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Reigning New Zealand Rally Champion, Ben Hunt, is a perennial title challenger, and despite losing out to some of the sport's greats, he says he wouldn’t change a thing.

Originally from Nelson, Hunt now resides in Auckland, and now sits in the top ten of all-time NZRC drivers.

“You think of Possum (Bourne), Hayden (Paddon), Neil Allport and Richard Mason when you think of the best drivers New Zealand has had,” Hunt said after being named at number ten.

Ben Hunt's Subaru has become synonymous with the NZRC in recent years. Photo: Geoff Ridder

“I probably never really thought about putting myself on the pedestal with any of those guys because I go to work every day and do my own thing.

“At the rallies, Tony (co-driver, Tony Rawstorn), and I do our own thing and don’t really get too wrapped up in any of that,” he adds.

Hunt could have more championships to his name if it were not for NZRC legends in Richard Mason and Hayden Paddon, but he wouldn’t trade it for more success.

“In the years we’ve been in a 4WD car we have been up against Hayden and Richard and they have definitely been right up the top of the field,” he says.

“Tony quite often looks into the stats when he is bored and the amount of time we have been second in the championships or even in rallies is a lot more than the amount we’ve won.

“I wouldn’t change anything – I wouldn’t change to a different era if I had the chance.

Ben Hunt, Andrew Hawkeswood, Matt Summerfield

Ben Hunt lost out to Andrew Hawkeswood in a classic final round battle in 2017. Photo: Geoff Ridder

“Competing against Hayden and Richard has been awesome and it still is. They are the best two in New Zealand and it just pushes you to improve and get faster and faster.

“When Hayden hasn’t entered the championship at times it has been a bit of a disappointment for us because we love having him there.

“I’d rather have real strong competition and finish second or third than just walk over it and have it easy.”

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