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RallySport Magazine August 2016

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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


FEATURE: BUDGET RALLYING FUN FACTS: You can get 250km competitive to a tank of fuel (45 litres) In my experience, 6 tyres will last a whole season easily. I ran standard rear brake shoes and never had a problem Front disc rotors are each, brand new. Running fully synthetic brake fluid is essential. Anything with a boiling point under 300 degrees is a waste of time. The fluid boils and gives a spongy pedal. Ged says ... “Excels are slow, there’s no denying that, but it actually works in your favour. Because the power isn’t there, you have to make up speed in every possible section, hold it flat on blind crests, carry more speed through corners, and avoid doing anything that will slow you down, like getting too sideways or braking too much. Any bad driving loses time. They’re heaps of fun, and it’s a great feeling to beat a WRX in a standard ‘girl’s car’. People soon shut up about them being slow. I came third outright in a VRC stage in 2013, four seconds behind the stage winner. That was the best feeling I’ve ever had in a car, and it was with a 220,000km engine too.“ Despite a lack of power in standard trim, the Excel can be thrown around and is great fun to drive. 58 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016

Light pod, side protection skirts and neat interior makes the Excel look like a proper rally car. Young Victorian, Ged Blum, is one such driver who has progressed through the sport from a young age, and after an ill-fated start to his career in an old rear-wheel drive Mitsubishi Lancer, he proceeded to build himself the first of two Excels, and hasn’t regretted it for a moment. The level playing field and the evenness of the competition provided by the one-make series allows drivers to really show their skills, all the while requiring them to be easy on the machinery and smooth in their execution. “I’ve had great fun driving both the Excels that I’ve owned, and I’d recommend it as a starting point for anyone making their way in the sport,” Blum says. “And even for more experienced competitors who just want to get out there and compete, without spending a fortune.” The Excels run in standard production trim, meaning extras such as stronger suspension and roll cages are allowed, but mechanically the cars must be kept standard – even the drum brake rear end has to be maintained. If building your own car from scratch is your preferred option, then finding a bodyshell to start with won’t be a problem – and won’t break the bank. “I bought my first Excel for 00 and that was cheap back then,” Blum adds. “Now you can get a complete unregistered car for under 0.” Cars eligible for the one-make series must be manufactured between July 1994 and June 2000, including all GX, GL, GLX and Sprint models, in three, four and five door variants. Either the 1495cc double overhead camshaft, or single overhead camshaft engines can be used, and run in standard form with the factory ECU. “The engine in my current car had done 130,000km when I bought it for 0, and the gearbox cost about the same – it really is cheap.” He says that the purchase of a steel roll cage will cost in the vicinity of 0, or a qualified welder could easily weld one up, get it checked and log-booked. “Suspension is the biggest cost,” he adds. “Budget set-ups are about 00, and while they’re perfect for beginners, these units struggle once you start pushing hard. “A good quality suspension setup will set you back around 00, or you can spend up to 00 for custom-made units from some of the suspension specialists.” Adding all the under body protection, light bars/pods and safety equipment shouldn’t cost you any more than for other rally cars, ensuring that you finish up with one of the most costeffective cars in the event. Sure, it won’t throw you back in the seat like an Impreza WRX or Lancer Evo, and it doesn’t sound like a BDG Escort or a grunty Datsun 1600, but then again, it won’t cost you anywhere near as much. And that’s where rallying is unique. While everyone competes in the same event, there are classes within each rally, meaning that, in reality, while a Hyundai Excel might follow a WRX onto the stages, it’s only competing against those in its class. It’s that class set up that makes rallying so popular. For fun, grassroots rallying in a reliable car and, at a budget price, it’s hard to go past the Hyundai Excel. AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 59

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