Cunningham plays the long game at Whangarei
Plenty of changes inside the Clinton Cunningham Rallysport team will see Clint Cunningham looking at the long term goal when the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship gets underway this weekend with Rally Whangarei.
Cunningham will make his competitive debut in the team’s new Mitsubishi Lancer ‘Proto’ car, which is styled like a 2005 WRC car, and although the car will be a step up over the team’s old Mitsubishi Evo 4, the West Aucklander is still coming to terms with the new car with changes including swapping to left-hand drive.
Also new to the team for the 2015 season is co-driver Glenn Goldring, replacing regular co-driver Greg Ruka who has chosen to scale back his rallying commitments. Goldring adds a lot of experience in the car and Cunningham believes he is the perfect co-driver to help progress to the front of the field.
The new car has kept the Clinton Cunningham Rallysport team busy over the off-season but Cunningham also acknowledges the help of Peter Johnston and Team Ralliart NZ in giving him the opportunity to compete in a top level car.
“We’ve got a long term plan and Whangarei is definitely the first step in that plan. It’s an exciting opportunity to get in a competitive car but I have a lot to learn yet,” says Cunningham. “Having someone like Goldie (Glenn Goldring) in the car is a real privilege for me, I certainly rate him as one of the most experienced and professional co-drivers in the country. At the end of the day, I just really have to thank all the sponsors that have made this possible.”
One consistency for the team is their continued drive to create awareness and raise funds for the Support Jethro Morrow foundation.
Rally Whangarei gets underway with two super special stages on Friday April 17. The serious action begins the following day with eight high-speed special stages north of the host town, while Sunday sees a further six special stages before the finish at the Whangarei town basin.
People wishing to follow the teams progress can do so on their facebook page, ‘Clinton Cunningham Rallysport’.