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While the Trusthouse Racetech Rally Wairarpa has developed into one of the premier motorsport events in the country – as a round of the NZ Rally Championship, and now with the inclusion of the Malcolm Stewart Classic Rally – the organisers have never forgotten that the event is as much for the club competitors as it is for the rock stars.

Every year there are a number of club level competitors who save up just to do this event, be it as a one-off just to say they have completed the challenge, or a first time rally competitor starting on their gravel bashing career.

The club and regional competitors are the grass roots of any sport, and many would say the foundation the sport is built on. So, when you have a sport like rallying, where the “Allcomers” get to compete on the same turf, at the same time, as the national championship competitors, it is an opportunity that needs to be made as accessible as possible.

“We’ve always made our event accessible to everyone”, says Bruce Sollitt, the organising committee secretary. “The club guys are just as important to us and we try to make the event as easy as we can for them to compete”.

With this thought in mind, this year’s event features a number of innovations to make it easy for everyone, at all levels of the sport.

The advent of remote scrutineering and documentation means that competitors will complete their car’s safety checks with their local scrutineer before the event, and send in photocopies of their licenses with their entry form. “So long as everything is in order they [the competitors] only need to pick up their event paperwork on the day”, says event secretary Tracey Stringer. “Although it might be a very early start for some, it might mean they save a nights’ accommodation.”

The options to enter one or both days of the event have been left open so that people can choose what suits them best. Even to the extent that those competing on Saturday can decide that afternoon if they want to continue on the Sunday. “They only need to pay the extra $100 to do a whole day’s rallying”, says Sollitt.

Clerk of the Course Dave Davies has been urging people to download and read the event regulations. “Everything you need to know is in there”, he says. “All of the options and how to take advantage of them are in there. We’ve even extended the servicing rules so that non-championship competitors can service their cars outside the service parks.”

That means if you encounter problems you have the opportunity to do repairs where ever you are and keep going. “It’s all about allowing competitors to get the most out of the event that they can”, adds Sollitt.

With an impressive 72 starters last year, the Trusthouse Racetech Rally Wairarapa team are anticipating similar numbers again this year. The variety of machinery and competitors through the national championship classes, the hugely successful Malcolm Stewart Classic Rally, the Geartech Central Region Rally Series competitors and the one off club competitors makes for a vibrant and interesting rally, with something for everyone.

“My advice is to get your entry in now. That way you have time to get the scrutineering and documentation sorted. Then all you need to do is turn up on the day”, says Bruce Sollitt.
All information, regulations and entry forms are available at the official Rally Wairarapa web site www.rallywairarapa.co.nz
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