Holder thrilled with maiden NZRC victory at Whangarei

| Photographer Credit: Jason Bryne

Mount Maunganui’s David Holder has taken his first ever round win in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship at the International Rally of Whangarei, moving him into a strong lead of the NZRC points standings.

Holder came to the event looking for redemption, having failed to record a finish in four previous attempts and also looking to repay the faith put in him by many people and companies who helped him make the start.

Along with co-driver Jason Farmer, Holder took a steady approach on opening two super special stages, but on stage four, the second full length stage, an international competitor starting ahead of the national championship field held up several competitors including Holder, costing him the best part of 40 seconds.

With organisers ensuring a repeat of the problem would not occur, Holder stormed through stage

five for the win. The following stage was the power stage, with bonus points on offer and Holder

stormed through, setting a time 12 seconds faster than any of the international competitors. Unfortunately championship rival Ben Hunt crashed off the road, causing the stage to be cancelled, but thankfully both crew were unharmed. Holder headed to the service break in a frustrated seventh place, but only 20 seconds away from second place.

The afternoon loop of stages saw Holder really hit his stride, setting four stage times in the top two and moving himself into an overnight lead by more than a minute.

Well aware that the Whangarei event has some nasty traps, Holder approached the second day like he would any other and never dropped outside the top five stage times, including the second fastest stage time on the final stage, on his way to a maiden win by 1 minute 29.6 seconds.

“This result is just incredible, we didn’t even think we’d be able to make the event after Otago, so to come away with a win is really, really fantastic,” said Holder.

“It’s a great reward for the whole team, so many people have worked so hard to help us achieve this and I can’t thank them enough. To move into the championship lead is just the icing on the cake.”

The Holder Brothers Racing Team now turn their attention to Rally Canterbury on June 4-5.

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