Campbell cements championship spot at Canterbury
Tauranga’s Phil Campbell has secured his spot near the front of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship after the third round, Lone Star Rally Canterbury which was held over the weekend.
Campbell headed to the event sitting second in the NZRC standings after his best ever start to the championship season, including topping the four-wheel drive standings at Rally Otago.
The form continued in the night stages that opened up the Christchurch-based event, with Campbell recording a pair of third fastest stage to head into the overnight break second overall, despite co-driver Venita Fabbro suffering car sickness on the second stage.
When the rally resumed the following day, the pair immediately powered The Roofing Store Mitsubishi Evo 9 to two stage wins to open up the day, backed up by the second fastest time on stage five.
The near perfect start to the event was put in jeopardy however on special stage six, the longest of the event at 44.48km, when a gear selection issue left Campbell with only third gear for the entire stage. Having managed to complete the stage, Campbell lost almost two and a half minutes.
With the Campbell Rally Sport team working miracles in the half hour service, Campbell headed for the final four stages with the use of second and fourth gears but performed like he had all five, conceding only half a second to rally leader Ben Hunt across stages seven and eight as he set a string of second fastest stage times, then taking bonus points with the third fastest time on the event finishing power stage to secure third for the event and second outright points in NZRC.
“There are a lot of positives to take out of the weekend, I’m really happy with the times we set and although we had a problem, we probably didn’t lose anything points wise from it,” said Campbell. “It puts us in a really solid position in the championship so I’m really looking forward to Gisborne.”
The Campbell Rally Sport team now turn their attention to Fuchs Rally Gisborne, to be held on June 27.