Subaru does double-header summer events at Leadfoot Festival and Coast to Coast
Subaru vehicles will be doing double duties in the North and South Island over this Waitangi Weekend, with a presence at two major summer events.
In the North Island, the motorsport family-focused Leadfoot Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday in Hahei, Coromandel - attracting drivers from around the globe. In the South, the Kathmandu Coast to Coast begins on Friday and ends on Saturday, with competitors traversing across the South Island, over one or two-days by foot, road bike and kayak.
Subaru is a long-term, proud supporter of the Leadfoot Festival, a special annual event held on Leadfoot Ranch around Waitangi Weekend and the Kiwi adventure brand has been involved since the year after its inception nine years ago. Run over two days, the event pays homage to the most significant and outstanding drivers, whom property owner and motorsport legend Rod Millen personally hand selects from around the world, along with their distinguished racing machines, to participate in the timed event. More than 100 cars, motorbikes, drift cars and even trucks, race the clock up the immaculately-prepared 1.6km driveway that Mr Millen had built with this purpose in mind. A successful rally driver and hill climb racer, he has incorporated some of his favourite corners and cambres from iconic events around the globe into his ‘Millen's Mountain'.
Scottish rally legend, Australia-based Alister McRae has now won the event an impressive three consecutive times (2017, 2018 and 2019) driving the ex-Possum Bourne Subaru WRX STI. Now owned and run by Vantage Motorsport, the former WRC Subaru, and its three-time champion driver are firm crowd favourites at the Leadfoot Festival.
Vantage Principal Craig Vincent says it’s a no-brainer to head back to the Leadfoot Festival with this historically-special car for what is now the fourth year in a row (McRae finished second to Rod’s son Rhys Millen in 2016).
“It’s great to have Alister back for this wonderful event, driving the late Possum Bourne’s Vantage WRC Subaru. I’d like to say thanks to Paul Hayton and Speedhub Motorsport for preparing the Subaru to the same impeccable standards that has seen Alister able to claim the win for three years running,” Mr Vincent adds.
Subaru’s brand ambassador, the 2019 New Zealand Rally Champion Ben Hunt, will also be competing. His rally-winning Subaru WRX STI charger is being prepared for the 2020 season, so he is driving a 2003 Subaru WRX STI for the weekend.
In addition to displaying its latest car models at the event – including new 2020 models - the XV Premium, Limited Edition Outback X and new Impreza, all making their public debut. Subaru also provides the official pace and safety vehicles. The iconic Subaru WRX, and the performance ‘WRX wagon,’ the Subaru Levorg will be on duty all weekend on Mr Millen’s phenomenal driveway.
The popular SUV track, which was a big hit last year, will be available again this weekend. Customers can experience the All-Wheel Drive capabilities of the Subaru XV, Forester and Outback on the off-road track. You can sign up with the team at the Subaru stand for an opportunity to off-road test the SUV range and its array of technologies.
The Subaru team are also taking registrations for those interested in the Subaru e-Boxer Hybrid models (XV and Forester) which are launching later this year in New Zealand.
Based in the rugged South Island, the Kathmandu Coast to Coast is an iconic annual event that sees thousands of athletes push themselves to their physical and mental limits to race 243km from Kumara Beach on the West Coast, traversing the width of the South Island and crossing the Main Divide to finish on the East Coast at New Brighton Beach in Christchurch.
Subaru is proud to be the official vehicle partner of this multisport event, where the All-Wheel Drive Subaru vehicles will lead the participants around the course. Known for its challenging terrain, the Coast to Coast race is synonymous with Subaru’s ‘do’ philosophy, where its vehicles enable New Zealanders to do – a simple manifestation of the Kiwi spirit of giving things a go.
The Kathmandu Coast to Coast is one of the world's longest-running multisport events and was founded in 1983. It has become almost a rite of passage for multisport athletes from around the world competing individually, or in teams. There are six stages that cover the vast and difficult terrain of the South Island.
The Armstrong Subaru Christchurch team will also be at Klondyke corner – where the first day finishes on Friday for the two-day race and where it begins again on Saturday. Spectators and support crews waiting for their athletes to come in from the Goat Pass Mountain Run stage, can hang out at the Subaru Chill Out Zone and browse the latest range on display.
Nelson’s Mary Seelan was the lucky winner of the Subaru of New Zealand’s Kathmandu Coast to Coast three-person team entry competition and has enlisted her family to undertake the race with her.
Her husband Todd agreed to be the cyclist - hoping that lycra was not compulsory and was looking forward to the challenge of riding a total of 140km over the two days.
Their eldest son Ben (23) will complete the tough 67km kayak down the Waimakariri River, making use of his skills gained working as a surf lifeguard and a member of the Search and Rescue squad.
The Seelan family team’s goals are to: “Enjoy the journey, creating some fun memories along the way. We want to arrive on race day feeling well prepared so that we can enjoy racing and to finish it!” she says.
This year, Subaru has enlisted the help of three experienced ‘Coasters’ to provide helpful tips for tackling the three key aspects of the event; road cycling, mountain running and kayaking. You can check them out on Subaru Stories here: https://www.subaru.co.nz/news/subaru-stories
Subaru of New Zealand National Marketing Manager, Daile Stephens says: “Between the two events, the actioned-packed weekend ahead will see tens of thousands of Kiwis get out and 'do' extra. We’re proud to be part of both events and they are always a highlight on the summer calendar. We look forward to engaging with Subaru enthusiasts across the country over the coming days.”
Subaru of New Zealand
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