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Aug 14, 2013   //   by Chris Kitzen   //   News  //  No Comments

Possum Bourne, Rally Legend and a New Zealand Sporting Icon will be honoured at a Cocktail Function to be held in his home town of Pukekohe on the evening of September 6th.

This event will be the opening Stanza to the weekend’s Possum Bourne Memorial Rally and will be attended by Possum’s family to honour the 10th Anniversary of his passing. The evening will be hosted by Brian Kelly and will also be attended by many of Possums former service crew, co drivers, fellow competitors and special International Guests.

A large collection of “Possum” memorabilia will be on display to help create a special atmosphere. Archive footage will also be shown throughout the evening featuring the “legend” during those heady days of NZ rallying we remember so well.

Mark this on your calendar, come along and join us to reflect, celebrate and honour the man, a special night not to be missed. The Function will be held in the Oaks Lounge at Pukekohe Park Raceway starting at 6pm with drinks and hor d’oeuvres, a light meal will follow.

Tickets will be $65 per person and can be purchased from Rally New Zealand.

Contact: Deborah
Phone: 09 2760882
Mobile: 021 2725596

Download the flyer here

Competitors leap at opportunity to honour Possum

Aug 8, 2013   //   by Chris Kitzen   //   News  //  No Comments

MEDIA RELEASE 256/7/2013



Competitors leap at opportunity to honour Possum


In the build up to a very special tribute which honours world renowned New Zealand Rally great, Possum Bourne competitors have leapt at the opportunity to register their involvement in the Vantage Aluminium Joinery Possum Bourne Memorial Rally.  The rally will feature several tarmac and gravel stages held over the course of one action-packed day allowing spectators in rural South Auckland, Franklin and Waikato to be part of the action which takes place in just over a month’s time, on the 7th of September.


With entries still open the event which starts and finishes in Possum’s home town of Pukekohe, has already attracted plenty of high-profile entries including New Zealand’s own 2011 Production World Rally Champion Hayden Paddon, as well as four-time New Zealand Rally Champion Richard Mason.


Current New Zealand Rally Championship drivers will fight for overall honours beside past champions competing in Possum’s memory – including past three-time New Zealand Rally victor Neil Allport returning to the national championship in his historic Ford Escort RS1600.


While loved and honoured for placing New Zealand on the World Rally stage in iconic Kiwi fashion, Bourne created hugely successful career which netted him seven Australian Rally Championships, three Asia-Pacific Rally Championships and a New Zealand Rally Championship before his untimely death in a road accident in 2003. His friendly and warm personality made him a favourite with fans and the media alike, making Bourne a household name and lifting the profile of rallying in New Zealand.


Run by Pukekohe Car Club as the fifth event in the 2013 Brian Green New Zealand Rally Championship, after leaving Pukekohe the event will take to the infamous gravel roads of Maramarua Forest before turning to the sealed surfaces of Hampton Downs Motorsport Park for two stages.   The gravel competitors will then head to Ardmore Quarry Road and for final afternoon stages meet up with tarmac drivers for the ‘Power Stage’ being held at Pukekohe Park Raceway.


Speaking on the excitement of this rally, in particular it’s unique make-up Possum Bourne Memorial Rally Clerk of Course, Stuart Barnett said “the mixed surface format adds a unique spice to the special event, plus with the addition of tarmac stages we’re really looking forward to allowing the public a special look at some amazing cars.  This event will truly showcase the best in New Zealand rallying from past and previous eras – all in the name of Possum.


“Dual surface rallies are something that we rarely see here in New Zealand, in fact the last time was to celebrate 40 years of New Zealand rallying 2007, so to honour someone like Possum in this manner will be very humbling for everyone involved.”


For those whose vehicles are limited to competing on tarmac, a restricted field of competitors will be able to contest a special, purpose-planned tarmac-only rally.  Those competing on tarmac only will fight it out for quickest stage times on the same sealed stages as the open field of competitors.

Already, spots are filling up fast from a diverse field of willing competitors.


For more information on competing in the rally, those interested are invited to register interest via the Possum Bourne Memorial website –



For more information please contact:

Peter Johnston

New Zealand Rally Championship

+64 21 950 250

Fitting tribute to NZ Rally legend announced

Jun 27, 2013   //   by Chris Kitzen   //   News  //  No Comments


Off the back of the V8Supercars return to Pukekohe, another proud form of New Zealand Motorsport is preparing for a return to its historic stomping ground in commemoration of a very special life which has helped shape the profile of Rally for New Zealand.

This year the New Zealand Rally Championship, in conjunction with Pukekohe Car Club is well underway with plans for a fitting tribute to none other than NZ rallying legend Possum Bourne in the aptly named Possum Bourne Memorial Rally.

2013 marks the 10 year anniversary of Possum’s passing and come September 7 – the second-to-last round of the 2013 New Zealand Rally Championship, Pukekohe and Rally fans across the country will unite in creating a celebration of rally which will remember Possum and then race in his memory, unified in an ongoing passion for the adrenaline-pumping sport.

Bourne was an iconic figure within New Zealand Rallying, his charismatic personality and driving talent seeing him forge a great career with manufacturers Subaru that led to three Asia-Pacific Rally Championships, seven Australian Rally Championships and a New Zealand Rally Championship, all while inspiring the next generation of top Kiwi drivers, including 2011 Production World Rally Champion, Hayden Paddon.
The special one-day Rally this year will include exhilarating tarmac stages attracting a more diverse platform of rally competitors than usual – not only because of the inclusion tarmac competition allows, also because two of these special bonus stages will be held at the revamped Pukekohe Park Raceway showcasing it’s diversity in catering to all forms of Motorsport in NZ.
Gravel stages of the rally will be held in the iconic Maramarua Forest, where Bourne launched his Rally Career followed with a special tarmac stage at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.
A key component of the rally is the part played by Pukekohe Car Club who run the event on behalf of the New Zealand Rally Championship. Being a iconic member of the Pukekohe Car Club, after a tragic road accident claimed Possum’s life in 2003, the club created the ‘Possum Bourne Memorial Rally Sprint’ which ran for two years until 2006 when the inaugural Possum Bourne Memorial Rally was staged around the world famous gravel roads of Port Waikato.
Since 2006, the event has frequently run as part of the Clubman’s field in the New Zealand Rally Championship during World Rally Championship visits to New Zealand.
“This year is special to everyone who had a connection to Possum, not just in a sporting capacity but it’s also special for his home town of Pukekohe. We’re really keen to make this event something that the whole community can be involved with, celebrating the memory of just how much a special guy Possum is to this country” says New Zealand Rally Championship Director Peter Johnston.
An excess of 10 special stages are crammed into one day of action packed rallying with a new mixed stage format which means this will be some of the most exciting viewing for old and new rally fans alike.
President of Pukekohe Car Club Chris Kitzen says “we’re very excited for what this event will offer not only competitors but to spectators also. The majority of stages will be easily accessible to public – and being a stone’s throw away from Auckland and Hamilton it’s the perfect opportunity for people to come and see how Possum used to do it, and how he put NZ on the map in world rallying, which he’s still so famous for.”
In a special focus this year on promoting the reinvigoration of Possum’s memory the Rally will not only be on participants – after the close of all stages on Saturday a ticketed public event will take place at Pukekohe Park Raceway to capture the essence of Possum’s spirit and bring together the celebration of his life. The celebrations will include special involvement from Possum’s family – wife Peggy and children Taylor, Spencer, and Jazlin.
“It’s an honour to be involved in the special celebrations this year, we’re so grateful for the effort that Pukekohe Car Club and the New Zealand Rally Championship put into keeping Possum’s memory alive. We’re glad we will be contributing, and we know it’s something Possum would be extremely humbled by” says Peggy Bourne when asked about the Bourne family’s involvement in September’s event.
With the inclusion of the rally’s special tarmac stages competitor numbers are expected to attract a field of around 100 talented drivers from around New Zealand and around the world – visitor numbers to the region for this special event are expected to be in the thousands and will be viewed globally from around the world by millions thanks to coverage provided from the New Zealand Rally Championship, sponsors, competing teams and visiting media.
Entries for the rally will open in the second half of this year, for more information please visit or
Image: New Zealand Rally Championship
For more information please contact:
Peter Johnston
New Zealand Rally Championship Director
Ph: 00 64 21 950 250

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 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 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:

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.

Possum Bourne posthumously awarded second hall of fame induction

Mar 4, 2013   //   by Chris Kitzen   //   News  //  No Comments

Press release from Rally NZ

The late Peter ‘Possum’ Bourne, formerly of Pukekohe, was inducted in to the Australian Rally Hall of Fame this week, nearly ten years since his passing.

An inaugural inductee to the MotorSport New Zealand Wall of Fame in 1994, recognition for his achievement of winning seven consecutive Australian Rally Championships has posthumously earned him a second inaugural induction. Held in Canberra on Tuesday 26 February, the announcement was a timely reminder says Rally of New Zealand Board Chairman Peter ‘PJ’ Johnston.

“Possum became a household name – that’s left a lasting legacy recognised on both sides of the Tasman,” says Johnston.

“Especially significant is Possum is the only double inductee.

“That will be further celebrated this year with the tenth anniversary of the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally, sponsored by Vantage – the aluminium joinery company run by long-time friend and former co-driver Craig Vincent.

To be held on Saturday 7 September the event will be also be the penultimate round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship – a title Bourne won in 1991.

It will start from the main street of Pukekohe and include a variety of gravel and tarmac special stages before finishing at the Pukekohe Park Raceway.

Competitor Information

Jun 15, 2012   //   by Chris Kitzen   //   News  //  No Comments

Competitor Information 1 and Bulleting 1 now posted.

Trophy Rally Prize Giving

Jun 6, 2012   //   by Chris Kitzen   //   News  //  No Comments

Due to the low number of entrants in the one day Trophy Rally we have cancelled the prize giving function. An informal prize giving will be held immediately after the event finish at the Viaduct Events Centre.  A full refund will be given to all competitors for tickets to the prize giving that were included in the entry fee and for those that purchased extra tickets.

2012 Supplementary Regs Part 2

Jun 6, 2012   //   by Chris Kitzen   //   News  //  No Comments

Supplementary Regs Part 2, Seeded entry list and Competitor Contact Form now available.

2012 Supplementary Regulation Part 1 & Entry Form Update

May 9, 2012   //   by Chris Kitzen   //   News  //  No Comments

A couple of small changes to the Sup Regs.

The Smartwood by Alpwood Possum Bourne Memorial Rally is Round 4 of the Brian Green
Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship not Round 3

4.6 (2) Licence requirement is R1 or higher grade not R2

The entry form has also been updated to note that the Trophy Rally entry fee includes 2 tickets to the prize giving dinner and additional tickets are available.

2012 Supplementary Regulations

May 7, 2012   //   by Chris Kitzen   //   News  //  No Comments

The 2012 Supplementary Regulations Part 1 and Entry Form are now available on the Competitors Info page


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