Christchurch rally driver, Jeff Judd, has narrowly missed out on winning the New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) historic class title by only two points after a consistent drive all season.
Judd, piloting his BNT Ford Escort, had clocked up several rally wins during the 2013 NZRC season but couldn’t match the pace of Deane Buist, in another Ford Escort, at the final round in Wairarapa.
“The battle for the championship was close all year. It’s always great fun for everyone to have such a close fight but of course we’d like to be on the other side of the result,” said Judd.
“To lose by only two points is just gut wrenching. The whole team has been working incredibly hard all season and it would have been nice to reward them with the title, but that’s motorsport.”
Judd and co-driver Malcolm Read had built up a significant lead in the historic class championship early in the season after winning the International Rally of Whangarei and consistently finishing rallies but their fellow competitors fought back hindering Judd’s campaign.
“We had a great start to the season but both Deane [Buist] and Marcus [van Klink] are quick and it became very close between all of us.”
“Unfortunately, our DNF at the Daybreaker Rally cost us this year but we’re really happy for Deane. He missed Whangarei [rally] which was a big risk but he fought back well.”
The reliable BNT Ford Escort also aided Judd’s championship campaign with no major mechanical issues plaguing the team, but Judd says this is also a credit to his service crew.
“We didn’t have any major problems with the car all year. That’s a real testament to my service crew who have put a lot of the hours into maintaining it.”
“Escorts are just great wee cars to drive. They’re reliable, a heap of fun and people love watching them. I’ve had several people tell me they love the sound of our BNT Escort charging through the forests.”
Judd and his BNT team now shift their focus to a few local events in Canterbury over the coming months, and discussions about challenging for the New Zealand historic class championship win in 2014. While no decisions have been made yet, Judd says he will announce his plans as soon as the team has had a chance to explore the options.
Judd’s 2013 NZRC campaign is supported by BNT, Magnum Compliance, Fuchs and Waimate Pharmacy.
Media Release: Alana McIsaac (October, 2013)