Campbell looks to carry good form to Daybreaker


Phil Campbell & Venita Fabbro were victorious at the last NZRC round on the Coromandel. Photo Euan Cameron

Tauranga’s Phil Campbell heads to the final round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, the GoPro Daybreaker rally, looking to continue the strong form that has bought top results in recent events.

Since a rear diff failure at Rally Wairarapa that exposed a problem with the original unit, Campbell has been on top form, recently scoring a first outright rally win at the Tauranga Clubmans Rally followed by a round win at the highest level of New Zealand Rallying, the NZRC, on the roads of the Coromandel.

The latest result has left Campbell and co-driver Venita Fabbro a strong chance of a top five finish in the championship standings, with an outside shot at the podium, so there is plenty to play on the Palmerston-North based event.

Last year Campbell took a class win in the Daybreaker event driving a two-wheel drive Ford Fiesta, but a change in format sees this event go from the shortest event on the calendar to the longest single day of rallying seen in the NZRC for many years at just shy of 200km of special stages.

One of the biggest challenges with the new format sees the event starting just before 4am on Saturday with Campbell set to contest at least one and potentially two stages under the cover of darkness before the opening service.

“I’m really looking forward to Daybreaker, it will be a real challenge and with the way that the car has been going lately we are certainly looking for a good strong result to round out the championship,” says Campbell. “The early start and dark stages will certainly be a challenge but with any luck the sun will be coming up when we start stage two.”

This year sees the Daybreaker event, which is based out of Palmerston North, return to the traditional early morning start with the first car hitting the road at 3.50am before venturing as far north as Taihape. After close to 200km of special stages, teams will return to the finish in The Square at Palmerston North at 4.30pm


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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