Talented Auckland-based rally driver Ben Hunt is on a fast track to repeating his 2015 New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) win this season, in his Subaru WRX STi.
It is his third rally season in this Subaru and after finishing third in the NZRC last year, Hunt is keen to move two places up the podium.
There are six rounds in the NZRC this season – three in the South Island and three in the North Island. Hunt and his long-term co-driver Tony Rawstorn have had a great start to the season with two second places behind WRC star Hayden Paddon at the season opener in Otago and then again at the International Rally of Whangarei.
Hunt is no stranger to success and he has been making a name for himself on the national scene since he won the Rally New Zealand Rising Stars Scholarship in 2009.
Since then he has added the national 2WD championship to his name, been named the Junior National Rally Champion and then claimed the ultimate prize in 2015, winning the NZRC in a Subaru WRX.
In recognition of his rallying talents, Hunt was taken on as a Subaru of New Zealand Brand Ambassador in 2016 and the company offered him the use of a brand-new Subaru WRX STi, which he had converted to a rally car.
Hunt says that after two full seasons with the STi, his Hunt Motorsports team are “really happy with where the car is at and I’m not sure there is much more we can do with it.”
“We are continuing to build on the speed we had at Otago. In terms of the championship, we will just continue striving to improve on the basics and focusing on all the finer points that are going to help us win back the NZRC title,” Hunt adds.
Subaru of New Zealand’s Managing Director Wallis Dumper is looking forward to hopefully seeing a Subaru on top of the NZRC podium again after the last round – Rally New Zealand - in October.
“We have seen Ben progress as a consistently fast but level-headed driver, who has learned to get the best out of his Subaru WRX STi. Ben is humble, hard-working and grateful for every bit of help he has been offered over the years. Plus, he has that magic ingredient of being deceptively fast and smooth, which often is the hallmark of champions given they don’t look fast to spectators but the stage times tell the real story,” Mr Dumper says.
2018 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship calendar
April 14 to 15: Round 1 Drivesouth Rally of Otago
May 5 to 6: Round 2 International Rally of Whangarei
June 3: Round 3 Lone Star Canterbury Rally
June 23: Round 4 South Canterbury Rally
August 18: Round 5 Gold Rush Rally of Coromandel
October 13 to 14: Round 6 Rally New Zealand