11 March – Rakaia Zig Zag Sprint

The Hankook team scored a 1-2 with the winner, Brad Harris getting home just ahead of Jeff Judd. Less than a second separated Les Summerfield, Josh Marston and Merv Hatcher rounding out the top 5, all on Hankook tyres. Brent Buist was the first 2WD up the hill in his green Toyota.

By Barry Varcoe – It was a foggy start to the day when Andrew Bulman and Peter Marshall picked me up and we headed off in convoy to the Rakaia Zig Zags. The fog soon cleared as we got closer to the gorge and we were into the sun that stayed for the rest of the day.

It had been over 15 years since I had last driven in a sprint on this piece of road, Andrew had never driven the Evo, he had half owned for 2 years, before on gravel and Peter was unsure when he’d last had a skid so it was fair to say there was a bit of nervous banter going on as the start got closer.

Scrutineering was soon over with I believe a couple of people scrabbling for seat belts being one of few problems.

This Motorsport ruling is one of the more interesting to come out in recent times and one that I feel needs to be readdressed sooner rather that later. Its crazy that a 20 year old road car that sits in the sun day after day only needs a visual inspection of its belts and yet a competition car (that is probably better looked after) needs its belts replaced every 2 to 5 years, some times with only a handful of uses.

With me not competing in many club level events it was great to see a lot of cars that I hadn’t seen before, and some very spirited driving from within them. Some of the interesting entry’s included Trevor Crow and his Justy, Carl Balani dusted of the RX7 with father Guy dusting off his helmet for a skid, (I used to compete against Guy many years ago in RX2’s, Deane and Brent Buist had the Mitsi powered, Corolla Bodied Escort out for its debut run, and Peter Marshall had his Mazaroo all helping to show that you don’t have to leave things the way they are designed.

We did the Indian file thing and then had our three timed runs. Thankfully as always mishaps were few and far between. Days end came all to soon and we headed off down to the sponsors establishment (the Hororata Hotel) for a pie and a natter about what should have been.

Andrew Sim handed out the prizes for the guys at the pointy end of each class and we all headed for home. All and all a good day out and a very smoothly run event. Well done to the organisers and officials. These guys and gals are the same ones that I see at every Autosport event I enter and without them, we as competitors wouldn’t get to have fun and tell stories. So a very BIG thankyou to them for such a good day.

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