Campbell looks for consistency at Otago

Phil Campbell and Venita Fabbro CJason Byrne-1

Photo: Jason Byrne – alittlebitsideways.co.nz

Tauranga’s Phil Campbell heads to the second round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship looking for an increase in consistency to back up the best start to a championship campaign in his career.

Changes made to the specification of the car over the off-season plus a full season in a four-wheel drive car under his belt saw Campbell’s speed improve at the opening round, Whangarei.

That translated into a result that sees Campbell sit third on the points table after the opening round, after a hard fought battle went down to the wire with the 28-year old just missing out on second place points by 2.4 seconds.

For the Dunedin event, Campbell will be looking to increase his consistency across the event. Although Campbell set the majority of his stage times comfortably inside the top five, consistency is the key in moving The Roofing Store Mitsubishi Evo 9 further up the leader board.

Last year, the Otago event represented the toughest on the calendar for both Campbell and co-driver Venita Fabbro. The pair battled both illness and an ill-handling car, topped off nicely with a puncture on the event’s longest stage, to come home in ninth place, a position they will be looking for a vast improvement on in 2015.

“We had a great start to the season at Whangarei and it puts us in a really great place moving forward, but we need to get a lot more consistent in our stage times to move even further forward,” says Campbell. “Whatever happens, we need to make sure that we have a better run here than we did last year!”

The Drivesouth Rally Otago gets underway with a ceremonial start on Friday May 8, with the competitive action getting underway the following day. After eight gravel stages total 130km, crews finish off the day with the traditional tarmac super special stage. The following day sees a further seven special stages totalling 147km with bonus points available on the power stage, the iconic Kuri Bush, which makes up the final stage of the event.

       

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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.