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Mount Maunganui’s David Holder has taken his maiden round win in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship at a chaotic second round, the International Rally of Whangarei.

David Holder leads the NZ Rally Championship after taking his maiden round victory at Rally Whangarei. Photo: Geoff Ridder.

Holder and co-driver Jason Farmer took their Stadium Finance Mitsubishi to a victory of 1 minute 29.6 seconds over Emma Gilmour and Anthony McLoughlin’s Vantage Suzuki Swift and the LJ Hooker Mitsubishi of Dylan Turner and Rob Scott.

Holder started the day with a comfortable lead but was wary that in four previous attempts, he had yet to finish the event. A steady day meant he would take victory, which also moves him into the lead of the championship.

Behind him Gilmour and Turner both had steady days to hold position, but it was WRC star Hayden Paddon, returning from mechanical dramas in his Hyundai i20 yesterday, that was the star of the show on Sunday, more than three minutes ahead of Matt Summerfield who was celebrating his 24th birthday.

There was drama amongst the middle of the top ten when Graham Featherstone suffered electrical problems, the early pace setter Sloan Cox left the road, Andrew Hawkeswood blew an engine and Richard Baddock suffered centre diff problems in his Subaru that delayed him. Mike Young produced an impressive drive charging back from his early electrical issues to set several top three stage times and claimed fourth place ahead of Baddock, Clint Cunningham, Marcus van Klink, Anthony Jones, Max Bayley and Jeff Judd. Out of the 40 starters, only 13 cars completed every stage of the challenging event.

The winner of the historic category, Marcus van Klink (Mazda RX-7) also took away the Motogard Trophy, which was put on the line by organisers for Historic competitors. The Motorgard Trophy was originally awarded to winners of New Zealand’s WRC round between 1978-1982, with van Klink and Dave Neill‘s name being added to the trophy in 2016. They led home Jeff Judd and Grant Marra in their Ford Escort RS1800.

Max Bayley took victory in FIA two-wheel drive, while open two-wheel drive was dominated by Anthony Jones and Noel Moloney in their Ford Escort and when rival Dave Strong retired with mechanical problems, Jones was left free to lead home Dylan Thomson and Amy Hudson’s Ford Fiesta by close to 13 minutes. Third went to Jack and Brenda Williamson in their Suzuki Swift.

The championship now heads to Christchurch for Rally Canterbury on June 4-5.

Results - 2016 NZRC Round 2 - Rally Whangarei:

1. David Holder/Jason Farmer 2:44.09.5
2. Emma Gilmour/Anthony McLoughlin +1:29.6
3. Dylan Turner/Rob Scott +2:27.7
4. Mike Young/Malcolm Read +6:13.3
5. Richard Baddock/Jason Anderson +6:22.2
6. Clint Cunningham/Greg Ruka +6:43.4
7. Marcus van Klink/Dave Neill +10:02.0
8. Anthony Jones/Noel Moloney +11:59.0
9. Max Bayley/Lisa Hudson +11:59.0
10. Jeff Judd/Grant Marra +14:06.4

2016 Brian Green Property Group NZ Rally Championship standings after round two of five
David Holder 64 points
Hayden Paddon 44
Richard Baddock 36
Ben Hunt 33
Marcus Van Klink 31
Emma Gilmour 28

2016 Brian Green Property Group NZ Rally Championship calendar

1. DriveSouth Rally Otago – 9-10 April
2. International Rally Whangarei – 29 April – 1 May
3. Lone Star Rally Canterbury – 5 June
4. Fuchs Rally Gisborne – 2 July
5. Mahindra Rally Coromandel – 20 August

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