Campbell looks for more of the same at Otago
After a promising start to the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, Tauranga’s Phil Campbell is looking for more of the same at this weekend’s Rally Otago.
Campbell and co-driver Venita Fabbro went to the opening round at Whangarei keen to learn their new The Roofing Store Mitsubishi Evo 9 but were pleasantly surprised to be sitting inside the top three until a clutch failure on stage five. The pair returned on day two and were again on the pace, taking third place for the day.
The Dunedin-based event is one that has treated Campbell well in previous attempts, including a class win after a rally long battle last year with fellow Ford Fiesta driver Josh Marston, with Campbell coming out on top by 10 seconds.
Although the fast nature of the Otago roads are likely to disadvantage Campbell’s car which remains in standard group N trim, they are still roads that appeal to the 27 year old.
Like Whangarei, Campbell’s first aim will be to get to the finish and gain maximum mileage in the new car, although with a taste of success at the season opener, Campbell is also keen to set a few competitive stage times.
“We just want to go out and do more of the same, have some more competitive stage times but focus on finishing the rally again and get as much experience as we can,” says Campbell. “We’re looking forward to the fast roads, they’re probably not so suited to my car but that’s alright.”
Rally Otago gets underway with a ceremonial start in The Octagon from 5pm on Friday. Special stage action gets underway the following day around the Lawrence area including the monster 50km Manuka Hill before returning to Dunedin for the iconic tarmac super special stage at 3pm. Day two sees the more traditional Otago stages around the Lake Waihola and after a total of 283km, crews will return to the ceremonial finish at the Dunedin Railway station from 3pm on Sunday.