News briefs – between the rounds
Its been a 6 week break since the last round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, providing a small break in the season for teams. There has still been plenty happening in the local rally scene, we catchup with some of the news.
Campbell takes maiden win on home soil
Tauranga driver Phil Campbell secured his first ever outright rally win at the recent Tauranga Clubmans Rally. Campbell has recorded some impressive results in NZRC rounds during 2014 since making the transition from the front wheel drive Fiesta previously campaigned, to a 4WD Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. The win on home soil a well deserved result for the Tauranga team.
With the event a non-pace noted rally, Campbell used the opportunity to strap Lars Thiel-Lardon from The Roofing Store, the naming rights sponsor of the team’s Mitsubishi Evo IX, into the co-driver’s seat. Campbells final winning margin was 43 seconds over Rotorua’s Sloan Cox, who was returning to competition after a rebuild of his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. Brian Green & Fleur Pedersen completed the podium placers in their Evo X.
Holder trys co-driving
Tauranga’s David Holder, currently third in the NZRC, has been keeping busy between events by trying his hand at a spot of co-driving. After competing in the Tauranga Clubmans Rally with Toyota Corolla driver Brendan Wilson, Holder is also entered for this weekends Catlins Rally, a round of the Mainland Rally Series.
Holder will co-drive for Christchurch driver Tony Gosling in the Stadium Cars Ford Escort RS1800, the car used by Hayden Paddon at the Otago Classic Rally earlier in the year.
Gold Rush Rally enters new territory
Final preparations are underway for the newest addition to the NZRC calendar, the VINZ Gold Rush Rally of Coromandel, held later this month on Saturday 23rd August. The event run by the Rally NZ team and based at the seaside township of Whitianga ventures into the Peninsula ranges for new stages not used in competitive competition for over 30 years.
It will be a new challenge for the NZRC teams with testing stages including Castlerock, Tapu-Coroglen and “The 309” along with a tarmac publciity stage on the Waterways in Whitianga. For further information check out the event website at http://www.rallynz.org.nz/2014-goldrush-rally-of-coromandel
Back to the future for challenging championship finale
The GoPro Daybreaker Rally will provide a challenging finale for the 2014 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, with organisers of the Manawatu event announcing a one day event taking in 205 kilometres of special stages starting in the early hours on the morning of Saturday 27th September.
Starting from Palmerston North at 3.50am, the competitors will take in two night stages on their way towards Taihape, as day breaks over the back country. A loop of stages around Taihape and then back to Palmerston North, via Apiti, sees the teams take in a total of 205km of competition over 11 gravel road stages.
The “Daybreaker” earned its name and infamous reputation from the first runnings of the event in the 80’s when it started at midnight running through the night into day break, continuing on to a late afternoon finish. The 2014 edition brings back that adventure and provides a suitable challenge to end the 2014 NZRC season.
Baddock wins Canterbury Subaru battle
Kaiapoi Subaru driver Richard Baddock has had a dogged run in this years NZRC with great pace in his older model Subaru often hampered by niggly car problems. However last weekend he again demonstrated his natural driving talent with victory at the Canterbury Autosports Cust Gravel sprint, defeating fellow Canterbury NZRC Subaru runners Matt Summerfield, and the experienced Jeff Judd. Baddock now heads to the Catlins rally this weekend to defend his lead in the Mainland Rally series.