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February News

February NEWS

Last I checked it was Summer although I’m not entirely sure. You grab a hat then it pours, you reach for a raincoat & it’s back to 30°C+, cummon Mother Nature…

The weather has certainly dampened our spirits but not our drive. We do have wet socks, we feel a little short changed – just remember it will get better, it can’t be roses & champagne all the time.

Cyclone Gabrielle has devastated our country, our homes, our people, our roads. Thoughts go out to those worse off, mother nature deals some cruel blows sometimes. Not even the humble farmers who know weather better than most of us, could foresee what she had in store. From here, we aid & assist in any way possible, we rebuild, we get things back in order.

Apples will now pass avocados as most ridiculously expensive, we’ll trade in eggs on the black market & upturn our wallets in the hope to find enough change to fill up the race car for event day.

 With more unsettled weather on the horizon, for goodness sakes makes sure the race cars are parked high up in the shed.

Our return to Murray Road was not to be, well not at the moment anyway.

Slips on the road meant it was not viable to push on & run the event. Local Councils inundated with roading issues post cyclone, Murray Road was not priority enough for timely repairs before our scheduled event.

So it was not. The event cancelled/postponed, to be revisited to see if we can rerun at a later date.

This is a gem road, so we’ll persevere as long as needed until we can return.

What’s Next…?

Bothwell Loop 19th March

Our big annual rallysprint event, we’re a flurry with preparations & looking forward to this one.

I am quietly excited at the reverse running of the road. Like other venues, in reverse direction is a new road and a whole new set of challenges. A roads a road sure but tackling this beast with a different feel for the characteristics will keep drivers on their toes.

Always a fan of uphill climbs opposed to downhill slippy, my feeling is 1st 1/3 of the road should …. be a piece of cake. The Waikaretu Wairamama/Bothwell intersection with the 3R at the end of the big straight will now be 3L & boot it. The straight proceeding will prove interesting at the far end when the anchors are dropped to reduce warp speed ready to navigate the LHer. The middle 1/3 could be a bit hairy where its relatively narrow in sections. Will Charlie’s corner bite this way round, hmmmm? Another BIG straight up to the top 2L, sheepishly along the cliffside & dancing past the grandaddy pines where the road curves & dips & feels most cambered.

The pits will be spread across two paddocks again. With the start line so much closer to the pits, possibly even in view – will this reflect better timekeeping from the competitors, in numerical start order, ready to rock & roll, on your minute?

Chocolate fish rewards if you are 🙂

We’re going to have to run a tight ship on the day, timekeeping integral to keep things ticking along. As a competitor, sometimes you’re sitting wrapping your fingers over the bonnet thinking ‘what the flippin heck, what’s the hold up, it’s hot in these overalls’.. In reality, the organisers are working through a car who’s had an off, occupant checks, clearing it from the course by recovery/pushed safely to the side, redistribute recovery, get FIV through for a clearance, do a radio check & get the next car on the line ready for their countdown. There’s quite a flurry that happens behind the scenes while the start line waits for hold ups. Radio operators Brian & Pete are absolute legends & run comms seamlessly. Day well done under their watch.

Optimism running high, the delicate balancing act of weather, residents, road condition & other variables hopefully see the stars align & this road run for another year. Hardest currently, the weather – we hope this will be a Bothwill not Bothwont.

Either way, get your entry in as spots are filling up fast, entry via POSSUM

Targa Same Date as Bothwell…?

Targa Bambina 17-19th March is a two day weekend event based around Pukekohe starting and finishing at the Pukekohe Park Raceway.

Targa Bambina has 14 stages with 219 stage kms travelling over the Auckland and Waikato districts.

For our rallysprint, we would like to note it will affect people coming from the South with road closures if they are running late. Please take note & plan accordingly.

NRSS, which round is this?

The weather, the weather, shakes head.

Round 1 was ‘postponed’ due to crazy isolated deluges of rain consolidated mainly over the Mangawhai greater region. Bothwell Loop now slingshots to round 1 of the rallysprint series, Arcadia Road will be rescheduled to a new date in the next few months, keep an eye out on the rallysprint website.

Northern Rallysprint Series Rounds

Later in the Year …

We’re limited with road options BUT feedback from members about what you want to see on the calendar is always welcomed, please shout out.


The calendar is filled with events hosted by various clubs, so if we’re not running an event, you’ll find something there to chose from. There’s series events, stand alone events, grass, gravel & tarmac.

SPEED WEEKEND is planned for later in the year.

Port Waikato Waikaretu Road has taken a bit of a bashing though.

The first corner from the tarmac start line used to have slight undulation, an understatement now. We hope the local contractors can get it fixed in time, as you can see there are some pretty big holes to fix.

Mt Smart?

Mt Smart Stadium carpark autocross, I wasn’t hooning around the course but thought it was a good venue & possibly worth while revisiting. Our competitors for the day had a blast.

Our committee are pretty stretched with current affairs – do we have any takers to put hands up to get another one of these autocross’s going? It’ll require a bit of paperwork & your attendance on the day marshalling. Shout out, click below & lets get this going!!


2023 NZ Hillclimb Championship Confirmed

The MotorSport New Zealand Gold Star Hillclimb Championship returns in 2023 with a unique, one-weekend shootout for the title taking place over the weekend of 18 & 19 March in Lawrence, Otago, thanks to the support of WinmaX Brakes.

The NZ Hillclimb Championship is one of just a handful of prestigious Gold Star titles run under the auspices of the sport’s governing body, MotorSport New Zealand. While typically a multi-event championship with several qualifying rounds, for 2023 the title of NZ Gold Star Hillclimb Champion will go to the outright winner of the two-day event.

The organising club, the South Otago Car Club, is working closely with Kiwi rally star Hayden Paddon who imports and distributes the high spec, Japanese-made WinmaX Brakes via his business Paddon Rally Group.

“ClubSport is essentially the grassroots of motorsport in New Zealand,” says Paddon. “These club events are where virtually every competitor hones their skills, whether they prefer tarmac or gravel, and continue onto the international stage or compete in club events throughout their motorsport career. It’s vital that our motorsport scene continues to have a thriving array of club-run events for our competitors to enjoy.

2023 WINMAX Junior Drivers Announced

Winmax Brake Pads and Paddon Racing Group have joined forces for another year to support 6 up-and-coming Kiwi motorsport competitors through the Winmax Junior Driver programme.

The program supports drivers of all forms of motorsport to develop their careers at an early stage. Now in its third year, applications were considerably more than in past and selection was difficult. The recipients are:

  • Jonty Brenssell (25), Canvastown – New Zealand Rally Championship
  • Zeal Jones (18), Auckland – New Zealand Rally Championship
  • Mason Grimmer (22), Taupo – North Island Rally Series
  • Will Kitching (16), Timaru – Mazda Pro8 South Island
  • Jacob Cunniffe (15), Geraldine – South Island Formula Ford Series
  • Ben Stewart (17), Wellington – GTRNZ

“The calibre of applications was promising for New Zealand motorsport. The selection was tough but we are proud to be supporting these 6 young drivers, all of whom are on a pathway to great things. With so many entrants, it was a challenge to pick”

Motorsport Online / Sporty Update

The MotorSport Online / Sporty project has almost completed the beta testing stage. The 13 beta testers have worked through a wide range of scenarios to put the system through its paces over the last month. The feedback has generally been very positive and constructive and has certainly helped improve the overall product.

Comprehensive training and tutorial resources will be rolled out closer to the ‘go live’ date for competitors, volunteer officials and all users to ensure they have all the support they need to use the new system to its full potential.

Motorsport Manual Hard Copy

I’m not gonna lie, I still like books/paper. Not one to easily lug around, this will still be there when internets patchy. You will of course have to keep it updated but it’s great to see the ‘hardcopy’ option available for those interested.

Pre-order from Motorsport

Knowledge Corner

Engine Coolants: Selection and Maintenance

Coolant Basics Coolant, also known as antifreeze, serves two major purposes: modulating temperature (through the transfer of heat) and protecting components against corrosion.

In a heavy-duty diesel engine, for example, only one-third of the total energy produced is put
towards propelling the vehicle; one-third of the energy is removed through the vehicle’s exhaust as heat energy; the final third of the heat energy produced is removed by the engine coolant. This is important because overheating can cause the engine and oil to rapidly degrade.

Water is the best means of heat transfer, and glycol is often added to provide freeze and boil-over protection. While glycol reduces the heat transfer capabilities of water, it is often necessary for most climates and applications. Engine coolant base fluids are usually made up of a 50/50 mix of ethylene glycol and water, but in some applications, other base fluids may be used, such as propylene glycol mixtures or deionized water and corrosion protection additives. Other ingredients may include antifoam agents, corrosion inhibitors, dyes and other additives.


There are three primary groups into which coolants fall:


Group 1 – Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT) These are glycol-based coolants traditionally
used in vehicle engines. These coolants are typically green with silicate and/or phosphate
corrosion inhibitors and are effective at inhibiting corrosion on iron and aluminum surfaces.
These coolants can often be called conventional or fully formulated coolants. While effective,
the corrosion inhibitors found in this group of coolants have short lifespans, and failure to
maintain and replace the fluid leads to component failure.

Group 2 – Organic Additive Technology (OAT) The coolants in this group are formulated with
organic additive technology (OAT) and typically contain 2-ethylhexanoic-acid (2-EHA) or other
organic acids, replacing the short-lived silicates or phosphates. These are often referred to as

extended life coolants (ELC). These OAT corrosion inhibitors in these coolants last much longer
than the additives in Group 1.

Group 3 – Hybrid Additive Technology (HOAT) This group encompasses hybrid OAT coolants.
These coolants contain OAT and have some silicate, borate, phosphate, nitrate, nitrate, or

Nitrate-free Coolants For the sake of efficiency, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have
begun to manufacture equipment utilizing aluminum components (radiators, heater cores, oil
coolers, etc.). Aluminum has many benefits: it’s a cheaper material than those previously used
in the construction of these components, it effectively dissipates heat, and it reduces total
machine weight. However, there is a downside to all these aluminum components, and some
nitrited coolants are not compatible with the metal. Nitrite can react with Aluminum to form
Ammonia, which increases the pH which causes corrosion and degradation to elastomers. In
response to these issues, many OEMs call for nitrite-free coolants to be used with machines
containing aluminum components.

Extended Life Coolants Extended Life Coolants (ELC) provide many benefits, especially for
operations that require the maintenance of large fleets. However, the achievement of these
benefits comes only when the engine cooling systems are properly maintained. These benefits
include: Improved Heat Transfer Based on field and lab data, ELCs typically have improved
heat transfer rates of 12%-13% compared to conventional, or fully formulated coolants, which
contain Inorganic additives. Extended Pump Life Silicates can cause abrasive wear to the front
seals of water pumps. Implementing silicate-free coolants can extend pump life (by as much as
four times).

Engine Coolant Maintenance The best maintenance practice is to know the specification of the
coolant required for each machine and to use the correct coolant for top-offs. Preventative
maintenance measures that can be taken include the use of a refractometer to measure the
coolant’s glycol/water ratio. Maintaining the correct ratio ensures that the proper corrosion
inhibitor levels are present and freeze protection is in place. This is also a good time to check
the coolant’s pH level and ensure there is no visible debris or oil contamination in the coolant.
Additionally, the cooling system itself should be regularly inspected to confirm it is full and
operating properly. Low coolant levels can be blamed for many issues, including rapid
corrosion. Low coolant levels can also affect the system’s pressure — lower pressures than
required can cause the coolant to boil. Coolants using the same type of additive chemistry are
generally compatible. However, not all coolants of the same type are made equal. Mixing
coolants with different additive chemistries may reduce the effectiveness of the corrosion
protection. It is recommended to continue using the same additive chemistry rather than mixing coolants in service. When it comes to maintaining fleets, most operations have a robust engine oil maintenance program — coolants should also be given attention. An easy way to implement coolant maintenance into a lubrication program is to check the coolant at the same intervals as the regularly scheduled oil checks.

Coolants can be sampled and analyzed too — just like lubricating oils. pH imbalances or other
chronic issues may call for analysis.

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