Young rally driver Dylan Thomson has taken his second consecutive win in the New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC), held last weekend at the International Rally of Whangarei.
The second win means Thomson (Waiuku) and co-driver Amy Hudson (Christchurch) have extended their championship lead with four rounds remaining, although they both say it wasn’t an easy result.
“We had so many ups and downs at Rally Whangarei,” said Thomson. “We had some quick rivals, a puncture, a fellow competitors fire to help with, and some really tricky conditions.”
“But Amy [Hudson] and I had a plan and we stuck to that. All the little things we’ve been doing to improve between rallies is certainly making a difference so hopefully we can keep that going in future too.”
The tricky nature of the event first became apparent to the duo in Stage 3, where they hit a pukeko and lost a window wiper. Then in Stage 5, Thomson and Hudson suffered a puncture which saw them drop over three minutes.
However, the pair were undeterred and went on to win the power stage which secured them five bonus NZRC Champonship points and proving they had the pace.
Towards the end of the day, the duo also encountered a car fire and stopped to assist. “At the end of the day, we’re all friends in rallying and we never worried about stopping. We wanted to make sure everyone was safe and then help to save the car if we could. We would do it all again if we had to and we’re certain others would have done the same for us,” explained Thomson.
Going into the final few stages, Thomson and Hudson were only 0.4 seconds behind their first placed rival, and pushed hard across the final few stages to take the win, which they both hope continues.
“We both worked a lot on the pace-notes [detailed rally directions] between [Rally] Otago and Whangarei, which was a huge help. We certainly wouldn’t have been able to go any where near the pace we were going at if we hadn’t made improvements,” said co-driver Hudson.
“And it was actually the best we have ever felt in the car,” she continued.
Thomson echoed Hudson’s sentiments and added that the entire team really pitched in to help them take the win.
“It was a huge team effort so thank you to my service crew and sponsors because we wouldn’t have been able to win without them,” said Thomson.
The next round on the calendar is Hudson’s home round, Rally Canterbury, held on 4 June around Christchurch and Rangiora.