Gisborne win nets championship for Holder
An action packed 2016 Rally Gisborne has seen Mount Maunganui’s David Holder and Jason Farmer not only take an event victory, but with it also secure the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship title with a round remaining.
Holder and Farmer came into the event with a six point lead over Dunedin’s Emma Gilmour and dominated from the opening stage, leading home the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 of Dylan Turner and Rob Scott, with Lance Williams and Crunch Bennett coming home third in their Subaru Impreza R4.
While Holder had a dream run, taking three stage wins and never falling outside of the top three stage times, there were plenty of others suffering drama. Clinton Cunningham and Jack Williamson both retired before the opening stage, while Historic championship leader Marcus van Klink left the road in the opening stage.
Drama continued in the second stage when Andrew Hawkeswood and Glenn Inkster retired with mechanical and off road dramas respectively, while the third stage saw retirements for Ben Hunt and Emma Gilmour, ending her championship challenge.
The afternoon stages saw Turner find form with a pair of stage wins to secure his second place, while Lance Williams fought off Graham Featherstone for the final podium spot. Grant Blackberry not only won the Gull Rally Challenge, but rounded out the top five outright to earn the Gull Rally Scholarship and Dunlop Drive of the Rally awards.
In the Gull Rally Challenge, Blackberry lead home Kingsley Jones and Warwick Redfern, while the two-wheel drive section of the class was taken out by Jeff Torkington’s Toyota MR2.
With van Klink’s opening stage demise, it was left to the similar Mazda RX-7 of John Silcock to take class honours, although van Klink was able to wrap up the class championship with a round to spare.
The open two-wheel drive class went the way of Dave Strong, who secured a top ten outright result after main rival Anthony Jones retired. Despite two off road excursions, Andy Martin secured second in their Suzuki Swift after Dylan Thomson retired.
With Holder wrapping up the overall title, attention now turns to the battle for second place, with 12 points separating eight drivers. That race is expected to go down to the wire at the series finale, the Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel, on August 20.
2016 Rally Gisborne Results
1. David Holder/Jason Farmer 1:44:03.6
2. Dylan Turner/Rob Scott +1:25.5
3. Lance Williams/Raymond Bennett +2:05.3
4. Graham Featherstone/Dave Devonport +2:13.9
5. Grant Blackberry/Ric Chalmers +2:57.7
6. Sloan Cox/Malcolm Read +4:01.9
7. Shannon Chambers/Warwick Searle +5:03.2
8. Kingsley Jones/Waverly Jones +7:05.9
9. Phil Campbell/Venita Fabrro +7:09.5
10. Dave Strong/Bruce McKenzie +8:37.5
2016 Brian Green Property Group NZ Rally Championship Points after round 4 of 5
1. David Holder 94
2. Emma Gilmour 58
3. Graham Featherstone 56
4. Sloan Cox 54
5. Hayden Paddon 51