Tauranga’s Phil Campbell has had his best run of the season at the final round of the New Zealand Rally Championship, Rally Hawkes Bay, over the weekend.

Campbell entered the round sitting third in the Rally New Zealand scholarship class for two-wheel drive cars and immediately was challenging for the lead, battling with series leader Ben Hunt. After a stage win and two seconds, Campbell and the Letts Buildings Ford Fiesta entered the midday service only 1.7 seconds behind Hunt in an intense battle for the lead.

The afternoon saw Campbell continue to maintain his second place, while still maintaining touch with Hunt. By day’s end, the gap was 23.1 seconds, the closest that the 24-year old has been to a leg win all season.

The second day bought warmer conditions and again Campbell set about chasing down the lead, sitting within 30 seconds of the class lead at the half way point on day two. He continued to apply pressure in the afternoon, within a second of Hunt’s pace on two of the three stages that made up the afternoon stages, but unable to close the gap, which ended up at 53.5 seconds for the day.

“We are really happy with the weekend,” said Campbell. “It’s the first time all season the car has run perfectly and I’m really happy that we are getting closer to Ben at every event.”

The result secured Campbell and co-driver Venita Fabbro third place in the two-wheel drive class despite several frustrating gremlins early in the season resulting in costly DNF’s. Campbell’s next event will be the non-championship Rally Gisborne on September 10.

Press Release by BB Media


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