‘Drivers travelling at unreal speeds’


Power and the Passion: Five minutes with Otago Rally driver Zeke King (28), of Kaikorai Valley.

How many other times have you competed in Otago Rally?

Just once. I drove a front-wheel-drive Toyota Corolla in 2017. I sat out the rally last year to do some servicing for [Dunedin rally driver] Rhys Gardner.

What made you enter in 2017?

Me and my co-driver Mark Thompson thought it would be a good laugh.

How did you meet your co-driver?

As members of the Otago Sports Car Club about four years ago.

What are you driving in the rally this year?

A 1995 Subaru WRX in the four-wheel-drive classic challenge for cars pre-1996.

Have you raced it before?

I was putting a roll-cage in it about this time last year and did the Catlins Coast Rally. Then Rhys Gardner drove it in the Rankleburn Rally and he came second in class and fifth overall in it and then I drove it in the Lawrence Rally.

How did you go in Lawrence?

Not bad. I posted some good stage times but had a few mishaps and hit some banks.

Have you ever rolled it?

No, but about a month ago I was testing it and I stacked it against a strainer post.

Are you targeting any goals at the rally?

We are going out for the best possible result and to have fun along the way. There will be some good battles in the class.

Any particular stages you’re looking forward to?

I haven’t done any of the Oamaru stages and it’s always exciting going fast down gravel roads.

Why do you rally?

It’s an adrenaline rush and fixing the car keeps me occupied in the weekend – you’ve got to have hobbies but some are more expensive than others.

How much would you estimate it has cost you to compete?

I couldn’t tell you that – my wife would kill me.

Do you have sponsors?

I’m a mechanic at Sim Brothers Garage and they let me use the workshop. Nik Black at APET Racing gives me a good price on tuning the car and my old man Jeff King helps me pay some of the cost of the fuel, which is 10% ethanol.

How much fuel do you use?

When I’m racing, I get about 2km a litre.

Why should people watch the rally?

It’s always good to watch cars fly around corners sideways throwing stones and to see the commitment of the top drivers travelling at unreal speeds.