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Announcement to New Zealand competitors entering the 2019 Asia Pacific Rally Championship

MotorSport New Zealand is supporting New Zealanders running in this year’s FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship by putting up a $5,000 grant for one competitor who has qualified for the APRC final in China in October.

The FIA APRC has a strong Kiwi focus this year with two New Zealand Rally Championship rounds – Otago and Whangarei – both featuring on the APRC calendar for the first time.

The FIA APRC has been in existence for more than 30 years and past winners include New Zealand greats Possum Bourne and Rod Millen, along with multiple World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz, and more recently, current WRC competitor Pontus Tidemand from Sweden.

The 2019 Otago Rally will form the opening round of the FIA APRC Pacific Rally Cup, with round two also in New Zealand (the International Rally of Whangarei), followed by two rallies in Australia, before a grand finale at the end of the year.

MotorSport New Zealand President Wayne Christie says with significant efforts to reinvigorate the APRC, the sport’s governing body in New Zealand also wanted to support a New Zealand competitor who sought to enter the championship’s finale in China.Selection of the recipient to receive the grant will be done via a random draw from all the competitors who meet the following criteria:

  • Having met the qualifying requirements for the APRC final in China
  • Have a car which is compliant with the regulations for the APRC final in China
  • Registered as a NZRC competitor
  • Holder of a MSNZ R Grade licence

“The FIA APRC has a fantastic heritage, so to see two New Zealand and two Australian rounds part of an eight, possibly nine round APRC calendar this year is fantastic for the sport of rallying in our region,” says Christie. “This year the championship also heads to Indonesia and Japan twice – with an additional Japanese round still to be announced – then the final in China.

“We would love to see more New Zealanders named the FIA APRC driver and co-driver champions. We might even see New Zealanders take some of the other APRC titles – that would also be great!”The following titles will be awarded following the 2019 FIA APRC:

  • FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship for Drivers and Co-drivers
  • FIA Junior APRC Championship for Drivers (under the age of 28 years)
  • FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship for Manufacturers
  • APRC Nations Trophy
  • APRC Team Trophy

Prior to entering the qualifying rounds, a competitor must register with the FIA APRC Secretariat. Visit for full details.

MotorSport New Zealand will assess the qualifying competitors following the completion of the qualifying rounds in New Zealand and Australia.

2019 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship Calendar
Rnd 1 13 – 14 April Rally of Otago – New Zealand Pacific Cup
Rnd 2 4 – 5 May Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand Pacific Cup
Rnd 3 22 – 23 June Rally Tasmania – Australia Pacific Cup
Rnd 4 6 -7 July Rally of Medan – Indonesia Asia Cup
Rnd 5 24 – 25 August Eureka Rally – Australia Pacific Cup
Rnd 6 21 – 22 September Rally Hokkaido – Japan Asia Cup
Rnd 7 26 – 27 October China Rally – Longyou Asia Cup

Maraetai Rallysprint Results – 10/02/2019

Results here

We had a fantastic day In Maraetai at the autocross kindly hosted by Ian Vincent
The weather turned it on, there was a cooling breeze playing across the hillside, a view out to the ocean and a huge two tiered paddock with a tonne of strategically placed cones.

My happy place.  I may one day be persuaded to leave city life if I could have a paddock like this one to play in.
I was only going to do COC duties and caravan because Kingsley couldn’t make it and I had my 2 mini’s with me (and I confess – I’m pretty rubbish towing a trailer) but a chance conversation with my brother in law the night before – who was once a pretty good peddler himself – had me loaning my starlet out to him and my 14 year old nephew, because if they took it out- well, then I could drive it too!  Win win win.

My daughters stepped up beautifully to help, recording times from the cool of the caravan while Paddy and Ian Ireland were out in the heat of it with the stop watches, eagle eyed at all the penalties the boys were incurring.  On either end of the penalties scale are the Jones’s…. myself not getting a single one (no apex was harmed that day- shoulda cut in a bit more) and young Zeal with 6 on his first run – but that could have be his Dads navigation skills.
My excuses for poor performance are the seat is too far back and I muffed changing back to first a few times when I couldn’t get the clutch all the way in, and the few times I tried to pull the handbrake I would knock the gear stick into neutral instead. So definitely some things to work in now I’ve finally sat in the starlet.

It was a brilliant day, the usual lament of “where the bloody hell are ya?” To all who weren’t there, a few more competitors would have made the effort given by Paddy to put the day on all the more worthwhile.

It was great to see the mix of novice and experience throwing all manner of machinery around, well done to all who competed and a special well done to the Jones boys – the old & retired rally driver taking fastest time and the 14 year old schoolboy on his first autocross- both beating me convincingly in my own car.

Hmmmmmm…  Might need a rematch.

Madam secretary.

2019 Elite MotorSport Academy Applications Open

Applications are open for the 2019 Elite MotorSport Academy to be held in Dunedin from 30th June to 6th July 2019 but are closing soon.

The Elite Academy is open to any competitor who hold a MSNZ Competition Licence. Many of New Zealand’s top drivers are graduates of the Academy including Richie Stanaway, Earl Bamber, Mitch Evans, Hayden Paddon, Ben Hunt, Marcus Armstrong and Hunter McElrea, to name but a few.

Applications close on 15th March 2019 with selection of participants for the eight available places taking place soon after.

Click here for Information and an Application Form.

Please get your Application in asap so the judges have the maximum amount of time to assess your application.

Applications can be sent to

Changes to ClubSport Events in MotorSport Manual 36

It has come to light that a number of MSNZ Affiliated Car Clubs have, and are still, allowing participation in ClubSport events which breaches the following rule:

MotorSport Manual 36, Schedule C, Article 5.3 – All competitors of a ‘purpose built vehicle’ are required to hold a valid MotorSport NZ competition licence of M Grade or higher.

As per Schedule A , Part One, Article 1.2: Interpretations: “Purpose built vehicle” means a vehicle that; Has a safety cage fitted, that is not equipped as standard on all production examples of the vehicle, or The construction of which prevents its use on public roads”

This means that a vehicle with a safety cage/rollbar, even though homologated by MSNZ, cannot be used in competition by someone who does not hold a valid M Grade competition licence or higher. Those who obtain a Temporary M Grade licence (known as a Day Licence) do not qualify.

This is a change which was introduced with the publication of Manual 36 on 20 August 2018. It is highly recommended that all clubs, officials and competitors familiarise themselves with these changes. Text changes from the previous issue are highlighted in each of the Schedules.

Also a reminder that physical licence cards still need to be checked on event. Another change implemented in Manual 36 is a penalty for a valid licence holder to compete without being able to provide a copy of their card or valid temporary licence letter.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the MotorSport NZ Office on 04 815 8015 or email


The Motorsport Team