Hanmer Rally 2013


The saddest thing to happen at an event is when someone has a serious crash and  they are killed doing something that they enjoy.

We have lost a great Rally competitor and a great friend.

Royce has been in the sport for many years and has helped many people on the way.

The Autosport Club extends its sympathy to the Family of Royce and also friends .

Here are the funeral details for Royce:

FRIDAY 17th – Service at Riccarton race course, ChCh, 10.30am.

Royce will then make the journey home to Nelson, where he will be laid to rest.

MONDAY 20th – Nelson (details will be in tomorrow nights Nelson Mail).

Graham Wilson

Club President

Article from Stuff.co.nz:

A Christchurch driver who died while competing in a Canterbury motorsport event has been described as one of the “good old boys” of South Island rallying.

Royce Kevin Watson, 54, died on Saturday after his Ford Escort hit a tree in the Hanmer Forest during the Straight ‘n’ Paint Rally.

His co-driver, nephew Steven Watson, 23, was flown to Christchurch Hospital with head and back injuries, but was in a stable condition yesterday.

Royce Watson was a mechanic and motorsport veteran with more than 20 years’ competitive driving experience.

Friend and former rally driver Ross Teesdale said Watson was part of a close-knit group known as the “good old boys”.

“He was either driving, service crew and often scrutineer at nearly every South Island rally event in the last 20 years or more,” he said.

Craig Watson said his brother was the type of person who would “give you the shirt off his back”.

It was likely he had worked on 90 per cent of the cars in the event, he said.

There was “always potential for a tragic accident” in motorsport, but deaths were rare because of robust safety standards.

“It’s just bad luck. The amount of times you leave the road . . . the chances of getting hurt are there but very slim,” Craig Watson said.

Steven Watson was “pretty banged up” but would recover, he said.

The Straight ‘n’ Paint Rally Hanmer comprised 66 kilometres divided into seven stages, covering mostly forest roads and the famous concrete-bottom ford.

The event was cancelled after the crash.

MotorSport NZ officials are investigating.