12 Feb 2016

One Man's Dream

From Country Life, 9:40 pm on 12 February 2016

For decades, acclaimed New Zealand motor racing driver Rod Millen dreamt of having a 'really cool' driveway.

He left New Zealand in 1978 to race overseas and when he moved back here part time at least he got on with the job  Rod has built no ordinary driveway on his Hahei farm.

"You can stop at the mailbox when you come in and collect the mail and come through the gate, and then you've got a fabulous road to the house which is a little technical and a little tricky...it's certainly not a straight road."

Last weekend, Rod invited 130 other drivers to shoot up the 1.6 km driveway during a festival of speed and driving on his property.

A huge array of vehicles tackled the twisty hill climb, from a 110 year old sports car, to classic cars, motorbikes, rally cars and custom built hill-climb special during the Leadfoot Festival. Drift cars slid up the driveway in a cloud of smoke.

Four-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon was in the line up of drivers as was New Zealand V8 Supercar champ Greg Murphy.

"We're here to experience something that's...a man's dream and it's evolved into a wonderful event on a great little piece of road," Greg says.

He says drivers were there to have a blast and to entertain the public.

"There's no stress. There's no sheep stations up for grabs; maybe a little pride here and there but it's all just come together as a bit of a celebration of what we all enjoy and love and what makes it even better is there's a whole bunch, thousands of people, who are  enjoying the spectacle as well."