Motorsport NZ Press Release Regarding 2013 NZ Rally Championship

Mar 9, 2013   //   by Chris Kitzen   //   News  //  No Comments

Dear rally competitors

The following is an update, in preparation for the 2013 New Zealand Rally Championship.
We are very motivated to cater for all rally competitors throughout Australasia who would like to partake in this year’s championship.

As promoters of the MotorSport New Zealand sanctioned New Zealand Rally Championship, Rally of New Zealand has pushed through big changes. The 2013 season rings in modifications that cater for new-era Super Rally cars and a low entry cost formula for club type cars to get a taste of national level competition.

Contested across six rounds from 6 April to 5 October, the NZRC calendar includes two rounds at which the Xtreme Series will be participating also. Competitors in the NZRC can cross-enter and score points for both. Check out the portfolio on the http://www.nzrallychampionship.co.nz/2013-portfolio for details.

Early entries are heartening with new names joining the growing list of regulars – including an Australian team.

Other changes for 2013 include three easily defined competition categories, a new safety, tracking and timing system and alternate (Avgas) fuel option for those wishing to contest the BNT Historic Rally title.

Thanks to the continued support of the Brian Green Property Group and Gull, the championship continues to be run at a professional level. We welcome aboard two new sponsors, Auto Finance Direct and BNT, which has enabled us to create a significant prize pool for the top-three in each of the three categories – along with a scholarship package for junior and rookie competitors.

Three competition categories encompass the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship portfolio classes, suitably named to easily differentiate between the cars.

Super Rally: is for all modern two and four-wheel-drive cars. This includes Group N (with the larger turbo restrictor), the new Kelsey, Hawkeswood and Gilmour home-built cars as well as the R2 Ford Fiestas.
Each entrant scores points toward the overall Goldstar title and their respective class. There is also prize money for the top-three: $500 for first, $300 for second and $200 for third place at each round.

BNT Historic Rally: is for cars pre-1987. Contested at all rounds entrants also score points toward the overall Goldstar title. Additionally; competitors may use Avgas as an alternate to pump fuel (Bulletin RC-13-A003 issued 18 February 2013). Prize money is also awarded to the top-three: $500 for first, $300 for second and $200 for third place at each round.

Gull Rally Challenge: is for rally schedule compliant club type cars, both two and four-wheel-drive and is a great opportunity to run at national championship level without the full season commitment. Contested on the Saturday of the multi-leg events (Otago and Whangarei) it dovetails with the full NZRC field without teams needing to partake in prior reconnaissance. Teams can use approved supplier stage safety notes though. Gull is supporting the class along with fuel vouchers: $500 for first, $300 for second and $200 for third place at each round.

Chairman’s prize: Peter (PJ) Johnston is again offering $500 prize money to the team with the fastest time in the Power Stage at each round. Additionally the winner gets five bonus championship points.

Scholarship packages: Thanks to the support of Gull, BNT, Auto Finance Direct and participating rounds, Rally of New Zealand has assistance packages for junior and rookie applicants. Based on application merit each package will include fuel and a free entry for one round.
Please contact deborah@rallynz.org.nz to request an application form. Once submitted it will be considered by the board and applicants will be notified two weeks prior to the start of the round.

Television: The NZRC will again play free-to-air on TV3 during the Sunday afternoon CRC Motorsport show. Each round will have one hour of coverage with an additional 30 minutes pre-season and also pre the 10th Anniversary Possum Bourne Memorial Rally. Each episode will be aired on SKY TV, repeated three times across the season.

In-car cameras: Broadcast quality cameras are key to portraying the real feel of being a national championship competitor. Dave Hedge of Volt TV is again providing the option to have a camera installed for each round, or for competitors to own and run their own cameras – provided they meet basic quality standards. There will be a charge of $500 inc GST for the two-day events and $350 inc GST for the one day events if you provide your own camera and wish this footage to be used in TV production. Otherwise lease options on cameras are available – please talk with Dave Hedge or Mike Matheson directly at Volt TV.

RallySafe: The well proven and feature rich RallySafe car tracking system will be introduced to the NZRC for 2013. Used in last year’s Asia Pacific Rally Championship, the acceptance by MotorSport New Zealand will bring a welcoming level of safety to the sport – by knowing if anyone is in trouble and exactly where they are. Other features include ‘virtual zetka’, to warn subsequent competitors of a hazard and its exact location, push to pass, touring stage speed warnings and start/finish line light beams for absolute timing accuracy.

A comprehensive video clip can be found on the YouTube site:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY3EmQi3NVU&feature=youtu.be

Costs will be partially covered by levy and are detailed in the e-flag newsletter issued 21 February.

NZRC co-ordinators
Revealing the names behind the championship as its co-ordinators, Laurie Brenssell and Paul ‘Barge’ Burborough need no introduction to many. Laurie’s background dates back to the first ‘plotted and timed car rally’ event held in New Zealand. Ironically that was as recent as 1966. That baited a following to become a passion where Laurie spent time as a follower, photographer and co-driver before transitioning to the running and organising of events. Having spent many years involved in the building up and launching of Rally of Rotorua as a round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship the focus on moving to Whangarei has seen that same momentum continue. With a penchant for guiding new recruits along a path to championship contention Laurie has spent the last ten years actively involved in the NZRC and the latter half as the series co-ordinator. Needing change to suit the times the 2013 season is one Laurie is looking forward to the most as long tabled changes finally come to fruition.

Paul is equally experienced having spent time both in and out of the car. From a passionate spectator and host of corporate guests at rally events it wasn’t long before he was up to his arms in ideas on getting closer to the action – largely through his employer: Winger Subaru. Heading a team backed by Subaru New Zealand in 2003 Paul brought a new level of professionalism to the sport that spent the winter months travelling the country. A move to circuit racing saw Paul head the Suzuki Swift series – again as part of his employer’s initiative at building sales through a market he identified. Unable to avoid the rally bug Paul joined Laurie as co-coordinator when Rally of New Zealand took over as the championship promotion. A very much hands on doer, Paul has only recently crossed the divide to join former champion co-driver Rob Ryan in running a Toyota AE86 at tarmac rally events.

Entry costs
To be in the running for a championship title has never been easier. NZRC competitors can enter up until two weeks prior to the first championship round they wish to enter (with respect to the separate event entry fee).

Teams can also enter on a round-by-round basis. Those wishing to enter for Goldstar (Super Rally and BNT Historics) pay $500 inc GST for the season or $150 inc GST per round. Entry to the Gull Rally Challenge category is $250 inc GST for the season or $75 inc GST per round.

All championship category winners will be presented their title at the MotorSport New Zealand annual awards gala – in 2014.

Yours in rallying:
Peter ‘PJ’ Johnston, chairman, Rally of New Zealand.

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