Kiwi David Holder announces 2018 Junior WRC program
- 7th December 2017, 7:43am
“There’s no doubt the prize package on offer is fantastic, I mean who doesn’t want to win an R5 car?,” Holder says.“However, we need to be realistic about our first year over there. We’ll be up against young guys who not only already have a lot of experience on the events but are the brightest talents from around the world. Jason and I plan to take the first two rallies – Sweden and Corsica with their respective and unfamiliar snow and tarmac surfaces – steady and ensure we finish every kilometre to get the most from the experience. After that we'll have some knowledge of the car/team, so will target podium finishes for the second half of the season.” This week Holder took a swift trip to the team’s base in Krakow, Poland to participate in an official ‘meet and greet’ with other prospective JWRC competitors. He also had the chance to meet some of the key M-Sport personnel and to get to grips with the one-litre Ecoboost Ford Fiesta R2, with tuition from former FIA WRC Academy Champion and 2017 Wales Rally GB winner Elfyn Evans. Holder says he was made to feel very welcome at M-Sport Poland. “It’s nice to already feel part of the team here at M-sport. It looks like we will have a great team around us next year, which will let me and Jase focus on our job in the car.
“The facilities in Poland in incredible; everything is immaculate with each and every space/feature in the building designed for a specific purpose. The level of professionalism certainly jumps up a few notches when you see what goes on behind doors in a factory team.“This visit has been a valuable opportunity to meet some of the other perspective drivers, some of who have already competed in the JWRC. Hearing some of their experiences is all valuable knowledge as we prepare for next year’s events.” Holder’s run in the R2 Fiesta was essentially his first time on tarmac as well as his first time driving a left-hand-drive car. “It was extremely slippery so not really that representational, but great to get a feeling for the car. Elfyn was great with feedback, and really encouraging considering the slow speeds we were achieving. Regardless of the competitiveness, I approached it as a chance to gain some knowledge around the characteristics of the car. I also enjoyed the chance to get to know more of the team, as I’ll be working with them throughout next year more closely.” With two months until the first event in Sweden, Holder and Farmer have both the funding and travel logistics to work on alongside their fitness regimes, which includes Farmer’s recovery from recent ankle surgery. They’re getting plenty of support, particularly from Paddon.
“Hayden’s been pivotal in a number of my career decisions, and always has wisdom and advice to offer in any rally situation. Now more than ever, his guidance will be key as we prepare for events that are new to us. Ultimately he’s been a big believer in me during the good times and the bad, so I’d love to reward his faith and perseverance with me by making it on the world stage.”Paddon is delighted to see Holder pursue his dream of an international career. “It’s great to see Dave show it is possible for Kiwis to compete on the world stage. He has showed at the New Zealand level that he has the talent, and the next step from there is the support categories of the WRC. We all know the biggest hurdles are the financial barriers, but Dave is committed and working hard towards his dream. That passion and drive will take him a long way. Next year will be about gaining experience for him on what will be all new events, but I believe he can also deliver good results.” Holder’s wife Adina may join them in Europe, as he’ll need a logistics and social media person on the ground. “Regardless of whether Adina is that person, there’s no questioning her support for the campaign, for which I’m very grateful. In her words, she’s ‘never felt more sure about a rally decision’. “I’m also grateful for the support of Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ) and their CEO Gordon Shaw for the past two seasons. Now we’re working to build a family of supporters keen to help get the next New Zealander to the World Rally Championship,” Holder says. More information about Holder’s world rallying journey can be found on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/holderbrothersracing. Anticipated 2018 Junior WRC Calendar for Holder and Farmer
- Rally Sweden, 15-18 February
- Rallye Tour de Corse, 5- 8 April
- Rally de Portugal, 17-20 May
- Rally Finland, 26-29 July
- Rally of Turkey, 13-16 September
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