2014 Open 2WD Championship: Anderson repeat winner

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Anderson and Brennan in action on the Daybreaker Rally in their trusty Toyota Levin. Photo: Geoff Ridder

Christchurch’s Hamish Anderson successfully defended his Open two wheel drive rally championship title at the Manawatu-based Daybreaker Rally. Anderson and co-driver Sarah Brennan took a cautious approach to the 12-hour event, allowing rival Brent Taylor to take the class win, knowing that second place was good enough to bag back-to-back titles.

The Christchurch pairing got their season off to a winning start in the early rounds and capitalised on an early points haul to retain the championship. “Our old model Toyota Levin is no match (performance wise) to Brent’s new, bigger-engined Toyota 86 so we were lucky to win the early rounds while he was still developing his car,” said Anderson.

“At the last round (Daybreaker Rally) we had to concentrate on not getting caught up in other class battles and taking our eyes off the main prize.”

While Anderson and Taylor were battling for national championship honours, Anderson was also competing in the 1600cc class on the Daybreaker and after a rally-long battle, claimed third place in that race by a mere 9-seconds.

Taylor’s car is powered by a 2-litre new generation engine while Anderson uses a 1600cc unit.

Reclaiming the national title has been the season long focus and the Anderson rally team is delighted to have secured that.

“Everything went according to plan. The guys who work so hard on the car between events made my job look easy. We had no car issues all year; we finished every rally (that) we entered and that’s a great testament to the guys who prepare our car,” added Anderson.

“You can’t aim for much more than a hundred-percent finish record and a rally title.”

The Daybreaker Rally started and finished in Palmerston North, taking in 11 high-speed special stages, starting at 3.50 in the morning and finishing 12 hours later.

The final event was almost without incident although Anderson admits he misheard a safety note and had one ‘awkward’ situation.

“That gave us a wee moment. I was really pleased though when we got the the end of the rally. Another successful season over!”

Anderson finished the season in the Open 2WD championship with 151 points over Taylor on 133.

Anderson was also registered in the overall 2WD national championship and finished runner-up in that category to Max Bayley (Ford Fiesta 2).

The Anderson rally team are supported by Goodyear, Rally Tyres NZ Ltd, Mammoth Web, Autolign, Dunlop, P J Repairs, Beaurepaires and Inflatablez: The Cube Event Tent, Clearwater Painting, Renovating and Decorating and Gull.

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Hamish Anderson (right) and co-driver Sarah Brennan successfully defended their Open two-wheel-drive rally championship title at the Daybreaker Rally. Photo: Geoff Ridder

       

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The New Zealand Rally Championship is this country’s premier nationwide rally championship. It attracts New Zealand’s best drivers to compete in numerous categories for the prestigious MotorSport New Zealand-sanctioned rally championship titles. In 2019, there are six NZRC rounds, each with a unique character reflecting the diverse regions – from Northland to Otago.

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