Clendon chasing gains in fierce 2WD battle

The NZRC 2WD battle in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship is arguably the most competitive of all the classes and one driver is focused on small improvements getting him big gains this week.

Jackson Clendon won the season-opening round at Otago before having to settle for second place at Rally Whangarei last month with rival Dylan Thomson standing on the top step of the podium.

While disappointed not to beat Thomson after a fierce battle up north, Clendon knows he banked a solid haul of points in his bid to beat the defending champion in the championship battle.

“Points-wise it is really good,” Clendon said. “From a competitive point of view, I would like to have been better on the Sunday. The battle on the Saturday was intense and so much fun but he pulled a bit more out on the Sunday.

“We did really well with the tools we had – the car wasn’t at 100 percent on the Sunday, so we have been a bit down on power, but we did drive well.”

With those issues now ironed out CLendon hopes to be able to match or better Thomson for outright pace on the lightning-fast South Canterbury roads this weekend and he’s looking forward to the battle.

“Going forward we will rectify those issues for South Canterbury, but it looks like the whole year is going to be trading seconds the whole time,” Clendon explained.

“We want to keep on improving each rally. We have our own targets around what we want to improve on.”

The Stadium Finance Rally South Canterbury sees competitors tackle over 150km of special stages across 10 different tests on Saturday, finishing with a blast around Levels Raceway.


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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