Thu, 18 Apr 2019 - Campbell starts season on the podium

Tauranga’s Phil Campbell has started his Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship campaign with a third placed finish at the Otago Rally held over the weekend.

After a troubled build-up to the event, Campbell and co-driver Mal Peden set a consistent pace across the opening day, starting off with a fifth fastest time on the opening stage of the day, then moving up to fourth place the following stage. The fifth fastest time on the power stage gained an extra bonus point.

As the afternoon progressed, Campbell was able to move The Roofing Store Ford Fiesta AP4 up into third place, a position he would hold through to the overnight halt.

Day two saw a small electrical problem that caused an intermittent misfire. Knowing he had a large margin over fourth place, Campbell was able to back off, with the intermittent nature of the problem leaving him unable to fully commit to the fast roads around the Oamaru region.

By the end of the seven special stages that made up day two, Campbell was relieved to come home in one piece with a solid haul of points that came with the third placed finish.

“It’s a great start to the championship for us, ideally we would’ve loved a bit more speed to challenge the guys at the front but Otago hasn’t always been a strong event for us and it’s great to put a solid amount of points on the board at the opening round. When we get to Whangarei, it’s an event we’ve gone well at and hopefully we can challenge for the top spot up there,” said Campbell.

The whole Campbell Rally Sport team now turn their attention to the ENEOS International Rally of Whangarei, which takes place on May 3-5.

Wed, 17 Apr 2019 - Sheehan achieves life long dream at Otago

Queenstown’s Mike Sheehan has achieved a life long dream of winning his class in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship at the opening round, Rally Otago, held over the weekend.


Sheehan and co-driver Glenn Goldring headed to the event expecting a strong battle with Robbie and Amy Stokes who run a car identical in specification to Sheehan’s Truck Moves Ford Fiesta R2.


With plenty of rain in the build up to the event, the opening stage offered a slippery wake up call for all teams, including his rival. Seeing his rival off the road, Sheehan took the opportunity to back off in a car that wasn’t handling to his liking.


The hard working crew of Paul, Logan, Matt and Barry were able to put the car right after special stage five and Sheehan was able to attack, although with competitors Stokes and Peter Jackson both out of the rally by stage seven, Sheehan faced little competition and would eventually lead home Chinese driver Haowen Chu by close to 38 minutes, as well as victory in the Mainland series class B over Nick Marston by 54 seconds.


The only scare for the team was on the final stage, when a nasty bump damaged the front bumper and broke the exhaust system, although Sheehan was quite proud to have the loudest car at the finish ceremony.


“We are wrapped to have secured 1 point less than maximum for the first round of the championship. Our goal was to take away solid points on this event as it holds a quarter of the points on offer for the championship, and thats exactly what we did. It makes the hard work and immense preparation for the opening round worth every minute”.


The whole Sheehans Motorsport team now turn their attention to preparing the car before they jump on the Interislander and head to the International Rally of Whangarei on May 3-5.




Tue, 16 Apr 2019 - Gillies and Pilcher impress with top three finish

Otago and Auckland rallying duo Andy Gillies and Nathan Pilcher capped a fine return to the New Zealand Rally Championship with a podium finish in their class at the weekend's Otago Rally.

The pair, who only started two rallies last season before an accident curtailed their season, hit early dramas but eventually came good as the day progressed in the Category 5B class, part of a field of more than fifty crews and cars competing over the two day event in a variety of modern and classic rally cars.

International rally star Hayden Paddon won the rally outright in his AP4 specification Hyundai by a comfortable margin of more than seven minutes from Ben Hunt in second and Dylan Turner in third.

"We had our work cut out with two fairly significant moments where we went off and lost a fair bit of time," explained Pilcher. "The rest of the day actually went very well for us and with the car running very well despite it being on its first rally in more than nine years we were able to claw back over five minutes of time to get into the top three again. We only missed out on second by 4.7 seconds so we are definitely encouraged with our result knowing we have lots of room to improve and areas to work on ahead of the second round next month.

"Overall it was a very positive start for us and we thoroughly enjoyed giving the car its first serious run out in a very long time. It went well and we have identified a few areas where we think we can improve it still further so it's a big thumbs up from us for the weekend and we are very much looking forward to our next outing together."

The pair now sit third in the class in the championship points for Category 5B of the New Zealand Rally Championship in their Toyota Levin AE85 - formerly rallied by Paddon's father - behind early leaders and fellow Toyota runners Wayne Rowberry and Callum Smith in their Starlet and second placed Daph O'Rourke and Brianna Little in their Corolla.

The 2019 campaign by Andy and Nathan in the Commercial Hire NZ Toyota Levin is also be supported by ENZED, Total Lubricants, Wurth NZ, Wet&Forget, MG Minerals, Superfinishing NZ, Arrowtown Bakery, Base Contracting, Brian Scott Motors and Prestige Commercial Vehicles. Following their first appearance of the season in Otago. the dup now move on to the Rally of Whangarei in early May, the second round of the 2019 New Zealand Rally Championship.

Five of six rounds remain which will see teams compete not only in Whangarei, but also in Canterbury, the Coromandel and Waitomo.

Tue, 16 Apr 2019 - Penguin Random House NZ signs explosive new autobiography from Hayden Paddon

Penguin Random House NZ is excited to announce the August release of Driven, the explosive autobiography from New Zealand’s most successful rally driver, Hayden Paddon.

The book will cover Paddon’s commitment to racing from a very young age, his many highs and lows on the local and international circuits, and his latest Paddon Rallysport initiative out of its base at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell.

Driven will provide rare insights into Paddon’s formative years growing up in Geraldine, his entry into competitive racing, success locally and ascendency on the international circuit, the 2017 accident in which a spectator was killed, his controversial axing from the Hyundai Motorsport team in 2018, and how he is regearing his career and maintaining a future focus.

Paddon will also offer unvarnished reflections on the highs and lows of his personal life.

Marking the first time Paddon has gone on public record about much of the above, Driven will chart a life story that celebrates self-belief, determination, work ethic and thinking big – following one’s passion and turning dreams into a reality.

Jeremy Sherlock, Senior Non-fiction Publisher at Penguin Random House NZ, says of the acquisition: “It’s not overstating matters to say that Driven will be New Zealand’s biggest motorsport biography in over a decade. Hayden’s story, both personally and professionally, is captivating, complex and inspirational. We’re massively proud to be partnering with Hayden to share his story, one that will enthral so many New Zealand readers, young and old.”

Hayden Paddon says: “I’m really excited to be working with Penguin Random House and our writer Catherine Pattison to put ink to paper and detail the real story behind our journey. I want to tell my story to show people what is possible, against a lot of odds, and that things are not rosy all the time, like they might appear from the outside. I hope it will encourage and motivate people to keep striving towards their own goals.”

Paddon will undertake a nationwide tour to promote Driven on release.

Driven by Hayden Paddon | Published by Penguin Random House NZ | 20 August 2019 | $40.00

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 - International challenge for van Klink at Otago

The opening round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship will see an international challenge for Christchurch’s Marcus van Klink when he takes on this weekend’s Otago Rally.

Returning for a third season in the wildly popular Universal Plumbing triple-rotor Mazda RX-8, van Klink and co-driver Dave Neill face a strong field in the open two-wheel drive category of the national championship, including Irish internet sensation Frank Kelly.

Outside of the championship battle, van Klink will also be chasing the unofficial title of fastest two-wheel drive car outright, which includes World Championship star Mads Ostberg in a classic Ford Escort.

van Klink made a storming start to the season at the recent Westland Rally, leading a highly competitive two-wheel drive field and an impressive third overall when a gearbox problem ended his day.

“We’ve got a lot of good competition again for Otago this year, it’s always a great event and it’s always exciting taking on drivers from overseas and have a bit of a laugh with them,” says van Klink.

“Although Westland was cut short, the speed was awesome. I hadn’t driven the car since last season but it is so easy to drive, it really is a credit to everyone involved in building it.”

van Klink would also like to thank the loyal sponsors who have made another NZRC campaign possible including Buteline, Castrol, Universal Plumbing, Al Marsh Rotorsport and the team at Palmside.

Rally Otago gets underway with a ceremonial start in Dunedin’s Octagon from 5pm on Friday. The following day, teams will tackle 135 kilometres of special stages to the south of Dunedin, before returning for the popular super special stage in Dunedin. Sunday sees a further 145 kilometres based around Oamaru north of Dunedin, before returning to the Dunedin railway station for the ceremonial finish from 3:30pm.

Wed, 10 Apr 2019 - Hugely competitive 2019 NZRC season opens at Otago
The most open and competitive Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship in recent history begins on the super-fast roads in Otago this weekend with any one of about 10 drivers staking a claim to become national champion this season.

Subaru driver Ben Hunt finished runner-up to former WRC star Hayden Paddon last season and will start 2019 as the favourite to take out both the championship and the two-day Otago Rally.

But fellow national champions Andrew Hawkeswood (Mazda) and David Holder (Holden) will also be right in the mix on roads that are renowned for their speed and the commitment required to master them.

Local driver Emma Gilmour knows them well and rebuilt her Suzuki Swift Maxi during the off-season. She was quick last year and should be a genuine contender again this year.

Josh Marston (Holden) and Matt Summerfield (Mitsubishi) have been title contenders the past couple of seasons and are consistent drivers capable of getting a top result while Dylan Turner (Audi) is as fast as anyone going around if he can have a trouble-free run.

Raana Horan (Skoda) and Phil Campbell (Ford) got new cars during 2018 and will be starting to hit their straps with them. Both showed good speed at times last year and can challenge for a win if things go their way.

Australian driver Brendan Reeves has won on a couple of visits to New Zealand and has the talent to take it to the best on this side of the Tasman if his Brian Stokes-prepared Ford Fiesta AP4 can prove reliable.

Robbie Stokes and Mike Sheehan look the most likely to fight out for the FIA Group N 2WD title while Marcus van Klink (Mazda RX8) and Irish internet star Frank Kelly (Ford Escort Mk2) will be standouts in the Open 2WD category.

Regan Ross (Ford Escort) will start as favourite in the Historic 2WD class and should mix it with Van Klink and Kelly for overall 2WD honours.

The Gull Rally Challenge sees a big growth in entry numbers and looks very wide open. New Caledonia’s Eugene Creugnet, Matt Adams and Bryn Smith will be the favourites in 4WD while the likes of Daniel Alexander and Ari Pettigrew should feature at the front of the 2WD class.

Six entrants will contest the Stadium Finance Group A Challenge with Wayne Muckle (Mitsubishi), Phil Collins (Audi Quattro) and Darren Keen (Mitsubishi) the favourites.

The rally begins with a ceremonial opening at the Octagon on Friday night before live action gets underway from 7.25am Saturday with eight stages south of Dunedin. Action continues on Sunday with a further seven tests north of the city.
Wed, 10 Apr 2019 - Thomson excited by dream come true

Christchurch’s Dylan Thomson is excited by what he refers to as a dream come true when the Otago Rally gets underway this weekend to open the 2019 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship.

After three seasons in the front-wheel drive Ford Fiesta, Thomson will step up into the overall category, driving the Specialised Auto Services Subaru Impreza STi.

After what Thomson describes as thousands of hours from a hugely dedicated team, he and Amy Hudson will finally get their chance to get behind the wheel on the Dunedin-based event.

“The whole team has been working their backsides off for thousands of hours to get this car ready and although unfortunately we haven’t had a chance to test, I’m absolutely fizzing to get behind the wheel this weekend,” says Thomson.

“I really have to thank Richard and Jason from Specialised Auto Services, it’s absolutely a dream come true to step into a four-wheel drive car and contest the NZRC four-wheel drive class. This season is definitely about learning and we really aren’t chasing any results, just mileage at Otago.

“Three years ago, I turned up at Otago for my first rally. I’d met Amy the day before, I’d hardly driven the car and had never done a rally. I guess at least this time I know Amy! Plus we’ve stuck with Dunlop tyres, so we know what we’ve got underneath us is pretty good. I really must take the chance to thank SAS, Total Lubricants, Fowler Homes, Drew Accounting and Riordan and West Transport, this really couldn’t’ happen without such a loyal group of sponsors.”

Rally Otago gets underway with a ceremonial start in Dunedin’s Octagon from 5pm on Friday. The following day, teams will tackle 135 kilometres of special stages to the south of Dunedin, before returning for the popular super special stage in Dunedin. Sunday sees a further 145 kilometres based around Oamaru north of Dunedin, before returning to the Dunedin railway station for the ceremonial finish from 3:30pm.

Dylan Thomson Rallysport’s campaign is supported by Total Lubricants, Riordan and West Transport Pukekohe, Drew + Accounting, Harrier Signs, Specialised Auto Services, Steelrite Framing, LJ Hooker, Fowler Homes South Auckland and New Zealand, AA Autocentre Hornby, Jivan Produce, Dunlop, Dixcel and Braketech.

Tue, 9 Apr 2019 - APRC focus for Paddon and Kennard at Otago

Hayden Paddon and John Kennard, New Zealand’s most successful rally pairing, are back together for this weekend’s Rally Otago in their Hyundai i20 AP4 rally car.

The 12-14 April rally is the opening round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship and, for the first time, also a round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship. That means competitors will have a two-pass reconnaissance of the rally route which takes in roads to the south of Dunedin on Saturday and north around Palmerston and Oamaru on Sunday.

Paddon says: “Otago has always been one of my favourite events in the world, not just for the world-class roads but also the atmosphere and the huge entry list that is attracted each year. It is now an iconic Southern Hemisphere rally with stages and location to match.”

As Paddon is not contesting the full New Zealand championship this year, he is focused on the APRC aspect.

“We are only entered in APRC, not NZRC,” says Paddon, who is the number one seed for the two-day Otago event. “We made the decision to not enter the national championship so we don’t upset points distribution for other drivers as our main focus is the new format of the APRC with two Pacific Cup rounds in New Zealand and two in Australia. We are targeting the Pacific Cup which also gives us a chance to qualify for the APRC final in China at the end of the year if we choose to do that event.

“The goal will be focused on stage records and bettering as many as we can to show both myself and the car are continuing to improve.”

Rally Otago already has considerable status in the global rally scene with its hotly contested Otago International Classic Rally. And Paddon says the event being part of the APRC offers further advantages.

“It’s a rally that exposes competitors and everyone involved to more media around the world but also international visitors who come for the event. An example of that is I met Ari Vatanen for the first time when he come here in 2011. We were able to make an impression with him which then helped us in Europe.”

Paddon can’t wait to get back into the Hyundai at full speed. “It has felt like a long time since the last event last year, so will be good to get back behind the wheel. Things have also been so busy with our new ventures setting up the new workshop for Paddon Rallysport that it will be nice to have a weekend away!”

Alongside the establishment of the Paddon Rallysport Group facilities at Highlands in Cromwell, Paddon and his crew have prepared the i20 AP4 for competition. “We’ve focused on doing the basics well, as obviously the car has been working well last year, so we’ve done a ground-up re-build and an upgrade of electronics in the car. We also completed a small pre-event test to shakedown the car and do a systems check, so we’re good to go.”

Paddon and Kennard last competed together at the one-day South Canterbury Rally last year, so they’re both looking forward to getting back into action.

“It’s great to be back in the Hyundai with Hayden, as I do miss it!” says Kennard. “My hip is now near perfect, so I’ve been back at the gym and biking as much as a busy summer allowed, though I also managed to squeeze in a 60th birthday last month too.

“I’m looking forward to everything about Rally Otago – it’s one of my favourite events – and this year it has the added bonus of a two-pass recce. The event team are a great bunch and the stages are fantastic, fast and technical. Plus, with a second pass of recce we will be able to add all the little touches of finesse to the notes that mean you can really use them to their utmost and have even more fun.”

Recent Results
1New ZealandHayden Paddon2:25:54.3
2New ZealandBen Hunt+7:16.9
3New ZealandDylan Turner+8:25.0
4New ZealandPhil Campbell+11:57.2
5New ZealandAndrew Hawkeswood+15:25.6
6New ZealandJosh Marston+16:11.4
7New ZealandMatt Summerfield+17:15.3
8New ZealandKingsley Jones+18:57.6
9New ZealandDylan Thomson+20:53.7
10New ZealandGaret Thomas+21:11.9
11New CaledoniaEugene Creugnet+22:08.9
12New ZealandMatt Adams+23:57.4
13New ZealandJack Hawkeswood+33:59.8
14AustraliaHaowen Chu+1:05:54.6
2019 Points
1BelgiumThierry NEUVILLE82
2FranceSébastien OGIER80
3EstoniaOtt TÄNAK77
4United KingdomElfyn EVANS43
5United KingdomKris MEEKE42
6FinlandEsapekka LAPPI26
7FranceSébastien LOEB22
8SpainDani SORDO16
9FinlandJari-Matti LATVALA15
10FinlandTeemu SUNINEN14
11NorwayAndreas MIKKELSEN12
12United KingdomGus GREENSMITH6
13FranceYoann BONATO4
14FranceStéphane SARRAZIN2
15FranceAdrien FOURMAUX1
1New ZealandHayden Paddon39
2New ZealandAndrew Hawkeswood30
3New ZealandJack Hawkeswood25
1New ZealandBen Hunt42
2New ZealandDylan Turner35
3New ZealandPhil Campbell24
4New ZealandMatt Summerfield22
5New ZealandJosh Marston21
5New ZealandAndrew Hawkeswood21
7New ZealandMarcus Van Klink16
8New ZealandRegan Ross15
9New ZealandKingsley Jones14
10New ZealandBruce Herbert13
11New ZealandDylan Thomson12
12IrelandFrank Kelly11
13New ZealandAnthony Jones10
14New ZealandJeff Judd9
15New ZealandMike Sheehan8
16New ZealandWayne Pittams7
17New ZealandBrent Taylor6
17AustraliaBrendan Reeves6
19New ZealandJack Hawkeswood5
19New ZealandDave Strong5
1New ZealandGaret Thomas56
2New ZealandRegan Ross46
3New ZealandJeff Judd31
4New ZealandBrad Harris30
4New ZealandSean Haggarty30
6New ZealandDavid Gee28
7New ZealandJob Quantock25
8New ZealandJohn Giltrap23
9New ZealandJosh Marston22
9New ZealandMatt Summerfield22
11New ZealandMarcus Van Klink20
12New ZealandGarry Cliff19
13New ZealandMark Parsons18
13New ZealandMatt Wright18
15New ZealandJack Williamson17
16New ZealandJonty Brenssell14
16New ZealandMike Sheehan14
16New ZealandNick Marston14
19New ZealandRobbie Stokes13
20New ZealandHugh Owen12