Massive entry for Silver Fern Rally
The organisers of the NZ Silver Fern Marathon Rally have today released the full entry list for the event, and it is headed by some impressive names, including a former World Rally Champion, three National Champions, several Marathon Champions as well as an array of top class international and local competitors.
The event which runs around New Zealand’s South Island for seven days from October 7th to 14th caused a bit of a dilemma for organisers, with the job of correctly seeding the cars into a fastest first order almost impossible.
They were faced with a number of the drivers returning to the sport, some after a break of 10 and even 20 years. Then there were the current top class local drivers, many who have switched vehicles for this marathon event which caters for predominantly classic and two wheel drive cars. Throw into the mix 21 international competitors, many unknown to organisers.
Clerk of the Course for the NZ Silver Fern Rally, Hamilton’s Martin Fine explained “as per our event regulations we have, at our discretion, selected a number of top competitors to head the field, followed by those in the order that they lodged their early bird entries way back in January. The last group on the entry list are those who have only recently entered.”
Fine continued “yes there are some quick guys in the later part of the entry list, and all they need do is go out on the prologue stages, record a fast time and stake their claim for a good starting position for the event proper”.
Following the Picton official start, at midday on Saturday 7th October, the cars will run in the entry list order for three prologue special stages around the Marlborough area. They will then be seeded into the actual fastest first running order for the event proper over the next 1400kms of special stages.
Today’s entry list release is in order of the numbers the cars will carry on their doors for the entire event, and has seen 1984 World Rally Champion Sweden’s Stig Blomqvist, who along with Venezuelan co-driver Ana Goni will have the coveted No1 on the door of their Ford Escort RS1800.
Blomqvist will be followed over the start ramp in Picton’s High Street and into the first prologue special stage by 2004 London to Sydney Marathon Champions, Wellington’s Joe McAndrew and Murray Cole who will be driving a two wheel drive Honda Integra Type R.
At No3 will be five times British Rally Champion, Scotsman Jimmy McRae in another high performance front wheel drive Honda Integra Type R, the car which is owned and will be co-driven by Hamilton’s Gary Smith.
Then follow two national champions, New Zealander Brian Stokes in a Ford Escort RS Cosworth at 4, and British Historic Champion Dessie Nutt in the first of the Tuthill team entered Porsche 911’s. He starts at number 5.
1993 London to Sydney marathon rally winner Francis Tuthill will start at number 6 in another of the Porsches his team is bringing to New Zealand.
At No 7 will be another of the NZ Champion’s, with Blair Robson with his co-driver Chris Porter in a newly built Ford Escort RS. Robson won the inaugural New Zealand rally championship back in 1974 and went on to get a double, winning again in 1978, both times in Ford Escorts for the then Masport Escort Team. His new car will be a Masport Escort replica.
Positions 8 to 12 on the entry list are filled by UK based drivers. At 8 will be Grant Shand with Kiwi Jeff Judd doing the co-driving, and they will be in a Ford Escort RS1800. At 9 is Harry Dodd in his own privateer Porsche 911. Then follows another marathon expert, Iain Freestone driving a Ford Escort Mexico MKI, and then another of the Tuthill Porsche’s driven by Geoff Fielding. David Sutton who will manage Stig Blomqvist during the event is in position No12 on the entry listing and will drive a Ford Escort RS2000.
The first of the Australian’s, another to have competed in marathon events is Graham Alexander driving a Datsun 160Z in position No 13. He is followed by the last of the internationals in the top grouping, Frenchman Paul-Eric Jarry in the last of the Tuthill prepared Porsche 911 rally cars.
At position No 15 will be spectacular local hero Andrew Hawkeswood who will drive his yet to be completed Mazda RX7 Group B car, followed by Palmerston North veteran Brian Green, in an Ford Escort World Rally Car.
At No 17 and heading the list of 43 early bird entries is another marathon man, Nelson Marshall driving a Ford Capri RS3100 . Marshall’ offshore excursions have included the 2004 London to Sydney Marathon.
Marshall’s early bird entry was received within a few days of them being available, and shows the enthusiasm this next group have had by making the early commitment to support the event.
Dean & Kenny’s Pester’s Escort hasn’t been used for 15 years, there is Andy Walker’s Escort that he used to win the 1990 21st anniversary Silver Fern Rally. There is Robert Murray’s ex Neil Allport Mazda RX7, Rob Wylies ex Tony Teesdale championship winning Nissan 240RS, and there are the little cars, Dermot Martin’s and Grant Aitken’s Suzuki, and the big cars, Keith & Maryanne Callanin’s V8 Monaro and Peter Cochrane’s Mustang.
Included in the field are some real Classics with Mazda RX3’s, Triumph TR7 V8’s, Vauxhall Chevette’s, Nissan 240RS’s, various Ford Escorts, Toyota’s Datsun’s as well as an exotic Audi Quattro and an MGB GT sports car.
The NZ Silver Fern Rally will start from the Picton waterfront, at midday on Saturday October 7th, before teams compete their way around the South Island with overnight stops in Greymouth, Queenstown, Dunedin and Christchurch before returning via Nelson to the finish in Blenheim.
The full route will be announced on Friday September 15th, and the souvenir rally programmes and maps will be available the following week.
Event organisers would like to acknowledge the assistance of sponsors, Scenic Circle Hotels, Budget Rentals, Team Talk Mobile, Variety and Kea Campers New Zealand.
Full details of the event, are available from : www.silverfernrally.co.nz
2006 ENTRY LIST As at 4 September 2006
CAR NO DRIVER NO.1 DRIVER NO.2 TOWN VEHICLE
1 Stig Blomqvist Ana Goni Sweden / Venezuela Ford Escort RS
2 Joe McAndrew Murray Cole Wellington Honda Integra Type R
3 Jimmy McRae Gary Smith Scotland / Hamilton Honda Integra Type R
4 Brian Stokes Grant Marra Waikuku Escort RS Cosworth
5 Dessie Nutt TBA Banbury England Porsche 911
6 Francis Tuthill TBA Banbury England Porsche 911
7 Blair Robson Chris Porter Auckland Ford Escort
8 Grant Shand Jeff Judd Dallington England Christchurch Ford Escort
9 Harry Dodd Roy Campbell Dorsett England Kilmarnock Scotland Porsche 911
10 Iain Freestone Rod Maclean Northampton England Ford Escort
11 Geoff Fielding Preston Ayres Banbury England Porsche 911
12 David Sutton TBA Daventry England Ford Escort RS 2000
13 Graham Alexander David Stewart North Geelong Australia Datsun 260Z
14 Paul-Eric Jarry Craig Redelinghuys France / South Africa Porsche 911
15 Andrew Hawkeswood Jeff Hill Whitford Mazda RX7
16 Brian Green Fleur Pedersen Palmerston North Ford Escort WRC
17 Nelson Marshall Nick Marshall Hamilton Ford Capri RS3100
18 Andrew Shrimpton Trevor Corbin Rotorua Vauxhall Chevette
19 Ian Begg Jeremy Begg Dunedin Volkwagen Golf GTI
20 Dave Strong Roger Oakley Auckland Honda Civic “R”
21 Euan Fuge Mike Gibbs Feilding Mazda RX3
22 Chris Clarke Graeme Robertson Levin Nissan Sumo Estate
23 Don Rubie Charlie MacFarquhar Auckland Ford Escort 2000
24 David Owen Paul Lindsay Christchurch Ford Escort RS2000
25 Peter Bodley Benjamin Bodley Albany Mazda Familia
26 Jeff Torkington Brent Torkington Paremoremo Toyota MR2
27 Dean Pester Kennys Pester Cust Ford Escort Mexico
28 Garry Adcock Mark Dalton Nelson Triumph TR8
29 Jim Wallace Steve Davies Cairns Australia Toyota Celica GT4 (GT 185)
30 Mark Parsons Malcolm Clark Birkenhead Triumph TR7 V8
31 John Robb Greg Prouse New Plymouth Datsun Sunny
32 Duncan McCostie Murray Marshall Kaitangata Nissan Bluebird Turbo
33 Dermot Martin Barrie Gibb Christchurch Suzuki
34 Jim Smale Tina Smale Gore Peugeot 309 gti
35 Neil Gee Ben Kermeen Renwick Ford Escort
36 John Kershaw Jane Buckman Auckland Vauxhall Chevette HSR
37 Stumpy Holmes Mike Burgess Waiuku Ford Escort MKII
38 Robert Elliott Neville Barton Blackwater Australia Datsun Stanza SSS
39 Greg Goudie Jim Robb Red Beach Escort MK 1
40 David Carr Rob Cope-Williams Amberley Mazda
41 Mike Cameron Helen Cameron Waipuku Mitsubishi Lancer
42 Andy Walker Ian Wilson Auckland Ford Escort Mexico
43 Michael Price Tony Witheridge Sefton Triumph Dolomite
44 Rob Wylie Paul Turner Birkenhead Nissan 240RS
45 Brent Rawstron John Kennard Blenheim Porsche 911 RS
46 Peter Riseborough Kaye Kilsby Kew Australia Datsun Sunny
47 Chris Barnett Ransley Kirk Nelson Mazda RX7
48 Gordon Diggle Jody Seabright Wellington Mitsubishi Mirage
49 David Nathan Chris Ramsay Hamilton Toyota Corolla AE 86
50 Keith Callinan Mary Anne Callinan Dolphin Heads Australia Holden Monaro
51 Dave McMillan Daryl Tubb Greymouth Mazda RX3 Coupe
52 Tim Ouwehand Michael Hawkins Auckland Mazda 323 BFMR
53 Bruce Henty Cathryn Henty Hikurangi Ford Escort RS2000
54 Nick Marshall Andrew Smith Auckland Peugeot 206GTi 180
55 Sean Bryce Ivan Johanson New Plymouth Ford Escort
56 John Giltrap TBA Lincoln Audi Quattro
57 Grant Aitken Stu Ashby Queenstown Suzuki Swift
58 Robert Murray Alex Bell Palmerston North Mazda RX7
59 Richard Bethune John Williams Dunedin Ford Escort RS2300
60 Mike Roach Greg Williamson Hamilton Ford Escort Mk 2
61 Alistair Caldwell Catrina Rings Maidenhead UK Ford Escort RS 1600
62 David Hills David Callaghan NSW Australia Ford Escort
63 Jeffrey David Grant Geelan NSW Australia Porsche 911
64 Greg Poole John Spencer Brisbane, Australia Ford Escort RS2000 GP4
65 John Hills Michael Tuckey NSW Australia Ford Escort
66 Nelson Cottle Darren Scott Dunedin Nissan 240RS
67 Peter Cochrane Rebecca Cochrane Adelaide South Australia Ford Mustang
68 Allan Dippie Peter Coghill Dunedin Toyota Corolla GT
69 Paul Walbran Andrew Walbran Auckland MG B