West Auckland’s Clint Cunningham heads to round two of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, Rally Whangarei, looking for a change of fortune after a gut-wrenching opening round.
Cunningham and co-driver Greg Ruka headed to the opening event full of confidence and looking to gain some valuable experience, but brake problems from the very first stage would see Cunningham eventually retire from both days.
Since the event, the team at Possum Bourne Motorsport have been over the car as well as finding the root of the brake problems to ensure the RCK Contractors Mitsubishi Lancer Proto car has its best chance of making the finish.
The Whangarei event is a special one for Cunningham, who grew up watching World Championship stars like Colin McRae and Tommi Makinen battle it out on what were his local stages, a sight that inspired him to go rallying.
This year, the event sees Cunningham running a full spectator tour and hospitality area to entertain his sponsors, something that motivates him to really push on and secure a strong result.
“It’s been a tough few weeks since Otago. I was really down in the dumps, but I had some good encouraging words from plenty of people, so now I’m pumped to go again,” says Cunningham. “Whangarei is such a fantastic event, I love going back there and this year to share the event with so many of our supporters is going to be fantastic.”
This year’s Rally Whangarei starts with a ceremonial start and two passes of the Pohe Island Super Special Stage from 6pm. The high speed special stages get underway the following day with 154km of special stages, with a further 120km of special stages on Sunday before the finish at Quayside town basin from 3pm.