This Sunday sees the fourth and final round of the 2020 Mainland Rally Series with Josh Marston holding a 17-point advantage over rival Matt Summerfield. The Lone Star Rally Canterbury, in association with Joe’s Garage, has attracted 55-entries with titles and classes to be decided after the series was cut short due to the COVID 19 outbreak.
This season is 50 years since the first rally in Canterbury, the Silver Fern Rally held back in 1970 and won by Paul Adams.
The 2020 Mainland Rally Series got underway with the Westland Rally in March held in the Grey and Buller district. Marston (Holden Barina AP4) capitalised on Summerfield’s misfortune taking the win while the latter retired with engine problems in his new Mitsubishi Mirage AP4 car. Second home was Job Quantok/Grant Marra (Skoda Fabia AP4) with Marcus van Klink/Dave Neill (Mazda RX8) in third.
The 12th edition of the Catlins Rally in August saw Summerfield win with Marston second home in the Mainland Series followed by Deane Buist/Karl Celeste (VW Golf GTi Mk2).
Summerfield clawed back more points by winning the Spring Rally held in South Canterbury, this time with Robbie Stokes/Amy Stokes (Ford Fiesta AP4) second and Marston/Graves third.
Rally Canterbury will commence with a ceremonial start on Saturday afternoon in Eaton Place outside the Lone Star Café and Bar Manchester Street, starting at 5.00 pm with cars on display from 3.00 pm onwards.
The rally proper starts outside Joe’s Garage, Rangiora, at 7.30 am Sunday morning. Stadium Cars Stage 1 will be a 20 km blast through Ashley Forest on major arterial roads. From there crews tour to Amberley for a service in the Countdown car park at 9.20 am.
The Castrol Stage 2 uses Ram Paddock/Broxton Roads with a distance of 18 km and a spectator point at the intersection of Broxton, MacDonald Downs and Heathstock Roads.
This is followed by a service at Waikari at 10.45 am. Crews then tour up country to the RDL Performance Stage 3 using Kaiwara and Leamington Roads with a distance of 29 km. Spectator viewing is at the corner of Leamington and Downs Roads.
This stage is followed immediate by the Brian James Trailers Stage 4 which is a short 5 km blast with no spectator access.
Crews then head to Cheviot for service at 1.15 pm before touring to the Christchurch Building and Decorating Stage 5, a 29 km run down Blythe and Happy Valley Roads. The best spectator point is on the corner of Blythe and Stoneyhurst Roads.
This is followed by service in Amberley back at the Countdown car park at 3.30 pm.
Autoparts Stage 6 is the 6 km Onepunga Road where there is no spectator access. The final Stage 7 is the Flooring Warehouse Mount Grey Road through Ashley Forest, probably the most famous forestry road in New Zealand. The 15 km stage finishes on the uphill section of the rallysprint road with excellent spectator viewing at the top hairpin.
Crews then tour back to Lone Star Café and Bar Manchester Street with the first car due at 6.00 pm.
Prize giving for both the rally and Mainland Rally Championship will be at the Lone Star from approximately 8.30 pm or as soon as results are declared final.
A new initiative this year is the introduction of a power stage for Classes A (0 – 1300 cc) and B (1301 – 1600 cc) with a cash prize for the winner of each of $250 kindly donated by the good sports at Stadium Cars.
Spectator guides will be available at the event and stage sponsors premises along with Autotech in Rangiora. These are available on the Autosport Club Inc website and other social media such as Facebook.