Annual rally starts on Saturday

23:38, Apr 23 2014
Dean Bond
Dean Bond's car in the 2012 Catlins Inn Long Point Rally Sprint.

The Catlins Inn Long Point Rally Sprint takes place on Saturday.

The annual sprint run by the Eastern Southland Car Club starts about 10am and finishes at 4pm with the prizegiving at the Inn at 6.30pm. The short rally begins at the Long Point Rd/Southern Scenic Route intersection and travels back and forward on the road to the cattle yards several times.

Organiser Craig Jessop said at this stage there were 24 entries but he was expecting about 30. "Rhys Gardiner is odds-on favourite with his new car tuned-up in Tauranga. It's a Mitsubishi EVO 9. He's aiming for the New Zealand Rally Championship this year."

Derek Ayson was another regular entered and they were expecting last year's winner Dean Bond, Southlander Carter Strang and local Barry Mills to be among those coming.

For this rally a roll cage must be used and the driver must hold the appropriate motor sports licence but the co-driver, who is compulsory, does not need a motorsport licence.

Anyone aged between 12 and 18 needs a parent's signature to be a co-driver.

However, Jessop said drivers were now using it as a lead-in to the Otago Rally in a fortnight and like to have their regular co-drivers. Spectators can watch from the tarseal end or go to the Purakaunui Bay intersection.



The Southland Times