International Entry One of First for epay Silver Fern Rally
International Entry One of the First for epay Silver Fern Rally
Early indications bode well for the 2014 epay Silver Fern Rally with international drivers showing plenty of interest in the event amid the initial flurry of entries. Carl Rabbidge, Chairman of the Organising Committee, says the organising team are delighted with the level of worldwide competitor interest and the early commitment by those who have already entered."
Englishman Simon Tysoe is the first international entrant. Tysoe contested the 2010 event, a drive which ended when he crashed his Ford Escort RS1800 on the longest stage of the rally. It was his first Silver Fern and his first marathon rally but despite the unfortunate ending he was hooked. "Iain Freestone, the man who taught me to drive a rally car, had done the event in 2008 and encouraged me to enter. He told me it was such a good event."
It did not take Tysoe long to concur with his mentor's assessment. "It was absolutely excellent. The people are hospitable and friendly. The rally is well organised, a great event and a breath of fresh air. You can cover more distance in a single stage than you get in a day in a British Rally." Tysoe couldn't make the 2012 event and that quite simply is the reason he is the first international entry this time. "I have been sitting, waiting to take part again. I have been looking forward to it so much!" While the rally was a huge attraction for Tysoe so too is the New Zealand countryside. He also enjoys mountain climbing and made great use of his time after the 2010 event in the mountains. "I loved it."
Looking back on his crash in 2010 Tysoe says, "I was pushing too hard. We came over a crest and got it a little bit wrong! I have a new co-driver this time so I will not be pushing quite so hard." The Escort has been reshelled and rebuilt and has been repainted ready to be sent to New Zealand while Tysoe will compete in an older MKI in Britain in the coming year.
Tysoe has always followed rallies and loves the sport. He watched the modern cars of the WRC but it was when he went to watch the Roger Albert Clark Rally in England that he saw cars like the Escort, similar to those he remembered watching as he grew up. "I realised that I could afford one of those. I bought one, I learnt to drive it and I love it!"
Simon Tysoe has been sitting, waiting for this event - the countdown is on!
The epay Silver Fern Rally 2014 will start from Picton on Saturday 8 November 2014. That night competitors will stay in Blenheim before crossing the island the following day to overnight in Westport on Sundaynight. Competitors will then head back across the island on Monday to spend the following evening in Christchurch. Timaru, Dunedin and Invercargill are the destinations for the next three nights before the rally travels into the magnificent southern lakes area with a Friday night stopover in Wanaka. The rally ends on Saturday 15 November in Queenstown.
The epay Silver Fern Rally 2014 consists of the New Zealand Silver Fern Historic Trophy for 2-wheel-drive cars that comply with various historic criteria as listed in the event regulations and the New Zealand Silver Fern Challenge which caters for 2-wheel-drive cars that comply with the Motorsport New Zealand Schedule A safety requirements. Within each of those sections there are various classes.
The rally will cover 1250 kilometres of competitive Special Stages over eight days and organisers are promising some new stages and new locations along with some roads that have been used previously but in differing configurations. The epay Silver Fern Rally provides competitors with a fantastic rally experience amidst some awe inspiring scenery.
The rally enjoys support from epay, Malcove, Kiwimaps and Brita Safety.