Although his rally came to an early end, Subaru Brand Ambassador Ben Hunt still had some positives to take away from the Joe’s Garage/Lone Star Rally Canterbury today.
Hunt says his Subaru WRX STi was performing brilliantly after its rebuild following his accident at the previous round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) – the International Rally of Whangarei.
“Out of the box the Subaru went fantastic. It was a real credit to my Ben Hunt Motorsport team and everyone else who helped over past few weeks repairing it and developing it further. Of course we were disappointed not to finish today but at least we were able to show some good speed,” Hunt says.
His first two split times in stage one showed that he and co-driver Tony Rawstorn were matching the pace of the eventual stage winner.
Unfortunately they were only able to complete one full stage of the nine-stage, one-day event in the Ashley and Okuku Forests before the Subaru WRX STi struck trouble.
They were 11.4km into the second stage when they entered a ford and debris within it, punctured the radiator.
“We thought we would see if we could get through the 16km remaining in the stage and out to the service park to repair the radiator. But it got to the point where it was too dangerous for the Subaru’s engine to keep going, in the state that it was in, so we were forced to withdraw,” Auckland-based Hunt says.
“I want to thank everyone involved with our team for their on-going support. It felt fantastic to be back in the Subaru and my body was healed up and ready to rally. We will come back out fighting at the fourth NZRC round in Gisborne early next month,” Hunt says.
Ben Hunt Motorsport is grateful for support in the 2016 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship from: Subaru of New Zealand, Hydraulink, Motul Oil, Gull NZ Fuel, Dunlop, CL Brakes, Reiger suspension, Bluebridge, MTF Finance, Vantage Windows and Doors, The Body Shop, Wurth, Possum Bourne Motorsport, Winger Subaru, E & H Motors, Entech, Neil Allport Motorsport, Prodiesel Engineering Ltd, Vernon Developments., TCC Solutions and Kennelly Cams.
2016 BRIAN GREEN PROPERY GROUP NZ RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR
Round 1 – Rally of Otago April 8 – 10
Round 2 – International Rally of Whangarei April 30 – May 1
Round 3 – Rally of Canterbury – June 5
Round 4 – Rally Gisborne – July 2
Round 5 – Rally Coromandel – August 20