Tauranga’s Phil Campbell has put a run of mechanical failures behind him to record a ninth place finish at the most recent round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, Rally Gisborne, held over the weekend.
Campbell headed to the event off the back of a string of problems that prevented him from finishing the previous two rounds and frustrated at the points lost as a consequence, but was determined to turn his season around and put a finish on the board.
A steady start to the rally saw Campbell on the outskirts of the top ten after two special stages and not quite on the pace he has been chasing after running consistently at the front last season.
A fourth fastest time on the third special stage would see Campbell and co-driver Venita Fabbro jump The Roofing Store Mitsubishi up the leaderboard to sixth place, less than a second away from a top five position, despite a small misfire creeping into the car.
That misfire would become worse for stage four, cruelly the longest of the event at nearly 40 kilometres. In the end, three and a half minutes, as well as any hopes of a top result, disappeared. The pair completed the last two stages and were relieved to come home in ninth place.
“It was a pretty tough one, but at least we have made the finish. The car was going really well in the morning, I was pretty happy with the time in stage three, but I was gutted when the car started missing in stage four. It was a long drive out, that’s for sure,” said Campbell. “The new engine feels really good though and I’m looking forward to our home event in Tauranga where we can aim to get some confidence back before the final round of the NZRC.”
The Campbell Rallysport team turn their attention to the Tauranga Rally on July 17.
Press Release by BB Media