Renowned drift star and side by side champ Carl Ruiterman is the latest big-name Kiwi motorsport personality to confirm his entry into November’s Battle of Jacks Ridge.
The Pukekohe-based Ruiterman has been one of the country’s most successful racers over the last decade or more having won the D1NZ championship in 2007. Since then Ruiterman has made the move to offroad racing and in 2018 he claimed the ORANZ Offroad Racing National Championship title.
It will be in a side by side offroad racer that he tackle the purpose-built Jacks Ridge stage on November 15.
“I have always been keen to do rallying or the odd rally type event,” Ruiterman said. “Ever since I got my driver’s licence I loved the idea of driving on gravel.
“I grew up on a gravel road and it is something I have always enjoyed.
“I did Rally Waitomo last year and that was fun.”
Ruiterman’s career began in drifting because it was quite cost-effective to get into back in the early 2000s. But the passion for rallying has always been there and he acknowledges the temptation to do more will always be there.
“This is a way to see how we stack up against other rally drivers without going out and buying a rally an actual rally car,” Ruiterman said.
“We’ll see how it goes at Jacks Ridge and what sort time and budgets look like but I’ve always enjoyed the idea of going rally driving.”
While he is yet to see any vision of the Jacks Ridge, constructed on former national champion Andrew Hawkeswood’s Whitford property, he has heard all about it.
“I know Andrew and I know he has been working on this for some time. It will be good if he’s done it.
“I’ve spoken to the likes of Ben Hunt, who was out there last week, and it sounds exciting with lots of jumps.
“I can’t wait to have a go myself.”
Ruiterman will be one of five offroad competitors at Jacks Ridge.
The Battle of Jacks Ridge will be broadcast live on Sky Sport and tickets can be purchased via Ticket Fairy.