Published on June 13th, 2011 | by mrgrumpyninja2
48 rounds with Untamed- NZPC CCOTY.
As a massive force this year in the show and drag racing scene, the Men & Women of Waikato/BOP based “Untamed Motorsport” have made a huge impact. It wasn’t uncommon at drag meets to see Untamed club members going head to head in the late rounds of events, and with a new focus on shows for the past 4 & Rotary season, it was an evolution of sorts for the team.
I have to admit to being a little inspired and at the same time intrigued by Untamed, they work hard, act and think as a family, combine it with a strong cultural aspect, and anyone who does 17 fund raisers just to get to an event deserves a fair bit of respect in my books. They also told me a great story about staying at a Marae to keep costs down when they travelled to an event, although one or 3 members later joked this was so they had more money for beer. I often jokingly call the Untamed team “the plague” at the drags as they turn up in force and support almost every event, which they always take very well and with a smile.
So Ladies and Gents…I give you Untamed Motorsport, 2010/11 NZPC & 4 & Rotary Club of the year winners. You need to read this as though you are sitting around a table in the club rooms (aka the Togias house) and there is a lot of bouncing back and forward going on. This is the first time I have tried to do a committee interview, but as it’s a major part of the makeup of the club, it was the best way to showcase this unique group.
Welcome team, firstly can you please introduce yourselves and tell us what your role in the club is?
TUTURU WHAKAMAU A KIA TINA, TINA! HAUMIE, HUI E . . . . . . TAIKI E!
I’m Pare Togia : I’m the cook and Events & Fundraising Coordinator. (PT)
I’m David Adlington, but probably better known as Adies, I’m from Tauranga and the current Treasurer.
Kia ora koutou, My name is Wiks Watarawi, Im the Vice Prez, and my role in the club is to make sure Alan does what I tell him! Haha. Nah… My job is to take on any overflow of the running of the club when Alan may not be present or may need assistance.
What’s the history of UNTAMED Motorsport, I feel like I’ve been seeing you guys( and girls as Pare reminds me) at the drags for years?
Alan: UNTAMED started in Tauranga early 2005. Basically we were all into street racing and I wanted to change things up and to do something different, so by creating a team of only racers, we could keep the team small but really tight at the same time. The goal was to have the ‘best’ members, not the ‘most’ members. UNTAMED have a huge love for the strip and nowadays there is always something happening for us to do and to keep ourselves busy. We don’t have the fastest or flashest cars but for us it’s about participation and having the right attitude.
Pare: Yep UNTAMED has always been about racing. It was built on different principles than a club. We started out of a carport in Tauranga (everyone laughs) pretty hard case really. A few of the boys were having some hard times back then, UNTAMED kept their minds off it all. (Alan nods in agreement)
Adies: We always have been a racing team, the drags are something that everyone in UNTAMED loves.
Wiks: I joined not long after the club started out, and back then having cable ties wasn’t so bad, but back then and more so now, it’s a privilege to be a part of this team, not a right. (everyone nods and agrees)
The show scene was something new for your team this year, what drove the decision to enter?
Alan: I’ve always wanted to enter a show but because we vote as a team on almost everything, I kept getting outvoted, but after we attended a club meeting at Parkside media headquarters last August, I made a pitch to the team about giving it a go. My main concern was that being a racing team, there are always breakages, upgrades etc happening and being able to commit to a show as well was a bit of an ask. I’m not sure if we’re going to do any more shows in the future as racing is our 1st passion but we’ve got our AGM next weekend so I guess we’ll see what the team wants to do.
Adies: It was something new and very different for us, for years everyone has always focused on making their cars quicker, so it was different and a good change to spend time working on the appearance of our cars and not just holding everything together with cable ties. We decided to start doing shows to show that we can do more than just race, and it also lets us experience more of the scene, and also as a learning experience
Pare: Most of these boys have been together for about 8 or 9 years. They’ve watched the scene grow and change multiple times and I guess after all these years it’s was like “f**k it, let’s give it a go. It’s not really the boys thing, they’d rather race, but they all had a blast so will probably continue to do one or two more, but who knows
Wiks: Also we’ve noticed at shows it not just about what the cars look like, but also how we can express an idea and integratete it through using our cars on display and using an awesome display to match. The added bonus is that doing shows bought the boys in the club closer together as a team which always helps as well.
There’s a strong family and community vibe to your crew, is everything decided communally, or is Pare really in charge :p
Adies: Pare really in charge (laughs) we just do what she tells us to do hahaha (Wiks and Alan laugh)
Alan: HAHA yeah bro, my wife is really the boss. AGM this weekend, anyone wanna nominate Pare for president?
But seriously, right from the start, UNTAMED was set up so each year the team can vote for a new committee. This keeps the club running in the right direction and it keeps everyone on their toes because if you’re doing your job right, then the team will vote you in again next year. Everyone gets a voice and the majority of club decisions are made by vote. I believe this helps with member retention as well, as our line up hasn’t really changed much at all. Having said that, there is always room for improvement.
Pare: No Pare isn’t in charge, she’s just the cook and cleaner (laughs). UNTAMED has always had a family vibe. We all know each other very well, so We can rely on each other. There is committee though, there has to be. We’re a registered Incorporated Society so major matters are discussed amongst the whole club in general and the Committee acts on it. The boys (and girls) do get a big say in what happens. When these fullas want something, we do what we can to get it for them. Luckily, they don’t ask for much.
Wiks: Pare who?? (cheeky grin) . . . UNTAMED is Pare’s heart so she will not let this ship go down EVER! Pare is very strong and voices her ideas, which is why Adies said straight away she’s in charge. With Pare if we the committee can prove and give evidence of a new or different idea, she’s happy as, Love you Pare! Ha ha.
Your team won both NZPC club of the year, and 4 & R, how did that feel? Has it changed anything for the team?
Alan: Winning those awards was such an awesome experience and a huge achievement for our team, we worked so hard last season and we’re still buzzing. The boys scrubbed up quite well at the awards too.
Being in the spotlight is something that has definitely changed for our team. We’ve even had a few mentions in the NZPC magazine too which is different but awesome at the same time. I’m so proud of how far our team has come.
Pare: I was happy for our boys. I don’t know any other group that can band together like them and just get shit done. They did a hell of a lot of team work in this last season. It would be a lot easier if there was a bankroll of cash flowing through the club, but there isn’t so every event is hard work for these guys and to get some acknowledgement for that was awesome. It doesn’t get any more Grass Roots than us. Big ups boys.
Wiks: Most of us thought there was only 1 award! [MGN- blame Azhar] which is why we did the Haka straight away. Then we found out about the second award, and then won it! I think I can speak for all the boys when I say we were all blown away. And I know one thing it has done, is prove to us that when we wanna do something, we can!
Speaking of the win, tell me about that Haka, both from your view Togias from on stage….and for the crew up the top doing it
Alan: I was very emotional being on stage and I was too choked up to join in. Afterwards we had people come up to us and say how much the haka had moved them.
Wiks: The Haka was nearly a last minute thing, but it was appropriatete. We were nervous at the start but fed off the energy of all who yelled and screamed. It’s also something that isn’t really seen in the import scene very often . The Haka we did was called – ‘ TIKA TONU’. It talks about growing and learning which is our team all over. But for us to be us, a new and original Haka will be written just for us for the future.
There is a strong cultural aspect in the club, Pare once told me the team stops to say a prayer on the way to Auckland each road trip?
Pare: If we are heading North of Hamilton at all as a group, we will always stop at the bottom of Taupiri mountain between Ngaruawahia and Huntly. No harm in paying respects to those buried on the mountain, not just Billy T. James, but to the previous Kings and Queen, and others passed as well. It means more to some than it does to others but the whole team is very accepting of all cultures. It is a very powerful moment that the team shares and we believe it keeps us safe on our journeys. Believe it or not, since we’ve been doing it we actually haven’t had any breakdowns, “touchwood”. We also have a karakia (Maori song) every time we leave to go somewhere. That won’t ever change. [MGN- See…..Pare says, And its law! :)]
Alan: When our team are together, we also have a karakia before every meal and before we hit the drag strip. It’s what makes us different and because of the nature of our sport and how dangerous it can be, we always pay respect to the land and to those that travelled the land before us.
Wiks: Oh man I tell you what, I haven’t had my car long, and every time we stop by the water, we go down to the river, splash some water on us . . . and me . . .well I splash my car as well (smiles) . So far, NO BREAKDOWNS, That’s pretty good for a Subaru (everyone laughs)
Is there ever any fighting amongst the crew, there are always some strong personalities in any club, so there must be disagreements?
Alan: Most of the team are like soldiers, they keep their heads down and when called upon, they do the job. Because we vote on most matters, there are hardly any disagreements but if there are any issues that require special attention, then myself, or the committee as a whole sorts it out.
Pare: Sure, there are issues, but every team has issues. It’s common but at the same time, we’re all family, there are a hell of a lot more Pros than Cons. Everyone gets their own way eventually anyway. Not always at the same time, but eventually it goes their way.[MGN- or they go away at a guess]
Wiks: At the end of the day, whatever is best for the club will win . . . but usually when Pare says that’s it, then that’s it! (everyone but Pare laughs, who pretend to scowl) . We’ve been together for some time now, so we pretty much know before it happens what people will say. So it all comes down to good planning, which we are continuing to develop.
Do you guys have a favorite event?
Adies: My favourite event has always been 4&R nationals Drags, I’ve competed at 5 nationals drags now and every year it’s always an awesome day and the atmosphere can’t be beaten. It’s always an event I look forward to on the 4&R calendar
Alan: It’s the same for me as well- Nationals , even though we attend every year, it keeps changing and keeps improving with every year. We also have our own Untamed events and my favourite is the annual UNTAMED awards evening. It gives the committee the chance to give back to the members and reward those that did well over the season.
Wiks: As the boys said, the Nats. The best part for me at this event is reping our club as we always do. Also anytime time we are meeting up with our boys or anyone for that matter is awesome. In Tauranga here, yes that’s right UNTAMED is in Tauranga as well not just HAMS!!
As strong followers of drag racing, how do you guys feel about Nzdra/ Ihra, or don’t really care
Adies: I don’t think it will impact us a great deal, apart from that with IHRA entry fees and licence fees could go down which is a bonus to everybody, there seems to be some definite bonuses to changing to IHRA, but at the end of the day as long as there are drag meets on and we can go rip it up, it’s all good!
Alan: I’m not too fussed about it bro. When it comes to drag events, my job is to make sure the race entries, transport and food etc is sorted and to make sure we have several backup strategies for when we have casualties, so the NZDRA/IHRA stuff doesn’t concern me too much.
Wiks: I’m the same. No matter where UNTAMED is, we will rep hard as we always do!!
What does the future hold for UMF? Where do you as a committee want to see the club go?
Adies: Just to keep moving forward but staying true to who we are, and to keep doing what we enjoy!
Pare: Ditto to what Adies said. [MGN- well if Pare says….]
Wiks: yep just staying UNTAMED
Alan: For starters we need a new vision statement. But like the others have said, we just need to keep our identity and values in check and we can’t go wrong really. We just need to keep changing it up and keep doing things the UNTAMED way. [MGN- guess that’s why you’re the boss man]
Lastly, who does UNTAMED need to thank for support?
Pare: Firstly our families and friends, and all of those people that supported UNTAMED at our fundraisers. KAZSPEC Performance Engines, TOP TOWN, BAR 101 and THIRTY TWO 04. I also wanna do a shout out to the clubs of old. DVS DRAGINZ, KRONIK Performance, CHOSEN FEW, LnD.
Alan: I’d like to add a big thanks to everyone in the import scene for keeping the scene alive, Azhar and the 4 & Rotary team for their awesome work every year. Pedey and the NZPC team, Hamilton City Council for giving us the permits for our fundraisers, BK/Wendy’s for providing us with the brain food while we are organising events.
I’d personally also thank my wife for having to put up with all the endless late nights, hearing all my crazy ideas and having a houseful most weekends. She’s the glue that holds this team together and she doesn’t get enough appreciation for all the work she does behind the scenes, love you wifey. Also special mention goes out to our girls that do the hard yards at the fundraisers and in the kitchen. All your help has definitely been appreciated. Oops I forgot too, a special shout out to Adies’ mum haha.
Wiks: I would like to support what Alan and Pare have said above JUST WICKED. But I would also like to thank all our extra supporters who follow us on Facebook, Thank you heaps!
I wanna thank our committee for guiding us down the right track to accomplishing what we set out to do this past season, something new and we pulled it off and look forward to working with you in the days to come.
No reira, Apiti hono tatai hono, te hunga mate ki te hunga mate, apiti hono tatai hono, te hunga ora ki te hunga ora, Tena koutou Katoa!!
So thats the story so far, but I get the feeling Untamed are far from done. They are the current benchmark, and its up to the rest of the car clubs in NZ to knock them off that perch, if pride has anything to do with it , then good luck to ya!