By the 1980s I was living in Wellington - I no longer had any direct involvement in motorsport but retained an interest. The events below include New Zealand's 1980 Motogard Rally, the 1982 Motogard and the inaugural Wellington Street Race of 1985.
The 1980 Motogard was a round of the World Rally Championship and covered the upper half of the South Island. Friends and I watched the first stage near Nelson on September 13, the final stage on the Port Hills on September 17, and as many as we could in between.
1980 Motogard - Stage 1 - Refueling Mikkola
Hannu Mikkola was driving Car 3, one of three Mercedes Benz 500 SLCs in the event. We heard then saw the helicopter as Mikkola arrived and slowed to a stop. It was the first special stage of the event and, for some reason, Mikkola's car needed to be re-fueled in the middle of the stage. (9 photos)
1980 Motogard - Stage 1 - other photos
The first special stage was a 40km stage in the forests north-east of Nelson. Our vantage point was at an intersection in an area where the road was quite muddy. At this point the cars did a hard right turn up a hill. (36 photos)
1980 Motogard - Stage 6
Special stage 6 brought the competitors back into Nelson City down the Maitai Valley. Our vantage point was at a ford through the Maitai River just a few km from the stage finish.
1980 Motogard - Stages 8 to 12
It was now the 14th September and these special stages were located south-west from Nelson City, one through farmland, the others within the Golden Downs forestry area.
1980 Motogard - Stages 15 and 19
Early on 15th September and we're still in the south-west Nelson area. The night shots are at the check point at the end of stage 15, the others in stage 19.
1980 Motogard - Stages 21 and 22
Now in the Nelson Lakes and Murchison area, we caught the very end of stage 21 and watched a few hundred metres from the end of stage 22 in the Matakitaki Valley.
1980 Motogard - Stage 40
The final special stage was along Summit Road on the Port Hills above Christchurch.
... two years later
1982 Motogard Rally
I didn't follow the whole event, but watched a couple of stages in the Wairarapa region and also the final stage near Wellington on 29 June.
(24 photos - updated December 2017)
...and three more years later.
The Wellington Street Race was held around the streets and wharf area on the Wellington waterfront from 1985 through to 1996. I only attended one of these - the inaugural event of 1985, the Nissan Sport 500.
1985 Wellington Street Race - Practice Day
Practice day was January 26th.
1985 Wellington Street Race - Race Day
The main race covering 500 km was on January 27th. It was won by a Volvo 240T driven by Michel Delcourt and Robbie Francevic. It was the first of a two-event series for touring cars - the second event was held later at Pukekohe. (18 photos)