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RallySport Magazine August 2016

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  • Championship
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  • Wrc
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  • Motu
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The August 2016 issue of RallySport Magazine is now available, and includes: Latest news: * Dowel backs rallycross to be bigger than V8 Supercars * Quinn’s Rally Australia WRC car bid falls short * New WRX STi could be Rally America bound * Up to 10 AP4 cars for 2017 NZRC * Skoda R5 for Mark Pedder at Rally Australia Feature stories: * Famous stages - New Zealand’s Motu * A close look at the Skoda Fabia AP4+ * Group B Mitsubishi Starion 4WD remembered * Budget rallying - Hyundai Excel * Where are they now - Wayne Bell * Hayden Paddon column * Vale: Steve Ashton Interviews: * Molly Taylor - Subaru factory driver * David Holder - NZ Rally Champion * Col Trinder - Chairman of ARCom * Emma Gilmour - NZ’s fastest lady Event reports: * Rally of Finland * APRC - China Rally * Catalans Coast Rally * NZ’s Northern Rallysprint Series * Walky 100 Rally, SARC


FAMOUS STAGES: THE MOTU Ross Dunkerton splashes his way through the Motu in the 1991 WRC round. from the Motu! The first one is the fact it was my very first competitive rally stage. After having a go at zero car in Otago in 2002 we decided to enter Rally Rotorua as my first rally. I kept catching the Japanese driver in front, but I was hugely relieved to make the finish line of the Motu. I think it was the following year when, nearing the end of the stage, the newly painted front wheels had a bad vibration. We stopped to check and as we did the front wheel carried on along the road and disappeared over a bank. My co-driver, Glenn Macneall, said he’d jump in the boot of the Evo 3 to relieve the weight off the front and told me to drive out of the stage slowly. As I took off and was about to hook third gear there was a lot of banging on the roof - in my inexperience I didn’t know what slow was!! We ended up retiring at the end of the stage anyway as we couldn’t get the studs out of the hub. The following year I broke the steering on my Evo 6 when my turned wheel clipped a hidden outcrop of rock not too far from the finish.” Peter Whitten (Editor, RallySport Magazine) “As iconic as the Col de Turini in Monte Carlo and Ouninpohja in Finland, New Zealand’s Motu stage conjures up memories of some of the best rally drivers in the world, on the best rally roads in the world. Aside from Colin McRae’s dominance 36 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016 of the stage, my favourite memory of the Motu comes from 1994 when the great Ari Vatanen was driving the Ford Escort RS Cosworth. While Colin McRae dominated the stage, Vatanen had the power steering fail on his Escort, and had to drive the majority of the stage unassisted, and the strain was clearly evident. Typically, it was a freezing cold morning as we waited at the end of the marathon 44.80km stage, but as the Flying Finn arrived at the finish control, it was clear that everything was not well Glenn Macneall takes in the Motu from the boot of Emma Gilmour’s Lancer in the 2002 Rotorua Rally. inside the Escort. The windows had begun to fog up, and as Ari opened the door to talk to journalists, I can clearly remember the steam rising from his steaming driving gloves as he battled to catch his breath and recover from what must surely have been a superhuman effort. Ari’s time was slow, but his effort to get the car to finish control rates, in my mind, just as impressively as Colin’s. Later that day I drove the stage in a hire car, marvelling at the number of corners and the unique camber of the

oad. After heavy rain, just keeping the hire car on the road was a challenge - I could only imagine what it must have been like at speed. Eventually, we reached the midstage water splash where we were eagerly awaiting the second running of the stage, only for it to be cancelled because the road conditions had deteriorated so much since the morning’s running of the Motu. My own efforts in the hire car had, it seemed, been almost as impressive as those of Ari and Colin - at least in my mind …..” Ari Vatanen battled power steering failure in his Ford Escort Cosworth through the Motu in 1994. John Kennard (co-driver to Hayden Paddon) “I think my abiding memory of any time I competed on it was that it seemed, no matter what car you were in, you never seemed to have the right gear ratios in it! I remember Malcolm Stewart cursing almost all the way up it in the Group A Audi Quattro in the pouring rain in the 1988 Rally NZ, as each time he managed to grab a higher gear and gain a fraction of speed, it ran out of revs and he had to bang it back down for the next demented twist in the road, which seemed to go on forever. Probably the funniest story though, came while checking the 1990 Silver Fern route pre rally with Brent Rawstron, when a large hare ran almost 4km down the road in front of us, able to stay ahead because the tightness of the twists and turns. He was far better suited to getting down it quickly than we were, even having time to stop and grab a breath occasionally, until we caught up!” Ed Ordynski “Coming from South Australia, where the roads are generally flat and high speed, it’s hard to imagine a more fearsome and extreme stage than Motu. It was difficult even on recce! Motu has every element that a true rally competitor craves. It’s an enormous challenge, a feat just to make it through unscathed. It was daunting and a huge test of mental toughness for both driver and co-driver. I doubt if anyone could ever say they’ve had a clean run through Motu. In Group N cars, which thrived on fast, flowing roads, and required a smooth, raceline, driving style, Motu’s relentless, tight corners and changes of surface meant you just had to take one corner at a time and hope you got most of it right. If you fooled yourself for a moment you’d got into a good rhythm, something unseen would tip you the wrong way for the next corner. The other big issue with Motu was that Whakarau, a fast open stage, followed it with little liaison time between. I always planned to try for a good time on Motu (even as I write this I realise what a ridiculous statement that is), but keep the car nice for a blistering run on Whakarau (even more ridiculous). I think I only managed that once! I did try to keep momentum up in a Group N car, using as much of the road as possible, letting it slide out to the edges and so on. Since retiring from rallying I’ve taken a road car over Motu and stopped to look at things closely where we used to push the limits. I would advise anyone still competing, AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 37

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