The final round of the Parker Enzed New Zealand Rally Championship to be held in Nelson next month, will be a nail biter for many of the countries top rally competitors.
Considered by many to arguably be some of the best forest rally roads on the country, the 0800 Boxman Rally of Nelson takes place on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September, in what promises to be one of the major attractions on this season's local motorsport calendar.
The Nelson Car Club is proud to be hosting the Final Round of the 2006 Parker ENZED New Zealand Rally Championship, and also Round 5 of the Magnum Prestige Mainland Rally Series. This year will see our usual format of being a 1 day event, change to become a 2 Leg/2 day event.
Leg One will kick off with all the cars being on display outside the fantastic World of Wearable Art and Collectable Cars Complex. During this time there will be an opportunity for members of the public to get their favourite NZRC drivers autograph. The first car will leave the Ceremonial Start at 12 noon, and head north of the City to experience the roads of the Hira forest. Consisting of 5 special stages, servicing for this leg of the rally will be at the Trafalgar Centre car park. There will be one spectator area which will be passed twice.
Leg Two will see the cars leave the World of Wearable Art and Collectable Cars Complex at 8am to head for some of the fantastic roads that can be found in the Golden Downs forest. Again there will be one designated spectator area which will be passed twice during the day. Servicing for this leg will be at the old forestry headquarters in Tapawera.
The Nelson Car Club inc has also signed a new sponsor to support its National Championship Rally here in September. Matt Charles, the Managing Director of Boxman New Zealand Ltd has come on board this year as the major sponsor.
"We are keen to give something back to the community and at the same time making the public aware of the support we give to sports."Matt comments.
This year, the organisers, the Nelson Car Club are breaking new ground, and have taken the opportunity to provide the drivers with new and exciting stages this year - giving them more of an inside look to what Nelson has to offer.
With entries closing on the 28th August, focus can now move to promotion and getting the public involved. "We get great feedback as soon as we start advertising the rally and being a round of the national series makes it great coverage for the Nelson region as a whole. A study conducted here in 2004 showed that the rally brings more than $800,000 into the local economy at a slow time of the year for many businesses. Mind you it costs us over $70,000 and many many hours of voluntary help to stage." Rally Secretary Delwyn explains.
On the topic of voluntary help, it is quite daunting the manpower it takes to host a round of the National Rally Championship. There are the ones behind the scene, the hard working rally committee preparing and organising the event in the months prior but then there is also all the volunteers helping out for the duration of the event. "We will have over 100 volunteers out in the forests over the two days the 0800 Boxman Rally of Nelson is to be run this year. We have many others who have been working behind the scenes like the 24 Amateur Radio Club members. Some of whom travel with rally officials and there are others working in the forest relaying information back to rally headquarters."Rally Organiser Lester Brown mentions.
Then there are the block marshals who protect the integrity of the rally route for us by stopping any wayward people straying onto the course. The St John teams, Nelson Motorport Fire Rescue, media and also the security and spectator area people all add up to make the event possible.
The spectator areas carry a charge to cover forest security and associated costs. Volunteers are from the Nelson North Lions Club and generally make about a thousand dollars for their organisation, which is then spent on community projects.
This year, the pre event rally display will take place in the WOW carpark from 10am-12pm, with the New Zealand Rally Championship signing session taking place at 11am. First car leaves for special stage one, the tight and twisty Sharlands at 12pm.
The Maitai Road to the dam and all of the Hira Forest from the Rai Saddle to Sharlands Creek is closed on the Saturday so Hunters, Walkers, Bikers and alike please be aware of this.
The Rally Commitee of the 0800 Boxman Rally of Nelson would like to express appreciation and thank-you to The Nelson Mail, Radioworks-MORE FM-ROCK and Houston & Daymans for their continual support.