NZ Rally Championship – Round 2 (Rally of Otago)
Christchurch rally driver Hamish Anderson is hoping to break his Rally Otago jinx and cross the finish line of the two-day national championship event this weekend.
Anderson is the early leader in the New Zealand two-wheel-drive rally championship and his first priority is to get to the end of Rally Otago.
Bad luck and misfortune has so far prevented him from finishing the three previous events.
“I haven’t finished one yet!,” said Anderson. “If we can extend our lead in the championship that’s great, but we start with a 44-point buffer. Getting to the end [of the rally] is my main goal.
“It’s also essential on these two-day rallies to score [championship] points on both days. There’s more points on offer than a one-day rally, so it’s really important to finish.”
The defending two-wheel-drive national champion is looking forward to the challenge of the Otago roads which he describes as enjoyable to drive as those encountered on the opening round in Whangarei last month.
“The Otago roads are up there with the best. Very challenging; hard to read with lots of blind brows. You certainly have to be on your game,” said Anderson.
On Saturday the rally takes in six public roads stages south-west of Dunedin in the Lawrence and Milton areas, and then on Sunday the event moves to mainly forestry roads that are closer to the city. There is a total of 286km of special stage, high-speed driving.
Anderson and regular co-driver Sarah Brennan won their class at a local car club sprint last weekend with a faultless run in their Toyota Levin, and are hoping a trouble-free run will continue at Otago.
“A broken wire to a switch inside the car almost cost us dearly at Whangarei, but apart from that, mechanically we’ve had a great run this season. The car’s never gone better,” he added.
The Anderson rally team are supported by Goodyear, Rally Tyres NZ Ltd, Mammoth Web, Autolign, Dunlop, P J Repairs, Beaurepaires and Inflatablez: The Cube Event Tent.