Maiden win for Horan as Van Klink, Adams win titles

Raana Horan claimed victory at Waitomo in 2019. Photo / Geoff Ridder

Raana Horan got a break-through win for a Skoda one-two finish while Marcus van Klink and Matt Adams were crowned national champions in a chaotic Rally Waitomo on Saturday.

Horan collected his maiden Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship victory with a narrow 18.1 second win over fellow Skoda Fabia R5 driver Kingsley Jones.

Hydraulink Subaru driver Ben Hunt had won the previous five rounds of the 2019 championship and looked set to become the first ever driver to complete the perfect season when he carried a lead of over one minute into the penultimate stage on Saturday. But a turbo issue saw his car come to a halt and his rally followed suit.

That opened the door for Tauranga’s Phil Campbell, who inherited the lead in his Ford Fiesta AP4. It had been a strong showing from Campbell, who has battled mechanical problems during the second half of the season. But his shot at winning came unstuck only two kilometres into the final stage when he suffered a suspension failure and was forced to retire.

That promoted Horan into first place and he made no mistakes during the final 43km Hauturu stage to secure his first NZRC win in just his second full season competing.

Jones was delighted with a well-deserved second place. The Aucklander had seen a couple of other impressive results slip through his fingers this season and a podium finish underlies the potential he has.

Matt Jensen finished a terrific third overall in his Mitsubishi EVO 9 and won the Gull Rally Challenge class comfortably.

Adams and Ben Thomasen started the day locked for the lead in the Gull Rally Challenge and battled hard all day to find a winner. Thomasen (Subaru) looked to have the edge for the most part but Adams put in a superb drive on the final two stages to snatch victory by the narrowest of margins – just 0.3 seconds. It secured Adams the title while Thomasen was cruelly left ruing what might have been.

The pair finished second and third respectively to Jensen on the event.

Anthony Jones (Ford Escort) carried a nine second advantage over title rival Van Klink (Mazda RX8) into the final stage but a blown diff ruined his rally and a chance at winning the overall 2WD championship. Van Klink was left to inherit the rally win and claimed both the overall 2WD and Open 2WD championships. Bruce Herbert (Mitsubishi) and Brent Taylor (Toyota) completed both podiums.

Mike Sheehan confirmed his title in the FIA Group N 2WD championship when he made the start line. He went on to win the class at Rally Waitomo and collect a maiden championship in his Ford Fiesta alongside co-driver Glenn Goldring.

Wayne Rowberry powered to a rally win in his Toyota Starlet in the Gull Rally Challenge 2WD class but he couldn’t prevent Daniel Alexander from winning the title.

Alexander struggled at Waitomo with water getting into his engine of his Toyota Starlet but he managed to do enough to nurse the car home and claim enough points to protect his championship lead.

Daph O’Rourke (Toyota Corolla) enjoyed another solid drive to finish second in the rally and claim second in the championship as well.

The results in this class are provisional however with an inquiry currently being considered.

Wayne Muckle crashed his Mitsubishi on stage two which saw Phil Collins ease to victory in the Stadium Finance Group A Challenge championship. Collins completed the final stage but was forced to retire from the event on the touring stage back to the finish but had done enough to secure the title.

Tony Gosling won the class comfortably however and finished a brilliant 10th overall in his Subaru Legacy.

Rally Waitomo Results

1. Raana Horan/Michael Connor (Skoda)
2. Kingsley Jones/Waverley Jones (Skoda)
3. Matt Jensen/Kieran Anstis (Mitsubishi)

Overall 2WD
1. Marcus van Klink/Dave Neill (Mazda)
2. Bruce Herbert/Bevan Parker (Mitsubishi)
3. Brent Taylor/Chris Ramsay (Toyota)

Gull Rally Challenge
1. Matt Jensen/Kieran Anstis (Mitsubishi)
2. Matt Adams/Lisa Hudson (Mitsubishi)
3. Ben Thomasen/Gavin Haycock (Subaru)

2019 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship Final Standings

Overall/Open 4WD
1. Ben Hunt/Tony Rawstorn (Subaru)
2. Josh Marston/Andrew Graves (Holden)
3. Dylan Thomson (Subaru)/ Malcolm Read (Audi/Toyota)

Overall 2WD
1. Marcus van Klink/Dave Neill (Mazda)
2. Anthony Jones/Tanya Gwynne (Ford)
3. Wayne Pittams/Chris Davison (Ford)

Gull Rally Challenge
1. Matt Adams/Lisa Hudson (Mitsubishi)
2. Ben Thomasen/Gavin Haycock (Subaru)
3. Brynley Smith/Andrew Beck (Mitsubishi)

FIA Group N 2WD
1. Mike Sheehan/Glenn Goldring (Ford Fiesta)
2. Robbie Stokes/Amy Stokes (Ford Fiesta)
3. Haowen Chu/Caleb Ash (Ford Fiesta)

Open 2WD
1. Marcus van Klink/Dave Neill (Mazda)
2. Anthony Jones/Tanya Gwynne (Ford)
3. Wayne Pittams/Chris Davison (Ford)

Historic 2WD
1. Jeff Judd/Sarah Brennan (Ford)
2. Regan Ross/Samantha Grey (Ford)
3. Steve Cox/Laurie Brenssell (Toyota)

Gull Rally Challenge 4WD
1. Matt Adams/Lisa Hudson (Mitsubishi)
2. Ben Thomasen/Gavin Haycock (Subaru)
3. Garret Thomas/Gemma Thomas (Subaru)

Gull Rally Challenge 2WD
1. Daniel Alexander/Katrina Renshaw (Toyota)
2. Daph O’Rourke/Brianna Little (Toyota)
3. Wayne Rowberry/Callum Smith (Toyota)

Stadium Finance Group A Challenge
1. Phil Collins/Tracy Spark (Audi)
2. Wayne Muckle/Tania Cresswell (Mitsubishi)
3. Matt Wright/Stephen Lloyd (Subaru)

The 2019 New Zealand Rally Championship is proudly supported by Brian Green Property Group, Gull New Zealand, Dunlop New Zealand, HELLA New Zealand, Stadium Finance, Omega Rental Cars and Suzuki New Zealand.


About The Author


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