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Greg Todd Memorial rally cancelled

 

While relatively bygone news, the issues regarding the cancellation of the esteemed memorial event have affected not only the planned Rally Xtreme series but the future of the sport.

While relatively bygone news, the issues regarding the cancellation of the esteemed memorial event have affected not only the planned Rally Xtreme series but the future of the sport.

Facing minimal entries (34) organisers of the annual Jigsaw Clothing Greg Todd Memorial rally were left with little option but to cancel the event.

The heart of the decision being the funding required to run the event in the modern age of user pays. With the Maramarua forest being the birth of rally for many competitors in the immediate entry catchment area, a large portion of the entry fee takings were set aside for repair to the road surface following the event.

Clerk of the Course Rob Wylie expressed his disappointment at not only having to announce the decision, but view the distress from those involved: "It's really disappointing, and to the organisers - insulting even, but for the slightest excuse, people don't enter or even go to watch."

"The problem is everyone puts in a lot of effort, building up to a heap of effort and then you get 34 entries. You just feel let down - and you don't get inundated by people saying 'we're not going to enter but how can we help'."

Explaining the entry fee for the event, Mr Wylie detailed how the inclusive figure covered the forestry road charges, a donation to the local community and deposit for those who wished to purchase safety notes.
"We included a $10 donation to the local Te Kawhata community for starting and finishing there, so if you remove that and the $150 forestry charge and the $20 for the notes, that is the real entry cost. How much do you reduce it to make it acceptable?"

"Road closures were a mission this year. We changed from the Saturday to the Sunday, in the hope to make it more user friendly."

"...I can't believe the hassle with the tarmac stages, there were 90 residents on one stage - I don't think we can run that format again."

"And I think it is the only rally where people can do scrutineering and documentation in two venues (Auckland and Hamilton)."

To be the ninth running of the event, sponsor Jigsaw Clothing were planning on using it to build up to a ten year anniversary in 2007.

"Maybe it is symptomatic of Auckland. But unless people start supporting the sport by going out there, not just by organising, but by being spectators - even paying the $5/10 fee, just to support the local communities. Those people are crucial to lobby the local council to allow us to use the roads in the first place - because the locals benefit."

With the decline in the use of county gravel roads due to increasing urban population and sealing, the forestry is returning as one of the last bastions available for rally activities.
As a typical forestry road surface, expected conditions have many shy away from the more chassis demanding surface.

"30yrs ago Maramarua was great - people expected rough roads."
"...It is an aging population in the sport - we don't have anyone that is young prepared to put time in."

"It's hard to justify, just so 60 cars can go out and have a play, this is our sport, and needs supporting."

Lance Hastie


Auto Trader New Zealand