Critical rally for Anderson
Christchurch based rally driver Hamish Anderson heads to the Wairarapa this weekend with the chance of securing back-to-back championship titles. Anderson and co-driver Sarah Brennan are currently leading the Open two-wheel drive category of the national series and another class win could wrap up their title defense with two rounds to spare.
With their closest rival, Brent Taylor (Toyota TR 86), returning to the series for the one-day event on Saturday, Anderson says victory on the day is ‘desirable but not critical’.
“We need to protect our championship lead and while winning will secure the title, it is more important to finish the event than go off the road chasing outright victory. Finishing second to Brent would still leave us in the box seat. We don’t need to win our class in the remaining events to keep the title – we just need to finish and keep scoring points,” said Anderson.
The Christchurch pairing got their season off to a flying start in their Toyota Levin and built the momentum that has keep them at the top of the leaderboard.
“I’ll just keep doing what I’ve done all season and see where we end up. I’ve got a lot more confidence in myself and the car this year and I want to keep building on that,” he added.
Crews entered in this fourth round of the New Zealand Championship will spend Friday making their pacenotes before tackling the nine Special Stages that make up the 163kms of high-speed driving at Rally Wairarapa
“I really enjoyed the roads up there last year so I’m looking forward to it. The roads seem to flow really well and that should suit our car. When you’re running a 1600cc, two-wheel drive car it’s really important to keep up the momentum so hopefully the roads we’ll be using will allow that,” said Anderson.
The rally is also part of the North Island based Rally Xtreme series and a round of the Central Region series so there will be plenty of overall competition in the 1600cc class.
“It would be nice to be battling with the fast [1600cc] guys from up there but we’ll assess the competition and drive accordingly. National championship points must remain our focus even if we drop a bit of pace to the locals,” he added.
Anderson and Brennan head to the Wairarapa with a healthy 64-point lead in their championship class.
The Anderson rally team are supported by Goodyear, Rally Tyres NZ Ltd, Mammoth Web, Autolign, Dunlop, P J Repairs, Beaurepaires and Inflatablez: The Cube Event Tent, Clearwater Painting, Renovating and Decorating and Gull.