Lawrie takes out clubsport championship title
Rachel Lawrie of Invercargill has become Southland’s latest motorsport champion after the 2018 New Zealand Clubsport Championship in Christchurch recently.
Lawrie won the newly instigated Women’s Trophy in her third attempt at the Nationals. Her first was in 2014 at Waimate in what was just her second ever event while she also entered when the championships were held in Invercargill in 2016. On that occasion she was the first lady but at that time the ladies title was not officially recognised. “In the 2016 Nationals there was a half dozen ladies entered and motorsport New Zealand officials expressed their desire to formalise a ladies championship but it wasn’t quite there so in the interim we had our own internal competition with each other. It’s pretty cool to be officially recognised and awarded and extra special to be the inaugural recipient”
Clubsport events are grassroots motorsport disciplines, all of which develop driving skills. The NZ Champs consisted of a grass Autocross and three grass Motokhana’s, a Sealed Motorkhana and a Bent Sprint. Many of the events can be contested in a normal road going vehicle of Warrant Of Fitness standard.
Both Rachel, and husband Andrew, compete in the Nationals whenever they are held in the South Island and both are regulars at Southland Sports Car Club events. Andrew made it a great weekend for the family at Christchurch finishing fourth overall, the couple sharing their Mitsubishi Mirage in Clubsport although Andrew also has a Mitsubishi EVO for sprints, sealed hillclimbs and street sprint events. The couple have two boys, the oldest 3½ years old and the youngest 18 months. Asked about her sporting rivalry with Andrew, Rachel laughs, “we used to be even but Andrew seemed to become more skilled as I had two children to look after.” The family motorsport connection is strong. “Dad was a former national drag racing champ and Mum was the first female car yard Manager in Invercargill at Checkers. Then I married a petrolhead. Our youngest has an electric Ferrari and Grandad has built a junior drag car.” The motorsport connection looks set to continue well into the future.
Rachel, a 33 year old accountant with Allied Concrete, urges other women to “not be afraid and give clubsport a go. It has improved my skills and has definitely made me a more confident, safer driver on the road as a result. She also says the Southland Sports Car Club competitions and fellow competitors are flexible. “With both Andrew and myself competing and having the boys they are great at organising things to allow us both to compete.
In another nice twist the overall Champion was former Invercargill competitor Cameron Morison. This was Morison’s third title, having won it in 2014 and 2016 before moving to Christchurch. The southern bond was still strong however with Cameron offering Rachel plenty of help discussing tracks and tips over the weekend in Christchurch.
Anyone, both male and female, interested in becoming involved in motorsport through grassroots Clubsport events can contact Stacy Lines – 0275 076 452 or visit www.teretonga.org.nz