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Local garage has a long association with Wyndham Rally

Marshall’s Garage in Wyndham has had a lengthy association with the Wyndham Rally and that relationship will continue when the MLT Barry Robinson Memorial Wyndham Rally takes place on Saturday 7 October.

The garage sponsored the rally for many years when it was owned by Roger and Margaret Marshall in the 1970’s and 80’s and with the rally resurrected this year the business will again be a sponsor of the event with the opening Special Stage known as Challenge Marshall’s Garage Wyndham Vitesse Wyndham Valley Stage, the same stage the garage sponsored all those years ago.

That is despite different ownership of the garage these days with another husband-and-wife duo, Maurice (Minnie) and Maxine Turner now the proprietors.

Minnie worked at the garage straight out of school for around nine years in the late 70’s, early 80’s before moving on. He and Maxine took over the business in 2005 after Maxine had worked in the office for 6 or 7 years preceding the sale. “We were really well set up to take over,” says Minnie. He remembers Roger Marshall being a strong supporter of the event. “I was an Eastern Southland Car Club member at the time and I got involved in that. I was always interested in the rally and during those years I met and got to know a lot of the drivers. Barry Robinson, after whom the rally is named, was a client at the garage, so too another top Wyndham driver, Ian Begg. The rally was always close to my heart. Scrutineering used to be held at the garage and the event is welcome to use my facility again when necessary.” In another nice connection Minnie and Maxine have also sponsored Roger and Margaret’s son Nigel in his rallying exploits over the years and Minnie serviced for him on a few occasions.

Ask Minnie if he is looking forward to the rally return and the answer comes quickly. “Absolutely, we haven’t had anything like this since the Burt Munro Challenge Street Race in Wyndham went, so I am quite excited.”

Minnie clearly enjoys motorsport and has competed in various club events many years ago such as flying miles, ¼ miles and hillclimbs.

“It is really good to have the rally back, it is home again,” says Minnie, who says he will be in the township around the times of the Service Parks in case anyone needs to use the facilities we have. I’ll be out at the spectator points at other times,” he quickly adds.

The rally will be centred on the township of Wyndham, 45 kilometres east of Invercargill and 25km south of Gore. It will start at the MLT Three Rivers Hotel in Redan Street, Wyndham at 9.30am on Saturday 7 October from where competitors will embark on five Special Stages consisting of 126km of magic, gravel special stages with no stage repeated throughout the day.

The rally then ends where it began, at the MLT Three Rivers Hotel in Wyndham after 126km of Special Stage competition linked by 110km of touring stage mileage.

With the start and finish plus two Service Parks in Wyndham, the township will be a real focal point of the event.

The event prizegiving will take place in Gore at the MLT Croydon Lodge with the winning crew awarded the Barry Robinson Memorial Trophy. The rally also carries points toward the Eastern Southland Car Club Rally Championship.

Rally Secretary, Roger Laird says, “we are delighted to have the support of Mataura Licensing Trust, as our naming sponsor, plus that of Rayonier NZ, the Southland District Council, Gore District Council, Prime Range Fresh Shop Lorneville, Matt McRae and the landowners on the rally route plus of course all of our Special Stage sponsors.

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