Keeping it in the family: Driver Alan Garrick and his navigator son, Hamish

‘‘When you’re doing 160 to 180km along a gravel road, then all of a sudden you’re not touching the ground, it’s quite interesting.’’

So says Queenstowner Alan Garrick, who’s competing this weekend in his third Otago Rally with his navigator son, Hamish.

Driving a mid-’90s Toyota Trueno, Alan finished fourth in his B class ‘allcomers’ division last year and third the previous time the rally was held, in 2019.

‘‘The placing’s a good thing, but it’s just an amazing thing and you get out the other end, it’s just so much fun and you just learn so much.’’

The rally’s held over both Saturday and Sunday on 250km-plus of gravel roads north and south of Dunedin.

It’s preceded by two full-on days where drivers/navigators do a recce of the course.

Alan, who owns the local Night ’n Day stores, says it ‘‘takes your mind off everything else going on in the world’’.

Hamish, 26, who owns a Wellington Night ’n Day, says ‘‘it doesn’t really let up’’.

‘‘It’s pretty cool to do something for that long that’s that intense — and with family is cooler.’’

Ironically, two of Alan’s Alpine Retreat neighbours, Adrian Jones, who’s also his mechanic, and Chris Hogan, are also competing this weekend.

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