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New Name, Structure for NZ Motorsport Event Specialist

New Name, Structure for NZ Motorsport Event Specialist

There's a new name - The Ultimate Rally Group - and structure for the company which motorsport event organiser Peter Martin set up when he took over running the annual Targa New Zealand tarmac motor rally.

It's been a busy few weeks for Martin, who in the space of a month has acquired both the Uncles Club track day business (which runs at the Hampton Downs motor racing circuit) and the Silver Fern Rally which runs every second year in the South Island.

With the two multi-day Targa events, the three-day Targa Bambina which this year ran from Auckland to Whitianga and on to Rotorua in May, and the upcoming 21st annual Targa New Zealand over six days in late October, Martin's business now has real critical mass; hence the need to address its structure.

" What we've now got with The Ultimate Rally Group." he explains, "is an organisation that specialises in rally event management and organisation. It has a full time staff of six specialists who can focus on the ever changing requirements of councils and motorsport to ensure the events we promote are run to the highest professional standard and can be benchmarked positively against any other major motorsport events here and overseas."

Traditionally rally and track events have been run by car clubs. But times, Martin says, have changed.

"Gone are the days when well-meaning volunteer club members got together after work at the local car club rooms to organise a long distance rally of more than two days.

"There are just way too many issues to contend with these days, you need several people with specialist knowledge working full-time. By creating this structure it means that we are able to keep those skilled specialists in rally organising within the motorsport environment."

Like the Targa events, Martin - whose business background is in motor vehicle sales, leasing and finance - was first introduced to the Silver Fern Rally and Uncles Club track day events as a competitor.

As such he learned, first hand, their strengths, weaknesses and potential. And he has tailored The Ultimate Rally Group to suit.

"There were clear synergies, for instance, between Targa and Silver Fern, both being marathon rallies, but very little crossover between entrants. Thus straight away we've been able to spread our overheads across the two events," he says.

Adding the Uncles Club track days at Hampton Downs makes that three, a happy coincidence the fact that new group General Manager Gary Upson was previously CEO at the track.

"Again," says Martin," from first-hand experience the Uncles Club was a great initiative, it just needed some back office structure, so it made perfect sense to take it under our wing as well."

The main beneficiaries of the move to create the umbrella Ultimate Rally Group structure, Martin believes, will be the entrants, many of whom have considerable resources (in terms of money, specialised support and time) tied up in their vehicles.

"The key benefit for the people who do our events, " says Martin, "is the certainty that they will happen when we say they will. By building a structure like we have to support events like Targa, Silver Fern and Uncles Club, we are effectively securing the future of the events and participants can be assured that they will go ahead on the dates we publish.

"Too many events these days are cancelled days out from the start due to a variety of reasons, mostly a lack of entries created by either a lack of awareness of the event or fear from participants that they will lose their entry fees."

Martin also says that the move will make working with the various communities the events pass through easier and more productive.

"Take council staff. Rather than dealing with different people for each event they will now deal with someone, more than likely the same person, from The Ultimate Rally Group.

And it will be the same with paperwork.

"Rather than new people having to 'get up to speed' before every event, it will be the same people who know the systems and processes doing the work and the same people, if you like, on the ground and at the end of the phone."

The first major event to be organised under the new structure will be the 21st annual Targa New Zealand event which starts in Auckland on Monday October 27 and finishes in Palmerston North onSaturday October 31.


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