Sainz win prompts feeling of deja vu

By David Thomson on Sat, 27 Jan 2018

It was a real blast from the past when I awoke earlier this week to hear that veteran Spanish rally ace Carlos Sainz had won a major international event.

A double world rally champion in the 1990s, Sainz contested Rally New Zealand more than a dozen times during his WRC career, winning our round of the championship no fewer than four times. Unsurprisingly, he is well remembered in this part of the world.

These days when the name Carlos Sainz is mentioned, it's usually in reference to the rally ace's son, Carlos Sainz jun, who is about to commence his fourth season in Formula One.

Sainz sen is now most often seen supporting his son at F1 events, but he has also been keeping his motorsport hand in, contesting rally-raid endurance events on a regular basis. His biggest success in that branch of the sport was winning the 2010 Dakar Rally for Volkswagen. Last week, he triumphed again, securing the 2018 Dakar Rally win for Peugeot.

News of a (relatively speaking) senior figure triumphing in motorsport is a nice lead-in to one of the prime heritage events in the Kiwi motorsport calendar, the February 3-4 Leadfoot Festival.

Run by Rod and Shelly Millen on the couple's Leadfoot Ranch on the Coromandel Peninsula, this increasingly popular public event is open to an eclectic mix of cars and bikes, drivers and riders. This year Drivesouth will be represented at the Leadfoot event by Catherine Pattison.

She will share her impressions of this unique event on these pages in a couple of weeks' time.

Before then, I hope to notch up a personal motoring heritage first, by participating in, rather than watching, the annual Brighton veteran car run here in Dunedin. This weekend's event (vehicles assemble at the Octagon around 9.45am this morning and leave around 11am) will be the 64th Brighton run. I'll report on that experience next weekend.

David Thomson