Home' Clutha Leader : July 25th 2013 Contents 25.7.13 Leader
Backyard rally matters
By BRITT PICKETT
Bond decides to try a cautious approach
Final checks: Below, Balclutha's Dean Bond
with his Mitsubishi Evo 6.5.
Photo: LAURA ROOZENDAAL/626572278
Go Bondy: Balclutha driver Dean Bond, in
action in the Rally of Otago in April, has
hopes for a much better result from the
Bond is back for more -- and he
driver Dean Bond will compete in
the Catlins Coast Rally for the
11th time on Saturday.
After going off the road in last
year's rally, he said his first goal
for the race on Saturday week was
simple -- just to finish.
The 2009 and 2011 winner said he
would ''err on the side of
caution'', instead of taking the
high-speed approach he took last
He said he was more relaxed
leading into this year's rally and
not as focused on winning, but ''it
could get pretty competitive''.
''A lot of the top drivers come here
and compete,'' he said.
Don't be fooled. Bond may not be
saying so, but winning is clearly a
motivation. He is second seed for
the event in his Mitsubishi EVO
6.5 and has form on his side.
Bond and Ross Moody finished
fourth overall in the recent Rally
of Otago against the cream of New
Zealand rallying talent, also
winning the allcomers' section.
The Catlins rally is in his
''As a home event, with local
sponsors, it's fairly important to
us,'' he admitted.
Bond rated defending champion
and top seed Rhys Gardner, of
Balclutha, and 2010 winner
Andrew Graves, of Gore, as his
main competition in a rally which
has undergone some changes.
Of eight special stages totalling
160km, only the Cannibal Bay
stage was the same.
Bond was positive about the new
course. ''It's good to mix it up.''
Bond already knows many of the
roads, but he would not be the
only one with inside knowledge.
'There are locals at every rally.
Someone always has an advan-
Rallying a challenge to relish
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Hooked on speed: Balclutha rally driver Rhys Gardner.
Photo: LAURA ROOZENDAAL/628017221
He's one of the most promising rally drivers to come out of the
Clutha District. Balclutha's Rhys Gardner talks to Laura
Roozendaal about dancing around corners.
In the zone: Balclutha's Rhys Gardner in action during last year's Rally of Otago.
Photo: ALANA MCISAAC/626596413
What do you compete in?
How long have you competed?
Second proper season this year
but have raced on and off for a few
How did you get involved
in the sport?
Raced motocross during high
school but always wanted to
compete in rally. Bought a Toyota
Corolla race car online when I
was 25 and started racing it with
help from local mechanic Paul
Goatley. We changed to the
Mitsubishi last year, which has
allowed us to race at a national
Why have you continued in the
Rally is a massive challenge
which pushes a driver and team
to perform during intense change,
speed, and uncertainty. After
competing in a few rallies, I found
that it was possible to relax into a
very calm, focused state and allow
the car to dance effortlessly
between corners at very high
speed. I've been hooked on getting
into that state ever since.
What do you think has been
your biggest or best achieve-
ment so far?
Hard to choose between winning
the Catlins Rally overall last year
and a North Island event a few
weeks ago where we destroyed 30
metres of fence without breaking
a headlight or scratching the roof.
What is the weirdest or most
interesting thing to happen to
you while competing?
A few years ago in the Toyota, I
accidently put the gearbox into
second gear at 160kmh during the
Catlins Rally. The engine sounded
really sick but my infamous co-
driver demanded that I ''hold it
flat Jack''. We made a huge trail of
smoke for another 8km before
coming to a stop a few hundred
metres past my house, which by
chance was located on the stage.
What is your aim for the
To keep improving as a team and
to create opportunities for us to
compete at the highest level
What do you like to do when
you're not competing?
My team would probably say that
I like to invent weird smoothie
recipes, do strange mental and
physical training to help me drive
faster, and read books written by
crazy people. Mostly I just end up
working on the farm or fixing the
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