Lucky win for Anderson
A broken electrical wire almost cost Christchurch driver Hamish Anderson a successful start to the defense of his two-wheel-drive New Zealand rally title last weekend, but a makeshift effort got the car to the finish line and he scored maximum points in the process.
The drama began towards the end of the second day of competition when the rally car stopped mid-stage. A frantic search found a wire had broken off to a safety ‘kill switch’ in the car and the only way to get the car going again and avoid exclusion for lateness was for co-driver Sarah Brennan to hold the broken wires together so they could drive out of the closed road section.
In a race against time, the pair had to also drive the next stage the same way before Anderson could make a better temporary repair so they could carry on to the finish.
“Luckily our main rival went out [of the event] after the first day so we knew we only had to somehow make the finish to collect maximum points. Before the last stage I managed to steal a bit of wire from elsewhere in the car to join the broken pieces together and that got us home,” said Anderson.
“After the huge effort by the team to get all the way to Whangarei from home I would have been gutted if our rally had ended with us stopped on the side of the road for the sake of a broken wire.”
It was the first time the pair had competed in the International rally of Whangarei and Anderson said the Northland roads were the best he’s ever raced on.
The rally also provided the pair with a two pass reconnaissance – the opportunity to drive over the competition roads twice beforehand to make their pace-notes – and that gave them the opportunity to write good notes.
“It’s the only event in the country we can do that [two passes] and it made a huge difference to the quality of our notes. I was able to drive with much more confidence and it showed. We were close to the pace of our international rivals in the two-wheel drive class so I’m happy with that,” added Anderson.
Keen to match himself against young Kiwi driver Michael Young, who was driving in the Asia Pacific field running ahead of the national championship contenders, Anderson said he was pleased to keep his older model Toyota up with the Opotiki-based driver in his new generation car. Young is the current Asia Pacific 2WD Cup holder.
Scoring the maximum 44 championship points for the weekend was the perfect start to their campaign as the team now turns its attention to the Rally of Otago early May.
“With no-one else in the class finishing that has given us a big buffer heading into the rest of the championship.”
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.
Prepared by SpeedSport