With the start of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship only a matter of days away, Phil Campbell has given himself a huge psychological boost by becoming the New Zealand Gravel Hillclimb champion.
Campbell contested the series over the rallying off season as well as a successful debut at the recent Tauranga based Rallycross event and over the weekend, took out the finale in Taumaranui.
It bodes well for the Tauranga driver, who was the top four-wheel drive finisher at last year’s Rally Otago, which is this weekend’s opening NZRC round.
Last year’s result started a run of form for Campbell that saw him as one of the pace setters right across the 2015 season that would eventually see him rewarded with the series runner up spot.
For the 2016 season, Campbell is keen to continue to build on his speed, which increased nearly every event and is looking for more stage wins to compliment a consistent performance across last season.
“Last year was a great year for us. We really developed our speed across the year and we were really happy to get second. This year, we want to get even faster and really put down some stage wins,” says Campbell. “It’s certainly a great confidence booster for us to win the national gravel hillclimb championship in the lead up too.”
After a ceremonial start in Dunedin’s Octagon on Friday night, Saturday 9 April sees teams head as far north as Oamaru before returning south via the infamous Dansey’s Pass to the traditional tarmac super special in Dunedin to finish the opening day. The following day sees a further nine special stages to the west of Dunedin before the finish, held at the railway station, from 3.25pm.