Strong relishing every challenge in latter years

No-one has competed in more Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championships than Dave Strong but the veteran driver isn’t planning on giving it away any time soon.

Strong looked arguably the driver to beat lining up at the season opening Otago Rally in his Honda Jazz but things didn’t go his way during the event and he ended up retiring on the Sunday.

But while he has his eyes firming focused on winning the Open 2WD class, Strong is just happy doing more rallying as he approaches the twilight of his career.

“It is just a number and everybody in all sorts of sport says the same thing,” Strong said of his run of championship campaigns.

“You look back at it – already I’m starting to look back at it and say well that was pretty good.

“I’ve had some really good results. Numbers are just numbers.

“I’m cramming now because I might not be able to next year. Health affects everyone – I’m healthy now but you never know.”

Now approaching his 70s, Strong is still able to mix it with the younger brigade but admits it is getting tougher.

“You enjoy it but it is tough but that is why you do it,” he said. “I never thought I would make 40 but I was still competitive until I was mid-50s.

“Now you can do it but not every stage.”

After his disappointment at Otago, Strong knows he will need to chase the championship but with a small number of entries this year, he is far from out of the running.

“If you look at it from an entry point of view, there are not so many people entered so I just have to make sure I finish,” Strong said.

“Some people are the opposite, but I say if the championship is there and the entries aren’t there maybe they will be next year when they see a silly old guy winning it.

“It is a difficult class and I’ve built myself a difficult car that is for sure.”


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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