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Gore duo capture Southern Rally Series

Gore duo Andrew Graves and Kevin Laird captured the overall drivers and co-drivers titles respectively when the Laird Motorsport Southern Rally Series was decided at the Catlins Coast Rally recently.
The series is contested at the three major rallies in the southern region each year – the Rally Of Otago, Rally Of Southland and Catlins Coast Rally -by drivers and co-drivers who reside in the area.

As well as the overall titles, both drivers and co-drivers also compete for their respective class titles.      
was a long wait for all concerned after the Catlins event was postponed
from August until November. However, Graves virtually had the drivers
title wrapped up prior to Catlins after taking maximum points at both
the Otago and Southland events in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3.

early dominance was fortunate as Graves left the road and damaged the
car in Stage 2 at Catlins. That allowed his great friend, and the man
he used to co-drive with, Derek Ayson of Clinton, to close to within
four points in the final standings. Ayson, the defending champion, had
a poor points return in Southland which cost him dearly, but bounced
back to take maximum points at Catlins. Third overall was another Gore
driver, Phillip Haar, in a Subaru Legacy.
Laird took the
co-drivers title despite only contesting two rounds. Sitting alongside
Graves in the first two rounds, Laird collected a healthy points haul
before opting to drive in the third and final round where he finished
third in his class in a Suzuki Swift. Haar’s co-driver, Craig Sharp,
was the overall runner-up, while Balclutha’s Mark Allington, co-driver
for Barry Mills, was third.
The class battles featured some
extremely close finishes. In Class A, Toyota Corolla driver Shane
Dickinson, of Dunedin, defeated Oamaru driver Peter Fridd (Toyota
Starlet) by seven points, with the class winner at the final round,
Otautau driver David Scoles, in another Starlet, third.

B went to Balclutha’s Barry Mills in his Hillman Avenger, from Robert
Auld of Scotts Gap and Greg Milne of Invercargill. Both Auld and Milne
drove Toyotas in the series. Neville Kidd, of Cromwell, won Class C in
his Ford Escort by just two points, from Neville Mennell of
Invercargill in a Mitsubishi Turbo, with Andy Ruddenklau of Dunedin

Mike Hosken of Dunedin won Class D in his Mitsubishi Evo, from Darryl Batt of Winton and Paul Cross of Gore.
co-drivers titles went to Lester Martin in Class A from Cherie Fridd,
with Glen Howden third. Class B was claimed by Lana Milne, ahead of
Anthony Bradley and Brent Harris. Brad Johnstone won Class C on
countback after he and Glen McBurney were equal on points, with Maree
McFarlane third. Anita Batt won Class D, from Gerard Clearwater and
Jeremy Hughes.
A healthy entry of over 40 crews entered the
final round, which saw Derek Ayson the overall winner of the series
competitors from Paul Cross/Gerard Clearwater and Mills/Allington.
action of the Laird Motorsport Southern Rally Series has now been
captured on a new 2008 calendar, featuring the photography of Rsport.
The calendar will be available soon and will be priced around the $20
mark. The calendars will be able to be purchased from Laird Motorsport
in Gore, or via Rsport Photography –

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