Young star Ari Pettigrew is set to take on his first rally appearance in a 4wd car. After claiming the Category 3 (Open 2wd) title in the 2021 New Zealand Rally Championship, Pettigrew is now entered to take on next weekend’s Rally Hawke’s Bay in Brian Green’s Mitsubishi Mirage AP4, thanks to the support of Andrew Simms Mitsubishi.
“It’s been a dream of mine to compete in one of these high-level cars,” commented Pettigrew. “I am very fortunate to be given the opportunity to compete in one of the country’s best AP4 car’s built by the team at Ralli-Art in their Mitsubishi Mirage AP4.”
After ten-years, Rally Hawkes Bay returns to the NZ Rally Championship. After the event’s big hiatus, few competitors will attend with prior knowledge. This puts Pettigrew in a strong position.
“It will be great to contest the high-quality NZ Rally Championship field on relatively even playing field with most competitors including myself competing there for the first time,” said Pettigrew. “We will be heading into the event with a conservative mindset, as we are there to enjoy the opportunity and gain valuable experience.”
After five years of hardship, Ari’s experiences have grown him into one of New Zealand’s young talents. After proving his pace in his 2wd BMW, Ari looks to show his consistency in the Mirage AP4.
Through the support of current New Zealand Rally Championship leader, Hayden Paddon and many other key supporters, Ari brings a combination of raw talent and Paddon’s experience. Hayden comment’s “Ari is an extreme talent, to me, he can be a New Zealand champion, but his partners and I believe there is a strong future outside New Zealand”.
Ari says, “The goal for the weekend is just about gaining experience in a 4wd car, there will be a lot to learn. But I cannot wait for the new challenge alongside the country’s best drivers.”
Pettigrew will compete in Rally Hawkes Bay, round four of the New Zealand Rally Championship, which takes place in the Napier region 24 July.