Tauranga’s Phil Campbell is looking to back up his maiden victory in the Group N two-wheel drive class at Rally Otago this weekend.
After much frustration in the past, Campbell and co-driver Venita Fabbro took a convincing victory in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship at Wairarapa, despite a puncture on the second stage that damaged the differential and left the Ford Fiesta ST with no preload on the diff.
The win left Phil with the equal series lead in the class after two rounds, however co-series leader Josh Marston will not contest this round so Campbell is in an ideal position to build a buffer in the championship.
The 25-year-old will face competition this weekend from defending champion Ben Hunt but is confident he can take the fight.
With a car all ready to go, Campbell also completed a night test in the weekend as the Dunedin-based event starts with three stages under the cover of darkness.
“It was really good to get that monkey off our backs (winning at Wairarapa), so now we will be looking to repeat that at Otago,” says Phil.
“It will be good to fight with Ben as I know I’m going faster, so I can’t wait.”
Rally Otago gets underway with a ceremonial start in Dunedin’s Octagon on Friday night before contesting three special stages. Saturday sees a further seven gravel special stages north of Dunedin before the infamous tarmac street stage to round out the opening leg.
Day Two sees a further six special stages, including stage 14 which offers NZRC bonus points as the power stage, before the ceremonial finish at the Dunedin Railway station at 4.35pm.