Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Superb Field for Rankleburn Rally

16 OCTOBER 2015

Superb Field for Rankleburn Rally

A superb field of rally cars will again contest the MLT/Heartland Hotels/Ernslaw One Limited Rankleburn Rally in West Otago from 10.30amthis Saturday.

The event is the third and final round of the Laird Motorsport Southern Rally Series and also part of the Eastern Southland Car Club Rally Championship. It will be based at Telford Tops Road in the Rankleburn Forest, approximately 45 minutes from Gore and 35 minutes from Balclutha and will be signposted from State Highway 1.

Andrew Graves of Gore, a two-time Catlins Coast Rally winner, and winner of this event in 2012 and 2014 is the top seed for the event. Graves will have his 12-year-old son Hayden co-driving him for the first time in his Mitsubishi EVO 3. Graves has done little rallying of late but expect him to be on the pace immediately. However he will have some tough competition with Dean Bond of Balclutha in his EVO 6.5. Bond, the winner of this year's Catlins Coast Rally which he also won in 2009 and 2011, is always fast and competitive and finished second here last year.

Balclutha driver Rhys Gardner will also be a factor in the event in his EVO 9. The winner at Rankleburn in 2013 and the Catlins Coast Rally victor in both 2012 and 2014 can't wait for Rankleburn as it will be his first time in a rally car in over a year. "It's all about seat time. I can't wait," says Gardner who also has a young co-driver, Amy Hudson of Canterbury.

Derek Ayson in his Nissan powered Ford Escort is another who admits to being "rusty" after doing few rallies this year. "My goal this year was to beat Mike Verdoner and since he is not starting after a heavy crash at Catlins, I guess I've achieved that already."

Other notables in the field include Vaughan Edie of Invercargill (EVO 8), Neville Krammer of Wallacetown who has two thirds and a fourth to his name here in an elderly Subaru Legact RS, Philip Terry of Invercargill in a potent 2 litre turbocharged, 4wd Toyota Starlet and Balclutha driver Barry Mills in his rapid Hillman Avenger.

Class B, as always, will be competitive with Jake Thomas of Mosgiel (Toyota Corolla DX), Kevin Laird of Alexandra and Craig Cormack of Gore in Toyota Levin’s and Winton driver Brendon Mitchell (Datsun 1600) among the entries. Heriot driver Quintin Hazlett, debuts in this class.

Clerk Of The Course for the event Roger Laird of Gore is grateful for the support of the event sponsors as he prepares for Saturday's rally. "We really have to thank the MLT, Heartland Hotels and Ernslaw One for their ongoing support.” The trio of sponsors have supported the event since its inception in 2012 and even before that when it was held as a sprint since 2010.

Laird adds, "Ernslaw One have always done a tremendous job and this year especially so as the rally takes part in the Ernslaw One forests which have suffered so much damage in the recent high winds and also in the snow we have had this year. They have a done a fantastic job ensuring that the rally happens and is a success.”

The rally is based over five Special Stages in largely forest roads which comprise 78 kilometres of high speed Special Stages with just 1.5 kilometres of touring mileage required to access them. The roads provide a variety of fast roads along with some slippery sections and some tight twisty roads.

As is traditional the flagship MLT/Heartland Hotels Croydon establishment on the Main Queenstown Highway in Gore will be the venue for the post rally prizegiving on Saturday evening.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland