Cantabrian Jeff Judd has made a late decision to try and regain the Historic Challenge title of the epay Silver Fern Rally that he last won in 2010.
The news has been welcomed by Silver Fern organisers as Judd is one of the country’s most versatile drivers with a heap of success in rallying and circuit racing. However it is only due to the support of his sponsors that he has made the start line of what he describes as a rally that just has “something about it.” “It’s a full week of rallying and I really enjoy the South Island roads. The North Island roads are great but the South Island roads are fast and flowing. I couldn’t miss out. I couldn’t sit and only watch.”
Judd is obviously a big fan of the event so why the late entry? “I am building a family home for the first time and I have been conservative with that in mind. I missed the cut-off for entries. I originally arranged with Garry Cliff to take over his entry but then I sat back and waited too long, so now we are both in the event. It has been a good year with business too. Work has been busy and I have had no time to get organised. However we have just started chasing people up for the support to do this.”
PHOTOGRAPH – Jeff Judd of Christchurch presses on in his Ford Escort during the 2013 Rally Wairarapa – please credit Kate Ridder
It is thanks to those people that Judd’s entry has become a reality. “My long time supporter, BNT is back on board and Vantage Aluminium are helping. I have known Craig Vincent of Vantage Aluminium for a while and I have been using their product in my house. My own business Magnum Compliance is in of course and Import Parts Specialists plus Quality Tyres. John Jones Steel has been a terrific supporter in the past and they are also getting in behind us again as is the Waimate Pharmacy and VINZ.”
Judd is looking forward to doing battle with fierce competitors Brian Stokes, Shane Murland and some of the quick UK drivers heading to our shores for the event. Judd was inspired by drivers such as Rod Millen and Mike Marshall from an era that the epay Silver Fern Rally replicates and he has gone on to establish an outstanding record of his own. He won the Historic Rally Challenge section of the event in 2010 and has won the Mainland Rally Championship, the Clubsport 2wd Championship, Rally Xtreme 4wd Championship. His proudest moment came when he was co-driver for Mark Tapper when the duo were the first kiwi’s in Rally NZ 2005. Judd co-drove in the 1990 version of the Silver Fern and then again in 2006 when the event became a regular fixture on the calendar. Since then he has driven in every Silver Fern, winning the Historic title four years ago, the last time the event took place in the South Island.
On the country’s motor racing circuits he won his class in the Bridgestone Porsche Championship but his biggest disappointment was never winning the Mazda RX7 title. “We were 2 or 3 in New Zealand several times but we never won it,” says Judd of one of the few disappointments of his stellar career.
However his appearance on this year’s epay Silver Fern Rally adds even more intrigue to what is an already strong international entry.
For more information on the event visit www.silverfernrally.co.nz
The rally enjoys support from epay, Malcove, HiFX, Pure Commerce, Kiwimaps, Christchurch City Council and Brita Safety.
Roger Baillie (@Rojn8r)
Via media release