12 March – Rakaia Zig Zag Sprint

The Club’s Sprint Series for 2006 got underway with 36 competitors turning up for the popular Rakaia Zig Zag Sprint.

Early morning rain cleared prior to the start, which along with the heavily metalled road made conditions rather slippery, as Shane Thornley was to find out on the practice run damaging his L/F suspension and taking no further part.

The action proved fierce at the top with times over the 2.5 km course being extremely close. Brad Harris found his rhythm in the last run and took 3sec off his previous run to come out on top in the Evo RS closely followed by Blair Logan in the Ex Paul Nichol Evo 4. Blair proving that he will be one to watch this season as he quickly comes to grip with the Evo. Les Summerfield was as usual fast and consistent for 3rd O/A in the WRX sharing the car with his wife Andrea. Chris Hughes was next in the recently re-shelled Evo and was consistently fast all day. It was good to see Trevor Crowe giving the very rapid Subaru Justy a run no doubt as a shakedown for the Dunlop Forest Sprint. Trevor was 1st 2WD and was closely followed by the very consistent Ryan Berry in yet another Evo3. Paul Dickson was up from Timaru having last competed at the Zig Zag 25years ago He was very competitive with a 1.38.08 and 8th O/A. Darryl Campbell experienced overheating in the Evo throughout the day but was very happy with his 1.38.19 and 9th O/A. Next was David Gallagher in the ex Anton Cheetham Evo 3 from the North Island with a very respectable 1.39.02 and 10th O/A. Leigh Marston was sharing the Evo3 with David Gallagher and was only fractionally behind on 1.39.29. I think Leigh somehow prefers his WRX. Alec Doig was next in the Escort V8 and 2nd O/A in the 2WD class. Alec helping sweep the road in spectacular style. Phil Sloan in the Legacy, Hamish Galletly in the ex Crowe WRX and Justin Harwood in the Evo 3 were all in the 1.43 bracket closely followed by Andrea Summerfield in the WRX. Event organizer Andrew Sim in the 2.0 Corolla was next on 1.44.84. Now that he has the suspension sorted he is talking about more power from the engine. Matt and Paul Jansen were 19th and 20th respectfully in their immaculate WRX’s. Matt really backs the WRX into the corners in spectacular style. Matt had actually entered twice and got down to a 1.41,61 which would have given him 12th O/A except that only the first 3 runs count in the final result . Tony Foster was quick in the ex Blair Logan FXGT sharing a 1.46.05 with John Weir in the superb sounding Honda Accord Vtec. Carl Balani was next in the RX7 with Phil Gurney  in the FXGT close behind. Peter Abernethy had the Starlet going well and was 3rd in class behind the FXGT’s. The father and son pairing of Rob and Mark Gerard were next in the Corolla with Rob coming out on top. Did you know that Rob won the Westland Rally 3 times in a row from 1975 to 1977 in a RX3 Coupe! Grant Restall was right behind them in the Corolla with the very reliable Barry Deuart in the 120Y next and winning the 1300cc class. Marcus Van Klink was next and 2nd in the 1300cc class in the 1200 Coupe. Guy Balani was next sharing the RX7 with Carl.

Jonathon Bradshaw in the Starlet, and Ian Wilson in the Escort were next. Young Chris Herdman was neat and tidy in the Starlet and finished 3rd in the 1300cc class followed by Stuart McIntosh in another Starlet.

I am sure the event was enjoyed by all and many thanks must go once again to Andrew Sim for organizing and running an excellent event. Thanks also to Graham Wilson and the members of the Rangiora Rotary and all the others who helped on the day.