Hunt dominates at South Canterbury Rally with fourth consecutive NZRC win
Stamping his authority all over the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, Subaru’s Ben Hunt continued his winning streak at the Stadium Finance South Canterbury Rally – pulling off his fourth victory today.
The WRX STI driver and co-driver Tony Rawstorn delivered another unbeatable combination of pure speed and ultra-consistency over the Timaru-based event. This potent mixture has seen the long-term pairing take victory at Otago, Whangarei and Canterbury to hold a commanding 46-point lead heading to the penultimate round in the Coromandel in August.
“It’s a credit to the team and everyone involved. We’ve now had six days of rallying and the Subaru has run magically the whole time,” Hunt says.
In a repeat of the Canterbury rally results earlier this month, Christchurch’s Josh Marston and his co-driver Andrew Graves finished second again in the NZRC component, in his Holden Barina AP4, this time 1min:14.4secs behind Hunt. Aucklander Raana Horan and co-driver Michael Connor bought their Skoda Fabia R5 home third overall in the NZRC.
“It’s great to have our production-based Subaru up the front of the field, ahead of the AP4 cars and a WRC-2 machine,” Hunt says.
Subaru of New Zealand Marketing Manager Daile Stephens says the brand is proud of the impressive results Hunt and Rawstorn have been achieving this season.
“Every rally has gone well for them and the whole Subaru team love seeing the Subaru WRX STI charging through stages all around the country, on its way to another NZRC win, with Ben behind the wheel.”
Former WRC driver Hayden Paddon won the all-comer’s section of the 200km event today and Hunt clocked runner-up stage times to him on 10 of the 12 stages.
Hunt’s only moment today was a puncture in stage 8, which he managed to drive the Subaru out of, without having to change the flat tyre.
“The front left went, and it was amazing how the Pirelli tyre held up, enabling us to keep going and not waste time stopping to change to our spare.”
He and Rawstorn enjoyed the stages which were a mixture of public and forestry roads.
“They were magic roads and it was an awesome rally, with not a lot of touring, which just makes the day. We loved the stage in Waimate Forest early this morning in the dark, with the Hella lights mounted on the front of the Subaru to see where we were going.”
Going into the event, Auckland-based Hunt had a chance to claim his second career championship – after winning in 2015 in a Subaru WRX Impreza - if he won and closest rival Marston finished outside the top four at Rally South Canterbury. While it wasn’t to be today, Marston is now the only driver mathematically capable of denying Hunt his second title.
“We are just going to keep doing the same thing and don’t plan to slow up. Everything is working so well in the Subaru and we’ll keep pushing on for the championship win,” Hunt says.
2019 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship - points
Ben Hunt - 146
Josh Marston - 100
Dylan Thomson - 68
Marcus Van Klink - 62
Matt Summerfield - 61
Hunt Motorsports is grateful for support in the 2019 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship from: Subaru of New Zealand, Hydraulink, Motul Oil, Vantage Windows and Doors, Speedhub Motorsport, Gull NZ Fuel, Winger Subaru, Hella NZ, Reiger suspension, Bluebridge, MTF Finance, Wurth, Mean Machine Engines, Vernon Developments, TCC Solutions, Hitech Motorsport, Hunt Diesel, Make Architects, Pirelli, Pagid Racing Brake Pads, Nuzest, SOS and Hammer King.
2019 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship calendar
Round 1 Drivesouth Rally of Otago April 13 to 14 (Dunedin)
Round2 International Rally of Whangarei May 4 to 5 (Whangarei)
Round 3 Lone Star Canterbury Rally June 2 (Christchurch)
Round 4 South Canterbury Rally June 22 (Timaru)
Round 5 Hyundai NZ Gold Rush Rally of Coromandel August 16 to 17 (Whitianga)
Round 6 Hamilton Car Club Waitomo Rally October 19 (Hamilton)
Subaru of New Zealand
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