Fa­ther-daugh­ter team up

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By JESS LEE

A FA­THER-daugh­ter duo is hit­ting the road on a set of mini wheels to recre­ate a Kiwi clas­sic.

Ross Simp­son and his daugh­ter Rachel Larsen are join­ing more than 50 other Minis to drive from Kaitaia to In­ver­cargill for the fourth Pork Pie Char­ity Run on April 3.

The Herne Bay res­i­dents will be fol­low­ing in the tyre tracks of the leg­endary yel­low Mini from the film Good­bye Pork Pie.

They are fundrais­ing for chil­dren’s char­ity Kid­sCan and have racked up more than $1300 in dona­tions so far.

It’s not the first time Simp­son has got be­hind the wheel for the bi­en­nial event but it will be his first at­tempt squeez­ing into a clas­sic Mini.

‘‘It was a whole lot of fun last time and I couldn’t re­sist do­ing it again in an old one.’’

Simp­son is just over 1.83 me­tres tall so it will take some get­ting used to.

‘‘I’ve been learn­ing over the last month how to drive it with my knees around my head.

‘‘If you park this one next to a new Mini, it’s amaz­ing how much smaller it is.’’

The char­ity run was started in 2009 by Mur­ray Hem­s­ley and Rod Har­ris who wanted to cel­e­brate the 50th an­niver­sary of the Mini and pay homage to the 1981 movie.

Simp­son de­cided to take part at the last minute in 2013 with his youngest daugh­ter Louise com­ing along for the 2500km ride.

This time around it will be his el­dest daugh­ter sit­ting by his side.

She mea­sures up per­fectly for the wee car at just 1.5m.

Larsen says she is most look­ing for­ward to driv­ing through the Lewis Pass.

But Simp­son says some of the well-known spots from the film make for the best sights.

‘‘We go through the old wreck­ing yard from the movie and that’s an amaz­ing place to go,’’ he says.

‘‘To see 50 Minis go­ing through th­ese wrecks – they make a hell of a route to go through.’’

And there will be plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to take in the scenery.

The lit­tle car’s fuel tank only holds about 20 litres so it will mean lots of pit-stops along the route.

Simp­son and Larsen bought the car spe­cially for the event and have cov­ered it with chil­dren’s draw­ings from Bear Park child­care cen­tre.

Teach­ers from the Herne Bay preschool asked the chil­dren to draw pic­tures in­spired by Kid­sCan.

The char­i­ta­ble trust was formed to meet the phys­i­cal and nu­tri­tional needs of New Zealand chil­dren living in poverty.

More than $100,000 has been raised by the event’s petrol heads for the char­ity so far.


Ross Simp­son and his daugh­ter Rachel Larsen are tak­ing part in the 2015 Pork Pie Char­ity Run to raise funds for Kid­sCan.


The art­work of Kather­ine Larsen, 4, and Mar­cus Larsen, 1, and oth­ers from Herne Bay’s Bear Park child­care cen­tre has been printed on the car.

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