Campbell looks for better run at Canterbury

roofing Store evo 9 (900x519)

Photo: Jason Byrne ( )

Tauranga’s Phil Campbell is looking for a return to podium speed at round three of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, the Lone Star Rally Canterbury, over the weekend.

Campbell surprised himself at the opening round of the championship, Rally Whangarei, by setting a string of top three stage times and if not for a clutch failure, a podium finish was on the cards.

Round two was a different story with a smashed brake calliper causing major brake problems early on. Once that issue was resolved, Campbell struggled with the small restrictor in his still Group N Mitsubishi Evo 9 on the wide and fast Otago roads.

However this weekend sees a return to happy hunting ground for Campbell and co-driver Venita Fabbro, who took victory in category two last year, driving their Ford Fiesta, in their first attempt at the event.

This year, the pair return in The Roofing Store Mitsubishi Evo 9 and the format of this year’s event, which consists of four forestry and four public road stages is one that excites Campbell and should suit the new car.

“I can’t wait to get back onto some forestry roads, we seem to go well on them,” says Campbell. “Otago was a bit disappointing for us, although it was good to get a finish, but I’d really like to get back to the speed that we were showing in Whangarei this weekend at Canterbury.”

The Lone Star Rally Canterbury kicks off with a ceremonial start at The Palms Mall in Christchruch from 4.45pm on Saturday before heading north to the Okuku Forest to contest two night stages. The following morning, crews leave the overnight Parc Ferme in Rangiora to contest four public road stages as far north as Cheviot, followed by a return to the two stages in Okuku Forest run in reverse direction, before returning to The Palms for the finish.

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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 2024, there are six NZRC rounds, each with a unique character reflecting the diverse regions – from Northland to Invercargill