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May 14, 2024

Post Wairarapa Rally – Jun 2008

Here it is – the first rally in the new Micra.

Everything was set for the rally debut of the Micra after literally hundreds of hours of work building it. For this rally we had Mark Bradley’s brother Jeff as well as the usual suspects – Mark, CG, CG’s brother Deane, and Roger. At 5.30am Saturday morning the crew set off for the service area at Pongaroa. We were the second crew to arrive so got a prime servicing spot.

At around 9.00pm Reg and Louise set off to do the first 2 stages. At the first service everything was going fine with the car although Reg reported a lack of traction on the heavily graveled roads. They were just slightly adrift of the front runners – Aaron Cook in the Jazz and Dave Strong in his Civic who were setting the pace.

Second service and the car is still running well. Tyre choices were the major headache with the gravel still causing problems. By this time there had been some carnage amongst the field with Sam Murray rolling on the first stage and others having trouble staying on the road.

At the end of the day the car had run virtually trouble free and we had a good haul of points with 4th in class.

Day 2 and the service park is in Eketahuna. The cars have to do 3 stages before the first service. A text comes through on my phone – ‘4 km into first stage, hit rock. Impossible to drive but still driving. Fix?’

Oh s…t. The left front wheel was pushed back and there was damage to the bottom suspension arm mounting. Of course we would try our best to fix the damage. We had a 30 minute service to work in, and after bending, bashing, and bolting, the car was sent back out with just 11 minutes penalty time.

More texts follow while Reg and Louise struggle on. Next service break and it is under the car again to do another patch up to keep them going. Another minor problem had arisen – the exhaust had cracked so a make shift repair is made there too.

Two stages to go and we really want to finish to get more points. They make it through the first, then the bottom arm temporary repair lets go and gives heaps of tow out. Driving is a little challenging especially as the exhaust has cracked completely and the Micra now sounds like a Harley in full flight.

The last stage is driven at about 60 kms just to ensure a finish and those valuable points.

They make it over the finish ramp at the Solway Park Motel but not before a small burn out, just to remind the crowd that Reg still enjoys his rallying as much as ever!

So we had some success (4th in class for the weekend) and some failures (bank jumped out at wrong time, exhaust cracking). Overall we are reasonably pleased with the debut of CMR’s new Micra.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this project. We are very grateful. We now look forward to Dunedin in a month’s time .Also see  attached photos- thanks Matt

 Bye for now,

Peter Merrie