Name: David Holder
Motorsport class: NZRC
Current Race/Rally Car: Group N Ford Fiesta – Supplied by Stadium Finance
Website : www.holderbrothersracing.com
At what age were you when you first got involved in motorsport?
I’ve been lucky enough to have a brother that loves rallying as much as me, so since I was about 13 I started coming along to his events and helping change a few tyres on the service crew. This soon progressed to convincing him to let me drive in a rally sprint at 14 (and I hadn’t even driven on gravel at this stage, talk about a trusting brother!). But alas the next time I got back in the drivers seat after that wasn’t actually until 2010.
Who was your biggest influence in rallying when growing up?
It would most definitely be my brother James, he taught me to drive at 7yrs old and from then until now he has remained my driving tutor. James had/ has a huge amount of natural talent behind the wheel and I’m lucky enough that he helped me to where I am/ where I am aiming to head.
Aside from James though Colin Mcrae was and still is my favourite Rally Driver. Just watching his incar camera has you sitting on the edge of your seat! I know that smooth is fast but Colin’s on the limit style is spectacular to watch!!
What was your first road car?
Toyota Corolla DX wagon – 1.8L of diesel economy!
What was your very first rally car?
Toyota Levin – Which turns out was the exact car my brother drove for 2 seasons in the NZRC as well, it loves the Holder family
What is the ultimate special stage / rally for you?
I don’t think I can really pick an exact stage for you, but the rally I love would have to be Whangarei! The camber on the roads is quite simply amazing, that feeling when you’re using the momentum of the car to quite literally jump into the next corner is awesome.
What is your career highlight to date?
I guess in a career sense it would be winning the 2012 NZRC Rookie of the Year and Open 2WD Championships last year (even though there was a lack of numbers). But for me personally it would be having Hayden Paddon pick me to be his protege, it’s pretty exciting to say the very least!
Congratulations on being chosen by Hayden Paddon to be his protégé last year. How has this benefitted you and your rallying? Thanks! Aside from the confidence boost, Hayden has gone way beyond the limits of how I pictured him helping! Essentially anything that you can think of Hayden has been more than willing to help with, whether it be driving, sponsorship, career advice, media. We haven’t had too many opportunities to get in the car together to date, but to be fair there are plenty of other areas I also need to improve on so it will all happen in time.
What vehicle format would you recommend for young drivers entering motorsport. Front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or 4 wheel drive?
Not sure that I can really comment on what is the best or not due to my lack of experience in both 4WD and RWD. But I do believe that a FWD car is a great place to start. I have been told that driving a FWD car is a very similar driving style to that of 4WD (I may be wrong!). Not to mention that driving a car with a distinct lack of ponies under the bonnet, and two less driving wheels means it’s even more vital that you don’t lose too much momentum on corners. Lets face it – anyone can drive fast in a straight line!
What advice could you give an up-and-coming driver looking for sponsorship?
Again I can’t really offer any great gems of knowledge in this area either as it’s something that is a struggle for even the best, although I am very blessed to have developed relationships with a couple of fantastic sponsors that I am very grateful for! (Stella Traffic & Stadium Finance, as well as many others who have helped!). On the subject of advice though, I would say don’t be afraid to put yourself and your dreams/ aspirations out there for people to see. Obviously, some people will find them far-fetched, but you may just strike someone who is willing to back you.
In your opinion who was the best rally driver of all time and why?
I would have to say Sebastien Loeb for obvious reasons….he is simply the greatest! He doesn’t make mistakes, it’s just smooth, clean, and no-one can beat him.
Other than rally driving what other work are you involved in?
I’m currently working full time as a Reliability Engineer for a company called PRELIM based in Mt Maunganui. I am fortunate to have an awesome boss that knows where I would like to head with rallying, and as a result has been very accommodating letting me have time off, but I won’t lie – I do find it extremely difficult to stay on top of everything working full time and rallying. I also do a bit of volunteer work with an organisation called “Homes of Hope” based here in Tauranga, which basically involves hanging out and having fun with foster kids.
What do you like to do to relax?
During rally season I don’t relax, but normally anything to do with water – love getting out on a boat waterskiing, wakeboarding etc. Actually I’m quite keen to make a few friends in the North Island that have access to a boat (haha!).
What’s one thing that would surprise most people to know? (are you an aspiring artist / musician etc?)
I can tell you now that I am most certainly not an aspiring musician or artist! I am quite confident saying that I don’t have any talents that I’m currently hiding from mankind.
But something that people may not realise, and in fact it might even surprise some…is that I’m a Christian. I know immediately you’re picturing me carrying a bible walking around in my race suit trying to convince you to join some sort of cult!
Don’t stress I won’t be showing up on your door with bible in hand anytime soon haha. But I do believe God has a plan for me, and at this stage he’s taking me down the path of becoming WRC champion (hopefully), and although he may or may not take me all the way it’s what I am focussed on, and trying my very best at.
You may have noticed the cross on my bonnet – surely it can’t hurt to have the big man looking out for you! One thing I do a lot of at rallies is praying. I say a few prayers before and after every stage asking for a bit of help in the supernatural talent department! And sometimes things don’t always go my way (off road excursions etc) but I believe that it’s all part of his plan for me 🙂
Awesome – Thanks Dave for taking the time to speak to us. We wish you all the best in this years NZRC and look forward to catching up with you at one of the events. Thanks again to Neil from www.NZSnaps.com for the use of his images.
On a personal level, congratulations from me and Dee on your recent marriage to Adina 🙂