Mt Maunganui rally driver David Holder will get a new outlook on rallying at the Fuchs Rally Gisborne, round four of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, this weekend when he lines up in the co-driver’s seat alongside good mate Jono Shapley.
Holder began the season chasing the dream of being a professional rally driver, but an unfortunate accident on the season-opening Rally Whangarei saw heavy damage to not only the Stadium Finance Mitsubishi Evo 8 but also the 26-year old’s limited budget.
While work has been frantic to rebuild Holder’s car, the discovery of more damage to the car and the subsequent budget strain put paid to any chances of making the start line at Gisborne, however Holder is looking forward to returning to the driver’s seat for round five, Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel.
That was when the idea came up for Holder to sit alongside former crew member and good mate Shapley, who is competing in the Gull Rally Challenge. Last year’s junior champion however is just not sure at this stage if he is more excited or nervous to swap sides of the car.
“Jono has done a fantastic job so far in his first year in the championship, currently sitting in 3rd overall in category 5 of the championship, so to be asked to co-drive him is a huge honour to say the least, although if I said I wasn’t nervous I’d certainly be lying,” says Holder.
“One thing about having to miss out on driving the last couple of rallies has meant I’ve been able to try my hand at some of the other tasks involved. From service crew at Otago and Canterbury to now sitting on the wrong side of the car…..I’ve even been asked to join a timing crew for an event!”
“As a driver I normally rely on the co-driver to do everything in the car, in fact to be honest I’d go as far as saying I’m quite lazy during the rally….all I have to do is hold the wheel. So to change roles and be the one with all the information is a wee bit daunting. I might have to take back a few of the tongue and cheek comments I’ve made to my co-drivers over the years.”
“I’ll be approaching the event like any other rally for me, except this time my pre-event focus will be on studying notes from a different angle. So over these next few days I’ll be taking time to practise calling notes out loud as well as brushing up on the rules, lets hope I don’t get us lost!”
“I really have to thank everyone that has supported and helped with the rebuild so far as well as our sponsors, who have been really patient and understanding.”
Fuchs Rally Gisborne takes place on Saturday 27 June with six special stages totalling 146.8km including the legendary ‘Motu’ stages before returning to Gisborne for the event finish at Reads Quay from 17.35.
Holder Brothers Racing would like to thank and acknowledge the support of:
Stadium Cars, Force Automotive, VINZ, Provident Insurance, Bell Booth Limited, Reaction Racing, Endless Brakes, Monit Rally Computers, Speedy Signs Tauranga, Attentive Design, Tauranga Beaurepaires, Dunlop, Total Lubricants Mt Maunganui, Sew Hot Monograms, Mount Wheel Alignment, and Hayden Paddon.
Press Release by BB Media