Campbell racks up more mileage at Otago


Photo: Jason Byrne/

Tauranga’s Phil Campbell has put a whole heap of miles under his belt at the second round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, Rally Otago, over the weekend.

In their first season in The Roofing Store Mitsubishi Evo 9, Campbell and co-driver Venita Fabbro set out to complete every stage to learn more about four-wheel drive rallying after stepping out of a series of two-wheel drive cars. After a mechanical failure mixed with strong pace at round one, the pair were looking for more of the same at Otago.

After a strong start on the opening stage, brake problems hampered Campbell from stage two and in the 50 kilometre stage three, had to stop in the stage to top up the brake fluid costing close to five minutes.

With the car restored to full health at service, Campbell and Fabbro only had their own health to worry about, with both battling the ‘flu. Despite the Group N spec car struggling for power on the ultra-high speed roads, the pair still recorded a string of top ten stage times to round out the day, but the damage had been done in the morning and the pair would sit 15th overnight.

Day two was relatively trouble free, although a fuel miscalculation saw Campbell have to run the day’s longest stage, the 41km Terrace Range, without the benefit of anti-lag. Another string of top ten stage times saw Campbell move forward, claiming ninth place for the event.

“It certainly was a tough event for us, between a few problems, struggling with a lack of power on the fast roads and being sick, we certainly faced an uphill battle,” said Campbell. “But we got through it all, got to the finish, took some points away and learned plenty. Hopefully the roads at Canterbury are a bit tighter!”

Campbell and his team now look forward to round three of the NZRC, Rally Canterbury on June


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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