Rally novices Justin Gan and David Hart – pictured above – have scored an amazing overall victory in the 2016 Haka Classic Rally, which reached the finish line in sunny Christchurch on November 25, after 26 days and more than 5000km on the spectacular North and South Islands of New Zealand. Driver Justin has competed in closed-road targa-style events in Australia before, but never in a regularity rally, while navigator David had no previous rally experience at all. All the more remarkable, then, that having taken the lead on Day 11 , the 1969 Porsche 911T crew were never seriously challenged, and won by a margin of almost two minutes. Second overall were early rally leaders Gerd and Birgit Buhler in their 1938 BMW 2327/28 Sport Coupe, who kept pushing to the end, and third overall were 1970 Ford Escort Mexico crew Tracey and Hayden Burvill. We must also applaud Dorothy Caldwell, at 98 the world’s oldest rally navigator, who guided son Alastair to seventh place overall in their 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III.
Indeed congratulations are due to every single competitor – especially the novices – who successfully negotiated the thrilling route from Auckland to Christchurch, much of it on challenging gravel roads and sometimes in very poor weather – they even escaped a major earthquake! You may re-live the adventure via our daily rally blog, and peruse the provisional results in full, on our Haka Classic webpage – click here
98 not out – Dorothy and Alastair Caldwell at the finish