Back in the early days of motoring associations, going back as far as the early 1930s, AA Otago promoted a range of provincial car trials.
The original aim was “to encourage motoring generally, by tours, competitions, motor vehicle races, lectures, discussions, social functions, exhibitions, meetings and other suitable and proper means”.
Spawned from this background is Otago’s “Sundstrum”, a unique event which has been running virtually every year since 1949. The rally takes its name from Mr C. W. Sundstrum, a well known Dunedin dentist and sportsman who died in 1946, leaving a sum of money to the “Otago Car Rally”.
The Sundstrum this year is a one day event. It has evolved to incorporate challenges for the trialist yet still appeal to the everyday driver and their family. The challenge for the tireless route plotters is to get competitors from a series of A’s to B’s following a series of written instructions guaranteed to get them safely to the finish, but equally guaranteed to ensure that there is the possibility that some will periodically deviate from the correct route without being remotely aware of the fact.
It is not as technically difficult as any Motorsport NZ trial that some of you may have competed in, but it is a little more challenging than your average school fundraising car rally.
The Sundstrum is a motorized clash of minds, like orienteering on wheels. It involves simple navigation, some very basic timekeeping, and observation skills.
And the driver, whilst being compelled by the rules of the event to drive safely, will also have his or her skills assessed during some light-hearted driving tests.
The highest number of competitors was in 1973 when 74 teams competed. In recent years, entries have stabilized in the 15 to 25 range.
This year we are hoping for 50+ competitors. Prize money is zilch, but prestigious cups are up for grabs, such as the ‘Otago Motor Club Lindis Cup’, originally won by a team from Cooke Howlison and Co Ltd, competing in the “Labour Day Trial” back in 1933!
The next event will be held on Saturday 28 February 2015.
Anyone can enter, it is suitable for most vehicles and the focus is fun whilst being challenged.
Meantime you can register your interest in obtaining more information and registration forms by emailing Garth Tyrrell, email@example.com or mobile ph 021 517 007