Ever wanted a new hair colour without a visit to the hairdressers I have the answer.

Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to join the Michael Young Motor Sport team only as the cook but nevertheless the team needs fuel just like the car.

So a trip to the APRC Rally of Whangarei was organized, a room booked at the same motel and a trip to the local supermarket for supplies. On arrival a quick call in to rally headquarters where all the action was happening with the preparation of the cars. This is a busy place. I spot the Cusco tent and venture over to find the mechanics busy under the bonnet of number 6. Mike and Erin have just arrived back after a full day of recce. Dinner is requested for 6pm so I better be off.

The next day they are at Pohe Island for what they call shakedown. A few fast laps round the course to get the feel of the car and for the public to watch. My heart was in my mouth when Mike went round the first hairpin at such a fast pace. Having seen him make the first corner I was more relaxed.

Saturday I was lucky enough to have a seat in one of the APSM photographers cars. I arrived at his motel a quick check that we all had media passes, bright coloured vests and cameras. In the car and off we go down the highway turning here and there down many a gravel road. I hoped our navigator knew where he was taking us. We eventually arrived at the 1st stage. Gathering the cameras, our vests on, over the barriers with a warning not to go over the start line and upset the trip meter we were off to find the best position for photos. The photography team were spread out on various corners and I was behind the fence after all I was only carrying camera bags. The safety cars went thru with the sirens to warn us of the danger to follow. Very shortly there was dust and a roar from up the road as the first car went over the start line. Gaurav Gill the number 1 driver raced down the road and was flying past us showering us with dust and stones. The beginnings of the new hair and skin colour called dust.

This was all very exciting especially when Mike Young and co driver Erin Kelly are on the start line. Mike is driving a Proton car a Malaysian make and model. We see the dust before we hear the car as this car is much quieter than most but just as fast as his rivals. I am much more relaxed watching him fly by this time he appears in control but what do I know I only drive on the open road. After the 7th or 8th car has gone past it’s a mad dash across the paddocks back to the car. Cameras in the back people in the car and off to the next stage to find another good position on a corner. The cars fly by again showering us with dust more hair colour!

The morning has flown by and it is time to go back to headquarters to regroup the camera team and see Mike and Erin come into the service area. We must quickly feed our team of workers with ham, buns and a drink. A quick stop at the motel to check up on the editing of the photos and video. Great there is time for a coffee from the Nepresso machine that is carried to all rallies by APSM. We also find some home baking at this stop. No time to relax as we need to be back on the road to get to the afternoon stages for more photos and footage of the cars.

While waiting for the first car we have time to admire the view out over the farm land. Cows and calves graze in their paddocks, hawks circling the air. We also see a farmer rounding up a mother pig with her 15 little piglets taking them to safer pastures away from the roar of the cars. In the faraway distance we see dust, the cars are on their way again. We get to three different positions on various stages in the afternoon. At the end of the day a car load of very dusty photographers and me head back to headquarters to download the photos, dust off the camera gear.

I need to get back to my motel and prepare the dinner if I want to go out on the night stage and watch Mike race under lights. Sunday is more of the same and still as exhilarating as its getting close to the finish. Just stay on the road Mike and finish the race! I wait to hear that Mike and Erin have successfully gone over the finish line. Placing 2nd in 2 wheel drive class and 1st Junior. Well done team.

Thanks for a great weekend to Mike Young Motorsport and APSM for involving me.