Dylan Thomson was one of the first Kiwi rally drivers to see Jacks Ridge – long before it got turned into the WRC-calibre power stage that will host the best drivers in the country at November’s Battle of Jacks Ridge.a
The Christchurch-based driver, who has today confirmed his entry into the event, was given a tour of the farm by former national champion Andrew Hawkeswood, who had a vision some years ago to turn his Whitford, property into a world class rally stage.
Over the past year or so Hawkeswood has constructed a purpose-built rally stage, designed by a rally driver for rally drivers.
It will be a spectator’s paradise and has earned rave reviews from those that have had a blast around the 6km stage – of which a bit over 2km section will be used for the Battle of Jacks Ridge on November 15.
“I have been out there before it was what it is now – a few years ago when Andrew took Ben [Hunt] and I around there for a look and he explained all of his plans,” Thomson said.
“Talking to Andrew and Jack now, that is a lot different to what it was meant to be.
“I have seen all the footage – the thing I am most worried about is that big-ass jump.”
Thomson made the step up to open 4WD in the 2019 national championship having dominated the FIA Group N 2WD category for the previous couple of seasons.
He will run a brand-new car at the Battle of Jacks Ridge however and will share it with a man that has more recently acted as a co-driver in the national championship but has a significant pedigree behind the wheel himself.
“I will be a Ford Fiesta Proto that is built by Ralliart,” Thomson explained.
“I am going to be sharing the car with Andrew Graves so will probably have my ass handed to me by a co-driver,” he laughed.
“We are very open-minded about the whole event. The first run I do will probably be the first time I’ve driven the car.
“I don’t really have any expectations in mind – just being involved in something that is going to be awesome for New Zealand. There has not been anything as big as this since 2012 in New Zealand rallying.”
The Battle of Jacks Ridge will be broadcast live on Sky Sport. Tickets are selling fast and can be purchased via Ticket Fairy.