the 2016 NZRC but since then he has finished third in 2017 and second in 2018 before winning the title again last year. Other successes in a stellar career include winning the inaugural Rally NZ Rising Stars Scholarship in 2009 plus the Junior National Rally Championship and the 2-wheel-drive National Rally Championship early in his career.  

The opportunity to defend his national crown this year was stymied by Covid-19 when the 2020 NZ Rally Championship was cancelled. “It is a definite shame,” says Hunt, “but you can’t change what’s happening in the world, safety is more important than skids! We put a lot of effort into the Subaru for this year but we haven’t taken it out. We will do some testing for next year at some stage though.”  

Without his national programme there was an opportunity to return to Catlins and Hunt will do so as the reigning New Zealand Rally Champion in another Jeff Judd Subaru Impreza H6, a 6 cylinder, normally aspirated, 4-wheel-drive car. “They are a cool little package,” says Hunt. “It takes me back a bit to nimble cars. They are not the most powerful but they are a lot of fun. Of course, I am originally from the South Island hailing from Nelson so it is cool to go back to the South Island. I can’t wait.”  

Hunt says his 2016 Catlins experience was “awesome.” “That year’s Catlins Rally was characterised by snow and ice but Hunt says it did not bother him. “Around the St Arnaud, Lake Rotoiti area we are used to snow and ice. It was a lot of fun. It was like night rallying – a different element. That’s why we go rallying. It is not a tarmac track. We experience everything. That is part of the attraction. The roads in the Catlins are amazing. In 2016 it was snowy and icy in the hills in the morning and in the afternoon near the coast it was beautiful. I have always wanted to go back. The cancellation of the New Zealand Championship gave me the opportunity.”

 ‘I’m coming down with a bunch of mates who love rallying plus Craig Hewlett (part of Hunt’s crew) is down there. We will have skids, have fun and have a beer afterwards. The Eastern Southland Car Club helped me get there in 2016 and it is a fantastic event, I am really looking forward to it.”  

The rally will commence at 10.00am on Saturday 8 August adjacent to Owaka Motors and will feature approximately 153 km of high-speed Special Stages at Puaho, Catlins Valley, McNab’s Farm, Tawanui, Cannibal Bay and Romahapa.  

The event will conclude at Owaka at 3.40pm that afternoon.  

The Eastern Southland Car Club is delighted to have the support of the Clutha Licensing Trust through their Rosebank Lodge Balclutha establishment, plus  Southroads, Owaka Motors, Yuasa Batteries and Stadium Finance. The club is also especially grateful to Rayonier Matariki Forests, the Clutha District Council and the McNab Family for their assistance with the event.  

Lindsay Beer   Publicity Officer   Catlins Coast Rally   021 351 499   

Recent Results
PosDriverTotal 
1New ZealandMatt Summerfield1:26:04.6
2New ZealandAndrew Graves+38.8
3New ZealandRegan Ross+3:32.5
4New ZealandDean Bond+3:38.8
5New ZealandJosh Marston+3:44.3
6New ZealandDeane Buist+4:38.9
7New ZealandMatthew Wright+5:25.6
8New ZealandGaret Thomas+5:26.5
9New ZealandMarcus van Klink+5:50.0
10New ZealandDavid Clearwater+5:52.2
11New ZealandBen Hunt+6:27.1
12New ZealandSean Haggarty+6:57.8
13New ZealandDavid Quantock+7:20.0
14New ZealandRichie Chadwick+8:09.9
15New ZealandDavid Scoles+8:39.0
16New ZealandTim Smith+8:51.2
17New ZealandJeremy McIlwrick+9:05.7
18New ZealandCraig Barclay+9:12.5
19New ZealandTom Bond+9:41.7
20New ZealandDave Ollis+9:45.3
2020 Points
PosNamePoints
1New ZealandJosh Marston56
2New ZealandMarcus Van Klink41
3New ZealandGaret Thomas38
4New ZealandSean Haggarty36
5New ZealandMatt Summerfield32
6New ZealandAndy Martin27
7New ZealandDave Ollis26
7New ZealandJob Quantock26
9New ZealandDeane Buist25
10New ZealandStephen Gill20
11New ZealandJohn Giltrap19
12New ZealandDavid Birkett18
12New ZealandMark Parsons18
12New ZealandRobbie Stokes18
15New ZealandDavid Clearwater17
16New ZealandTim Smith16
16New ZealandTony Gosling16
18New ZealandDavid Quantock15
18New ZealandCraig Cormack15
20New ZealandHarri Judd12
PosNamePoints
1New ZealandIvan Knauf180
2New ZealandJeremy Friar172
3New ZealandMark McCaughan164
4New ZealandAndrew Oakley160
4New ZealandMike Tubbs160
6New ZealandLeigh Hopper156
7New ZealandTroy Twomey150
8New ZealandPatrick O'Donnell143
8New ZealandBob Boniface143
10New ZealandTerry May142
10New ZealandAnton Tallott142
12New ZealandDavid O'Neill131
13New ZealandDavid Rogers128
14New ZealandRobert Webster119
15New ZealandHaydn Mackenzie90
15New ZealandMartin Dippie90
15New ZealandAnthony Butler90
18New ZealandBruce Herbert82
19New ZealandBruce Farley80
19New ZealandTim McIver80