22 August 2012
Season Ends With a New Beginning for Westy
It will be a new beginning for Timaru driver Chris West at Rally Gisborne, the fifth and final round of the 2012 NZ
Rally Championship, this weekend.
Westy, and Palmerston North based co-driver Chris Cobham, will debut the Andrew Simms Mitsubishi Rally Team's new
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 at the event.
Up until this point the duo have campaigned the teams EVO 9 in the championship and while pace has not been a problem,
minor issues have conspired to hamper their progress. Westy and Cobham both currently lie fifth in their respective
drivers and co-drivers championships.
Westy is upbeat about the Andrew Simms Mitsubishi EVO 10. "I have had a run in the car and it is really good. Now we
need to do some miles and the object this weekend is to gather information and become familiar with the car. We are
looking for a strong finish with an eye towards next year due to the way our season has unfolded. This outing is to fast
track our preparation for next year and learn the new car."
Testing proved to Westy that the car is a "major leap forward, but very different to drive. It will take some time to
adapt," he says.
The car had run three events in Australia prior to it's purchase by Andrew Simms Mitsubishi. The car has since been
completely rebuilt by Chris Little at Team Ralliart New Zealand and set up to suit New Zealand conditions and Westy's
driving style. Originally blue, the car has been stripped and repainted Passion Red by Porana Panels on the North Shore.
Andrew Simms describes the finish as "unbelievable!"
Rally Gisborne takes place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August after a ceremonial start on Friday evening. On
Saturday the competitors tackle seven Special Stages over a total distance of 169 kilometres. The roads encountered will
be those used on this event in 2010 and 2011 and were previously utilised by Rally New Zealand. Sunday's route takes
competitors over five further stages with a total distance of 125 kilometres. The roads comprising Sundays stages are in
the Tolaga Bay area and were used for Rally NZ in the 1990's. The first car is expected at the finish at Reads Quay in
Gisborne at 4.15pm on Sunday.
Support for Chris West and the Andrew Simms Mitsubishi Rally Team in the Brian Green Property Group 2012 NZ Rally
Championship powered by Brother comes from Andrew Simms Mitsubishi, Castrol, Pirelli Tyres, Team Ralliart NZ and the New
Calendar - Brian Green Property Group 2012 New Zealand Rally Championship
Round 1 - 30 March-1 April 2012: Rally Of Whangarei (Asia-Pacific Rally Championship)
Round 2 - 27-29 April 2012: Rally Wairarapa
Round 3 - 25-27 May 2012: Rally Of Otago
Round 4 - 21-24 June 2012: Rally New Zealand
Round 5 - 25-26 August 2012 : Rally Gisborne