DriveSouth Rally of Otago competitors (from left) Jake
Thomas, Steven Thompson and Brayden Palmer, of Mosgiel,
with a rebuilt 1980 Datsun Sunny. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A Mosgiel mechanic injured in a ''colossal'' crash during
the Rally of Otago last year is set to return to the event in
his rebuilt car tomorrow.
Steven Thompson (22) said it would be the first time he had
raced the 1980 Datsun Sunny since it was rebuilt.
He and his co-driver, Jack Brownlie (22), of Outram, had a
''colossal'' crash in stage two of the Rally of Otago last
year when the front suspension failed and the car rolled four
times at about 140kmh.
''It left us both unconscious and the car absolutely
Thompson continued getting migraines for six months after the
crash. But that did not put him off and he sourced car parts
from around New Zealand to rebuild the car so he and Brownlie
could return to the rally.
''It's effectively a new car; it's been rethought and
He admitted having pre-rally nerves but had complete
confidence in his car.
Friends also racing in the classic class tomorrow include
Jake Thomas (21) in a 1982 Toyota Corolla, and Brayden Palmer
(21) in a 1980 Toyota Starlet.
They agreed to grow moustaches, similar to that sported by
rally driver the late Peter ''Possum'' Bourne, to match their
1980s cars. Palmer's co-driver is
Thompson's girlfriend, Cassidy Solomon (19), of Mosgiel. She
had failed to warm to her boyfriend's moustache, Thomas said.
''There's not much kissing going on.''
The DriveSouth Rally of Otago is the second round of the 2014
New Zealand Rally Championship The two-day event starts
There are 15 special stages over 280km of mostly gravel
public and forestry roads to the south and southwest of
Dunedin. There is one tarmac stage in Anzac Ave tomorrow.
A ceremonial start will take place in the Octagon from 4pm