Kiwi’s finish in Norwegian snow event

“We’ve done it – we’ve finished!” That was the beginning of the volley of elation from the first Kiwi team to complete the WRC Rally of Norway held this past weekend (16-18 February 2007).

Getting to the end of a seven month dream by Auckland’s Andrew Grant and Glenn Goldring, the pair brought the leased Mitsubishi Lancer EVO8 home by crossing the finish line in 58th position (Monday morning New Zealand time).

The three-day rally event held around the snow clogged city of Hamar was more than just achieving a number of goals by the pairing – their achievements have been recognised and rewarded. They’ve been offered a drive this coming weekend in a Ford Fiesta – contesting an event in the UK.

“Many observers have been very impressed with our Kiwi team performance and we have been offered the drive in the Fiesta,” said driver Andrew Grant.

That was before he started to reflect on what had just been achieved.

“I think our best stage place was 43rd but the field had 24 WRC cars compared to our Group-N car, so I guess it’s not too bad. It sure felt like we were going fast! We were catching cars in every stage over 18km’s since yesterday. But to put it in to perspective, a driver who has done over 300 rally events and 55 WRC rallies told us that this was the trickiest rally in the championship.”

However, when it came to the feeling of explaining being at the finish, Grant and his co-driver were humbled by what they’d just completed:

“We have achieved the goal of not only getting to the other side of the world to compete, but we have achieved a finish! And finishing was no easy task.”

“It would be fair to say that we have had a fantastic time, but it has not been without its dramas. The first stage this morning was SS15, which was a repeat of the mountain stage that was run in complete whiteout conditions yesterday afternoon. Fortunately the weather today was nicer and the road conditions were snowy which meant for a great stage. With the lessons learned over the last two days, we attacked with a fair amount commitment, and we improved our stage time from yesterday by a whopping 1min 45sec, over 24km.”

“We cruised through taking no risks in the last stage and brought the car home to the finish ramp in Hamar to a very delighted (and relieved) team manager Teemu Tahko. Teemu had calculated that if we hadn't had our dramas we would have finished 27th....but rallying is all about what if's and buts.”

Ending the Scandinavian part of their adventure, the accolades passed in both directions as the ST Motors team who ran the Kiwi team paid tribute to their commitment and success. In return the Kiwi’s paid tribute to their Finnish based team and loyal supporters from the other side of the world.

“They were very organised and worked the servicing very well. They also had a fair amount of dry Scandinavian humour!

While intending to spend some time skiing on the snow they had been previously driving at speed, attention now turns to travelling across to the UK.

“Through the assistance of Castrol and Jardine International Communications we will be competing in the Sunseeker Rally in Bournemouth (first round of the British gravel rally championship) next Friday and Saturday the 23rd and 24th of February. Details are still sketchy and the deal is not 100% confirmed, but we will be driving a Ford Fiesta. The organisers have accepted a late entry for us and now it is down to logistics as to whether we can get ourselves there, and for the team that will be running us to accommodate running an extra car.”

Trying to take in what they’ve achieved and about to set off for next, final confirmation is expected within the next day as to the next leg of the Kiwi adventure in the European winter.


Editors notes:
* Contact with the pair in Norway is difficult, email if you would like to establish a time for telephone type interview.
* There is a shore broadcast quality video clip from testing also available. For more information:

For more information: or

Photo images:

* A momento from their time in the snow of Norway - co-driver Glenn Goldring points to some tree needles stuck in the bonnet of the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO8. Click to download
* Finishing the WRC Rally of Norway - Kiwi pair of Andrew Grant (bottom left) and Glenn Goldring (bottom right) with the ST Motors crew in Hamar. Click to download

Video and audio footage will be available during the event. For more information:

Andrew Grant 021 309 448
Glenn Goldring 027 277 4321
Lance Hastie 021 329 909