Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st August: The tracks are closed on Mondays & Tuesdays.

Journalist of the Year

Motorsport NZ Award

maddix park mx

Colin Smith         - at an event, pictured inside the rally car! 

You’ll know his name but not necessarily his face. Colin Smith is and has been the man behind the driving wheel of the Bay Times Motoring pages for the past 20 years.  His talents were recently recognized when he was awarded the “Journalist of the Year 2010” title by Motorsport New Zealand.

This was the first time Colin had “got himself organized enough” to put in an entry.  He was delighted with his win, especially as his portfolio consisted of local stories and he was up against nationally syndicated and international content articles. 

Colin’s stories were about

1.  Richie Stanaway, the up and coming Tauranga 18 year old who is making his name on the European race circuits and currently leading the 2010 ADAC Masters Champs series

2.  The Motorguard Rally 2009 which returned to Tauranga almost 30 years to the day after the rally’s first and only visit. Colin capitalised on old BOP Times files from 1979.

3.  A Nostalgia Drag Race meeting with 70s style cars

4.  Ben Thomasen and his convalescence and rehab after severe injuries received contesting the MX Nationals in the South Island in 2008.

Although Colin’s involvement with motorcycles on a first hand basis has been limited to 5 laps of Baypark as passenger on a road race side-car driven by Gary West and to an afternoon on Niki Urwin’s spare bike at the Tokoroa track,  he follows avidly, reports on and loves watching the sport. “As a spectator, you see more of the action with bikes”, he says,” but when I myself am out there doing it, you’ll find me in a rally car”.

Colin has totalled over 120 rallying exploits, won the Greg Todd Memorial Rally in 2000 as co-driver with Marty Roestenburg and has competed in 14 World Rally Champ events.

He reckons it’s a bonus to have a job that merges both his professional interests and his passion for motoring. “I’ve met good people, seen good events, heard good ideas”, he says.”I’ve taken sports photos, I’ve seen how events are run. I’ve been involved in the 2 and 4 wheel motoring scene for a long time.  But when I talk to someone, it leads to something else, which leads to something else. There is always something more, something new, a potential champion on the rise.”

In fact, Colin never ceases to be amazed at the depth of motoring talent that emerges from the wider Tauranga area and adds to the already strong motoring history of the Bay of Plenty. 

The same comment could almost be made about motoring journalists. In its 10 year history, the Motorsport Media Award has already come to Tauranga three times.  Local radio announcer Brian Kelly won in 2001, 2004 and 2007. 

Colin Smith is continuing  a fine tradition.

 
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