Kiwis Dave Holder and Jason Farmer, from Mt Maunganui and Hamilton respectively, have successfully completed their first day of action at Rally Sweden.
The pair are making their Junior World Rally Championship debut and rallying on snow for the first time, so their goal is to gain as much experience as they can without worrying too much about stage times.
They finished Friday ninth of the 13 JWRC competitors.
“We had the full Sweden rally experience today,” commented Holder. “That includes getting stuck in a couple of snow banks. No damage and Jase managed to push us out of one of them, so got back on the road and only lost a couple of minutes.
“All in all, a pretty positive day. Each day we’ve improving in terms of driving and notes. Whether it’s reflected in the stage times, maybe not so much, but certainly the feeling in the car is getting better each stage so looking forward to tomorrow and what we can do on some of what are probably more preferable stages for us. We’ll just keep building the confidence and get to the end of the event.”
On Thursday they took part in the rally shakedown.
“We did three passes of shakedown,” commented Holder. “The first one was a bit of brain explosion with everything going on – learning the car, the bumps and everything about driving on snow. The second one was much better, 20 seconds quicker over 7 kms, so the feeling was starting to get there. Made a few changes with the car and went different ways with the brake bias and rear suspension clicks just to see what would happen.
“Then on the third run, we tried a few different things, but unfortunately overcooked the braking on one corner and nosed off into a snow bank and got stuck. It’s all good experience! We had 10-15 spectators pushing us out for about 5 minutes. It’s good to know that once you’re in there, you can’t get out very easily!
“So kind of good experience to have now, before the rally just to know you can’t get too far with it (snow banks) or you’ll end up losing a lot of time. So overall shakedown was good for us, then the team re-prepped the car and headed down to Karlstead via the press conference – first time at a press conference so that was interesting, but good experience, enjoying it all so far.”