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Brent Taylor & Rambo, seen here on Crows Nest stage of round 1.

Hello everyone,

And welcome to the 2019 Manukau Auto Centre Top Half Rally Series update, with the first round done and dusted I must thank everyone for all the support you have all demonstrated in registering for the series, both as drivers or co-drivers. The series is certainly alive and kicking, let’s hope it continues.

This update is just to put you in the picture regarding moving forward and to let you know of some of the ideas we have. The first round was always going to be a bit of an “unknown “simply because we did not know how many registrations we would have, hence no prizegiving or nothing organised to celebrate our winners, we’ll get back to this topic in a moment.

I must take this opportunity to thank Daniel Alexander for stepping up and sponsoring the series, this was the first and most important step in moving forward with the series, once Manukau Auto Centre, Daniels company were on board it was all go and the enthusiasm kicked in.

Jason Byrne, the editor of “A little bit sideways”, New Zealand’s only Rally magazine injected some more enthusiasm, obviously he’s going to be showcasing the series within his magazine.

Then in the build up to the start of the series Charlie and Jenny Evans also offered to help out, yet again more enthusiasm, both offering to help as they wanted the series to take off. It was a great boost to have a past winner of the trophy want to help out and put something back into the sport.

So there we have the basics, and one special ingredient, enthusiasm! The series is up and running.

Before moving on I’d also like to thank a couple of other people in making the first round a success, Blair Bartels for making everything so easy in working with the NZRC crew, after all we do piggy back on all their hard work, and the introduction to Chris Grant of “Chrissport “who do a fantastic job in posting all the relevant information regarding times, positions, penalties and retirements and who made setting all this up for our series so easy, great to work with.

So to the rest of the series and what are going to try and do. Registrations, they are still open and open to anyone, sure it’s meant to be a clubman’s series but with no clubman events apart from the Far North Rally that’s a hard one, with three of the four rounds National events it’s pretty tough to have a pure clubman’s series, and to be fair who wants to win a championship with only a handful of competitors, so to have highly rated drivers in the series surely helps lift the profile, it gives the clubman something to aim for and  we are chuffed to have them on board.

With so many registrations we are looking at having a Top Half prize giving at the three remaining rounds, but we still need a few of you to “ cough up “ with your fees, I appreciate Friday evening was not the best time to stick your hand in your pocket ,When only moments from the first stage. But please don’t forget, the details are else were on this website. (see drivers & co drivers rego forms)

On the topic of the website, this has all been put together by Jason, at no cost, we’ve put it on the ABC rallysprint site as this was already up and running and it was the best option financially, if your reading this then you’ve obviously found it, but don’t be shy in telling anyone else about it, it’s going to get better with more info as the rounds tick by.

Another little plan we have is for Jason and myself to pick several drivers (3 at each round) who have impressed on the previous round, they will be allocated points and this will continue at all the rounds, then totted up at the end of the season to provide us with a winner, just a bit of fun but something that may allow a driver to take a trophy who may not have had the opportunity to do so. This trophy will be provided by Jason and a little bit sideways, and round one nominees will be in the report for round one in the next edition of A little Bit Sideways, out next week.

So there we have it, a brief update on the series so far, but for a full report and photos of round one get your copy of the next edition of a little bit sideways, and please make an effort to pay your fees!

See you all at round, Rally Coromandel 16th August.