2004 National Rally Champion Chris West of Christchurch will front for the Vantage Aluminium Joinery 2010 NZ Rally Championship in a new car primed for a huge championship campaign
Westy sports a Ralliart built Group N Mitsubishi EVO 9 owned by Andrew Simms Motorsport Ltd.
The car was previously campaigned by Finnish driver Juho Hanninen and has only contested two international events, winning the Production World Rally Championship section of the 2008 Rally Japan.
Experienced co-driver Chris Cobham of Palmerston North will again sit alongside Westy throughout the 2010 NZ Rally Championship campaign.
According to Chris West, the emphasis this year is to win as many rallies and ultimately win the championship.
"It's looking very good," says Westy.
"It’s been a bit of a rush but we are looking better than last year. We've done 250 kilometres in the rally car and it’s shaping up well.”
“We need to be consistently competitive,” says Westy.
Chris West and his team have been working hard to ensure they have the equipment, infrastructure and budget in place.
“We have been fortunate with the sponsors we have had in the past but we have had to dig deep for additional support and to pull that off it’s vital that we do your best,” Westy says.
That ‘essential support,’ says Westy, is thanks to Andrew Simms Mitsubishi, the New Zealand Herald, Castrol, The Mad Butcher, Donnithorne Simms Mitsubishi and Adamson & Holland Ltd.
Major sponsor Andrew Simms is enthusiastic about the prospects for the 2010 New Zealand Rally Championship.
“This year’s Rally New Zealand will be an exciting and accessible spectacle which is great for the teams and also the sponsors.
“Competitive top-flight teams have entered, ensuring that competition will be hotly contested.
“With a near new car that has already won international events, and with past New Zealand Rally Champion Chris West driving for us, we are confident that we have a very fast and competitive package for this year’s NZRC and Rally NZ,” says Simms.
The inclusion of Rally NZ into the Championship with Auckland as the central point offers exciting opportunities for Andrew Simms European as the franchise for Citroen; the marque that French rally driver Sebastien Loeb has piloted to all six of his World Rally Championship titles.
Andrew Simms European will host an exciting event on Sebastien Loeb’s arrival to New Zealand for the World Rally Championships.
The French Rally themed event will be held in the Andrew Simms European Rotunda showroom in Newmarket featuring legendary Loeb, current Champion Haydon Paddon and previous Champion Chris West followed by French wine, canapés and a selection of rally memorabilia items on auction.
Andrew Simms are proud supporters of Camp Quality - Children living with Cancer, and all funds raised on the night will be donated to the charity.
Prior to the Andrew Simms event, Westy and Cobham will begin their keenly anticipated Vantage Aluminium Joinery 2010 New Zealand Rally Championship challenge at the Rally of Otago on 10th and 11th April 2010, an event Westy has won four times previously.
CALENDAR - VANTAGE ALUMINIUM JOINERY 2010 NEW ZEALAND RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Round 1 - 10-11 April 2010 Rally Of Otago
Round 2 - 7-9 May 2010 Rally Of New Zealand (World Rally Championship)
Round 3 - 3-4 July 2010 Rally Of Whangarei (Asia-Pacific Rally Championship)
Round 4 - 21-22 August 2010 Rally Of Nelson
Round 5 - 11-12 September 2010 Rally Wairarapa