Ari Pettigrew and co-driver Jason Farmer stepped up to the podium after finishing third in Rally Whangarei over the weekend. The pairing carried on their pace shown at the opening round of the 2022 Brian Green Properties Group NZ Rally Championship, Rally Otago, in just their second event in the 4WD category.
“Our Holden Barina AP4 car went without an issue,” commented Pettigrew. “I love the roads up there and had no idea we could get onto the podium with Hayden (Paddon) and Ben (Hunt) so early in our move to the top class.
“There are so many other top drivers and cars, I am just blown away by our result. I need to thank Jason Farmer for his prefect course notes and a big thanks to my boss Hayden Paddon and the team at Paddon Rallysport for their support leading up to the event and throughout the weekend.”
Along with the championship trophies for the event, the pairing won the ‘Dunlop Drive of The Rally’ award. The Dunlop award, which provides the winner with four extra Dunlop tyres as well as a trophy, is decided by a group of experts who consider the winners to have made the best drive of all the teams on this event
Having also finished seventh at Rally Otago, the podium at Whangarei moves them into fourth overall in the championship while Pettigrew currently leads the Junior Rally Championship class for under 25-year-old drivers.
“Ari drove a mature drive,” commented Farmer. “He didn’t get excited about his times, rather he stuck with our plan to keep a safe speed and we came through to the finish.
“I’m really enjoying myself in the car. We work well together and we also have a few laughs along the way. I am looking forward to how we can grow as a team. It is clear to me that Ari has a great future in the sport”
Pettigrew is keen to point out that there is still a lot for the crew to learn as the season progresses. Things are going well with Jason Farmer calling the course notes and providing an older head.
“Jason and I are planning to continue a level-headed approach to the remaining rounds,” said Pettigrew. “It’s a matter of being patient and letting the speed come naturally, as I build more experience and confidence in the car.”