After another successful Swift Sport Cup season, Castrol Scholarship engineer Rob Ryan and series co-ordinator Paul (Barge) Burborough, return to their roots over Queens Birthday weekend when they compete in the two day Targa Rotorua Rally.

The event is being held over the two days of Queens Birthday weekend, taking in the wonderful roads around Rotorua and as far north as Cambridge.

Both have had many years experience in rallying, mainly sitting in the co-drivers seat, with Rob Ryan being one of New Zealand’s most successful co-drivers, having won a total of six national titles. Rob however, has never competed in a rally as the driver, so sitting on this side of the car will be a completely new experience for him.

“I have always wanted to drive in a rally at some stage, so I guess now the time has come for me. I have sat along side some of the greats of our NZ rallying history (Bruce Herbert, Neil Allport, Andrew Hawkswood, Lewis Scott and Sam Murray) and have seen how it should be done.”

“Seeing and feeling how to drive fast is one thing, but doing it will be another. I guess by midday on Saturday, we will have some idea!,"laughs Ryan.

“I would like to thank Wayne Leach and 'Barge' for this opportunity, and I’m sure we will have a huge amount of fun.”

Paul Burborough has spent time co-driving also, for vehicle owner and employer Wayne Leach at Winger Motors. Previous Targa experience includes competing in Dunlop Targa, finishing a credible second overall. He has previously held a team management role with Subaru Rally Team NZ for three years prior to starting the very successful Suzuki Swift Sport Cup three years ago for Suzuki NZ.

The pairing will start the event in a standard Swift Sport Cup car, which is basically identical to what you can buy off the showroom floor, however, fitted with all the required safety features. This car is the car that Angus Fogg recently drove for Winger Suzuki at Hamilton in the ITM400 V8 Supercar weekend finishing first overall for the weekend.

“We have made no changes to the car at all apart from fitting a jack, first aid kit and a spare wheel. That is the beauty of these cars and this type of event; we can use the car on the circuit during the championship year and then put a set of number plates on the car and enter a Targa without out laying too much time or money, making the Swift Cup Car a very practical race car.”

“We were offered the use of the car by Winger Suzuki and after a couple of phone calls to our loyal supporters, we were able to put this deal together. Without the support from Castrol, Dunlop, Winger Suzuki, Protecta Insurance and the great people at Targa, it would not have been possible to do this event. We will be out to have some fun after a long year at the circuits around New Zealand with the Swift Sport Cup, where at times we have been responsible for up to 18 cars in each race. We see this as an opportunity to finish the season with a great fun event.”

The team will compete in the modern class (class 8) for cars up to five years old and will be the smallest in that class, competing against vehicles like a BMW i30, Mercedes SLK55AMG and a Porsche 996, with the Swift being 1600cc and only 92 kilo watts.

The event starts from Novotel Rotorua at 8.10am this Saturday morning, where the competitors will face 165 km of high speed special stages before an overnight stop back in Rotorua.

Day two starts from the same location at 7am, where the competing teams will face 155 km of special stage distance with a 75 minute lunch break at Cambridge around 11am. This is a great place to see all the cars in one location. The event will conclude back in Rotorua at 4.30pm.


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