S a r a - u p c l o s e a n d p
e r s o n a l
Sara's Philosophy in life:
' When you have gone so far that you can't manage
one more step, then you've gone just half the distance that you're
Sara Louise Randall
Nelson, New Zealand
|Age & Birthday
20 - 11th
Never ask a lady that (but its 45kg)
(Bev), Dad (Nigel), Becky & Caity
|To get to the top!!
|Most Memorable Achievement:
Got to be
2004 Rally of Rotorua where after being stranded in the Motu
with a broken down recce car for the night, we came out on
the second day and blitzed the 2wd field to win the final
stage. Wow, what a feeling - the car just glided around the
WRC & International
- Petter Solberg, Tommi Makinen, Richard Burns, Michael
NZRC - Chris West, Carl Rabbidge,
Deane Buist , Deborah Kibble, Jamie Kibble, Jeff Judd,
Hugh Owen, Lloyd Owen, Richard Mason, Mark Tapper, Rocky
Hudson, Stumpy Holmes, Wayne Muckle, Heaps of others !!!
(alphabetically by first names - to be fair!)
||Its not going to just leap out and come
to you, you have to make it happen yourself - you've got to
want it so bad it hurts and then you must have the strength
to do something about it!
|Admires in others:
||Honesty and the courage to stick with it
if you believe in it
Marshall Montgomery - learned about him in History & really
admire his attitude. Also Deb Kibble, who I watched win over
those who doubted her
||Lots of favourites here - depends on my
& Lollies (they help me study, honestly!)
|Favourite TV Show:
(wonder why it should be this one <g>)
||Don't like waiting round for things to happen
- would much rather be making them happen!
People who think that just because I'm a
young female, I shouldn't be taken seriously!
How did Sara first get into rallying?
She was only 13 years old when she turned on the TV to see Tommi Makinen slide
his Mitsubishi Evo 6 into first place to win the World Rally Championship.
From that day on, her only goal in life was to compete in the World Rally
With all her earnings saved, she purchased a very tired, 1974 Morris Marina
to use as a paddock car - learning how to change gears all by herself. Lots
of practice round the paddocks saw poor old Morris die an undignified death.
Two weeks before her 15th birthday, she was given a Datsun Sunny rallycar for
a combined Christmas/birthday present by her parents. Christened Datty, the
car had been lusted over by Sara for months prior to that as it was owned by
the local service station owner and was often parked at the station when we
stopped off for petrol.
Datty and Sara quickly became a team. Her car control skills improved
with help from members of the local Nelson Car Club - especially
that of Rob McKee (Mainland series 2wd champion). Rob had given
Sara a few runs in the silly seat (co-driver) and also spent several
sessions both in the paddock and on the track coaching her.
Sara entered a few hillclimbs and gravelsprints. She heard about a rally school
and wrote on an internet list asking if anyone in New Zealand knew of a good
school near Nelson. This was to be a turning point in her 'career'. The query
was answered by someone who was to become a very important part of the team
- www.car.co.nz motorsport journalist Lance Hastie.
Lance organised tuition with Palmerston North driver Sam Murray
to be followed the next day by competing in the Trentham Rallysprint
He also introduced Sara to some of the people she had seen on TV
and read about in the motorsport articles - a dream come true. The
tuition was awesome - the event was awesome - it was a great weekend
and we all came home fired up for more.
Lance became Sara's manager and as a temporary measure, doubled
as her co-driver. They sped through the Redwood Pass Hillclimb to
be 13th out of 19 competitors - an amazing result for such a short
time driving ! - flying over a culvert without touching the road
at one stage.
Then disaster struck - that which (in rallying) we all know is
coming, but hoped it wouldn't be for a while! On 10th June, 2001
while competing in the Whangamoa Seal Hillclimb, Sara (with her
dad Nigel as co-driver) sped up the hill, hit some rocks on the
side of the road, ripped the tyre off the rim and smashed head first
into a bank doing around 105km/hr.
Datty was dead, Sara was injured - a fractured wrist, whiplash,
severely bruised knee and a lip that stayed numb for almost a month!
Down, but certainly not out, Sara phoned Lance with the news. No
car, a major event in around 4 weeks time (the Hawkes Bay Rally)
and a HUGE loss of confidence.
Lance to the rescue
Lance came through. He flew down to view the damage, organised
the car to be sent up to Palmerston North (where he lives) and in
only two weeks, totally rebuilt the car. We arrived in Palmerston
North to help tighten up a few of the last bolts to go in, do a
fitting on the drivers seat for Sara, load the car on the trailer
and drive straight to scrutineering for the rally.
AND, they finished the rally with the car in one piece. Words can never express
how grateful we are to Lance. He worked day and night on that car to get it
done and presented Sara with a wonderful new car - Datsta. Our thanks also
to a wonderful service crew of Michelle and Ian Barr - totally unflappable
at all times, to Darren (Lance's neighbour) who helped in the evenings and
to Mr & Mrs Hastie (Lance's mum & dad) for putting up with all the
noise, having Lance snore off at the dinner table and feeding us all when we
turned up to help.
Back to business
After Hawkes Bay rally, the team competed in the Nelson Rally -
once again finishing - although not before they obliterated a signpost
when a faulty tripmeter caused them to almost miss a turn. In front
of a huge crowd, this certainly has been the most talked about moment
during the rally !!
2002 - A New Year
2002 saw an even bigger increase in confidence with the securing
of Kirsty Raymer as co-driver and a new lease of life for Datsta
with his new engine. The girls tackled the Westland Rally - one
which saw 6 cars out on the first stage !! The roads in Westland
are very harsh on the cars, but are roads that Sara thrives on.
She loves the rough stuff and give her a watersplash and she is
in seventh heaven !!
Since All This Happened?
WOW, lots has happened - including a full NZ Rally Championship
campaign which saw our young star win her class at the International
Rally of Rotorua and then go on to be placed second overall in the
2wd NZ Rally Championship only one point away from the leader (and
eventual winner) until Bert's engine blew up and put her out of the
To follow Sara and her Team's progress, please visit our other
pages where Sara provides reports on their events.
Yes, But What About School??
A few a people have asked what all this rallying does to Sara's
school work. We are very proud to report that she had a blinder
of a 7th form year at school. This includes several sporting award
nominations and a Merit Award for her hard work and consistent performance
throughout the year. Rallying has given her a huge increase in self
confidence and the ability to concentrate, plan and work hard for
good results. A huge thanks to all the teachers and the Principal
at Nelson College for Girls who support her rallying totally.
Sara finished her High School years with an A Bursary and a Scholarship
in Science (top 3% in New Zealand). She is now tackling a joint
degree - BBS/BSc at Massey University with great grades and gaining
the University Blues award which is a sports colours for excellence
in sport combined with full time university study!
Next Page.... Meet the Team